Sprint, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, Texas United Futbol Club, YMCA International Services and Academy Sports + Outdoors partner for opening ceremonies at Copa Centenario

June 08, 2016
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Flagbearers from Copa America on June 4, 2016. Brazil vs. Ecuador match in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Business Wire)

HOUSTON (BUSINESS WIRE), June 08, 2016 - Forty-eight Houston-area teens, ages 14-16, will have the unique opportunity to experience the historic 2016 Copa América Centenario games directly from the field. Sprint (NYSE: S), an official partner of Copa América Centenario has teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, Texas United Futbol Club, and the YMCA International Services, and Academy Sports + Outdoors offering their members a chance to represent the city as flagbearers at opening ceremonies during the matches on June 11th, 13th, and 21st at NRG Stadium. In addition, Academy Sports + Outdoors, which has 28 Houston-area locations throughout Texas, outfitted each of the kids with sneakers.

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“Showing our commitment to Houston means working with great local organizations like these to find once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for youth in the community,” said John Stevens, Sprint president for the Central Texas region. “We hope the teens participating will enjoy the experience.”

“We are very grateful for the opportunity for our teens to participate as flag bearers in the historic 2016 Copa América Centenario games,” Kevin Hattery, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, said. “Our Club members’ responsibility and involvement on the field allows them to be a part of the excitement and momentum surrounding the matches. We are proud to be involved in this event and know our teens will always remember this unique experience.”

“YMCA International Services appreciates this unique opportunity for our refugee students to participate in the Copa América Centenario matches,” said Jeff Watkins, vice president for Global Initiatives. “Given our students’ history, we know that they are especially proud to be flagbearers for such an important event.”

“As Houston’s hometown sporting goods retailer, we’re thrilled to contribute shoes to the kids as they take the international stage,” said J.K. Symancyk, Academy Sports + Outdoors President and CEO. “We’re confident that our friends at the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston will put their best foot forward as they represent Houston.”

The flagbearers’ responsibilities include leading the referees and players onto the pitch (field) for the start of the match and to position the country flags for the playing of the national anthems of the competing teams. Tickets to watch the matches will be provided to all of the flagbearers and their chaperones as well as specially created uniforms, and meals and refreshments.

This year’s Copa América is not only designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Copa America, but it is also a chance to bring all of the Americas into one competition for the first time. Ten U.S.-based venues will host the prestigious South American tournament, including Houston.

Score 50 percent off Rides to Copa América Centenario

Sprint and Uber are teaming up so that fans can score a discounted Uber ride. When you enter the promo code for your city and take Uber either to or from the stadium, you’ll get 50% off one Uber ride (up to $25), courtesy of Sprint. Please visit www.sprint.com/copa.

Experience Copa América Centenario with Sprint

Sprint is creating an immersive and engaging fan experience before and during all three of its matches at NRG Stadium. The company will hold “Fan Headquarter” events before each game to help fans prep with giveaways, food, and fun. On game day, Sprint will be on-site further extending the unique VIP soccer fan experience with soccer legend appearances, an interactive digital wall, a 360° photo booth where fans will get digital downloads of their photos for social sharing, and charging stations.

Meet a Legend/Meet a Player

Sprint will give the community and soccer fans an opportunity to meet some of the sport’s favorite and notable athletes:

Former Colombia player Juan Pablo Angel

  • Date: Sunday, June 12, 2016
  • Time: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Location: Sprint Store: 6809A Southwest Fwy, Houston

Former Mexico player, Luis Hernandez:

  • Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2016
  • Time: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Sprint Store: 14095 Northwest Fwy, Houston

About Sprint

Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston

For over six decades, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston has been the Houston area’s leading youth development organization, achieving an enviable record of creatively engaging, educating and empowering a large number of low-income young people in ways that positively impact their lives and improve their chances of achieving and sustaining academic and economic success. You can learn more and visit BGCGH at www.bgclubs-houston.org or www.facebook.com/BGCHouston or www.instagram.com/bgchouston or www.twitter.com/bgcgh.

About the YMCA International Services

YMCA International Services is a unique center of the YMCA of Greater Houston that delivers client-centered programs to refugees, immigrants and other vulnerable populations to advance their economic independence, social integration and civic participation. The Y helps newcomers restore hope, build stability, create opportunity and change futures. YMCA International Services is continuously recognized as a leader in the Houston immigrant community.

About Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a unique assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel, patio sets, barbecue grills and much more. The $4.6 billion company operates over 200 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, where the company is based. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy, youtube.com/academy and instagram.com/academy.



Roni Singleton, 404-649-8354