by Jeff Fisher
Kentucky High School Football Huddle
Kentucky High School Athletic Association has announced a four-year deal to keep the state football championships at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
The state's six championship games, known as the Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, have been played in Bowling Green over the last two years, but there was a chance that the KHSAA would have to look for a new location without a title sponsor. The deal was finalized after Russell Athletic, a Bowling Green-based business, signed-on.
"Again, the corporate community in the Bowling Green area, along with the great folks at Western Kentucky University, have openly showed their appreciation and understanding of the value of the young people in the Commonwealth,” said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. “It continues to amaze me the great community spirit and welcoming attitude that is displayed here in Bowling Green. As it relates to high school sports in this state, this move gives one of our marquee championships stability and allows for continued growth in the coming years.”
“Russell Athletic is excited to partner with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association as the title sponsor of the state football championships,” said Gary Barfield, Executive Vice President of Russell Brands, LLC. “With Russell being a part of Fruit of the Loom, Inc., this partnership allows us to tie in Kentucky high school athletics, Western Kentucky University and the city of Bowling Green to help create a memorable experience for Kentucky high school football for many years to come.”
Russell Athletic, whose official name is Russell Brands, LLC, is a Fruit of the Loom company with corporate offices located in Bowling Green. The company has been in existence for more than 100 years and is the leading supplier of team uniforms at the high school, college and professional level.
Last year nearly 48,000 fans attended the state title games.
Below are some highlights from yesterday's news conference announcing the partnership between the state, Russell Athletic and Western Kentucky University: