Six-City Tour Starts March 19 with Regionals in Charlotte; Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston also Host Regionals; National Finals in Washington, D.C.Are you ready to be crowned the next Sprite Step Off champion? If so, get ready because Sprite Step Off is back and better than ever.The tournament-style competition returns with a six-city tour kicking off on March 19 in Charlotte, N.C. as teams compete for two $100,000 grand prizes in scholarships. The Regional Event Competitions will also take place in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston, with the winning teams moving on to the National Finals in Washington D.C. on May 21. This year the entry process began with an online application submission that kicked off on Feb. 10 and concluded on March 13. Interested fraternities and sororities entered the competition by submitting a short performance video that showcased their step talents and also highlighted their current service in the community. "We are committed to emphasizing the creative self-expression of college students through the art of step while promoting the importance of higher education and an active lifestyle," said Augusto Elias, Sprite brand director, Coca-Cola North America. "Sprite sees stepping as a vehicle to empower this innovative generation to spark their creativity and fresh thinking while giving back to the community." Sprite will enlist the National Step Show Alliance to oversee and manage the scoring and judging of all phases of the competitions. The selected teams will compete at venues across the nation and more information can be found online at www.SpriteStepOff.com. Regional events will take place in cities nationwide including:Charlotte, N.C.- March 19New York, N.Y.- March 26Atlanta, Ga.- April 2Los Angeles, Calif. - April 16Houston, Texas- April 23Chicago, Ill.- April 30 - TBD"Stepping has a uniquely positive impact on the college experience of our youth and we commend Sprite for its continued commitment to the National Pan-Hellenic Council and for partnering with the Greek community to build the art form in the right way," said Jennifer M. Jones, NPHC Chairwoman.
"Sprite is showcasing the art of step and the creativity of our students to a national audience. The program's emphasis on service to our local communities is particularly important, with much needed outreach that promotes the benefits of physical fitness and education to the next generation of students." The first place fraternity and sorority winners from each regional event will receive all expense paid trips to the championship event in Washington D.C. on May 21. The event will feature the top 12 teams - six fraternities and six sororities - as they compete to see who will bring home the Sprite Step Off II crown. Tickets for the regional events are $20 and are on sale at www.SpriteStepOff.com. DJ Rock-T from the "Rickey Smiley Morning Show" will be the official MC of the Regional and National Championship events, and Mr. Quick will perform on the turntables, with additional local celebrities and guest musical performances to be featured. A fan favorite during last year's Sprite Step Off, the McDonald's Flavor Battle will also take the stage in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston and Chicago. The Flavor Battle is a premiere DJ competition which features three local DJs each representing a favorite McDonald's burger. Audience members will then "voice their choice" for their favorite DJ's "flavor" via text message.Community service will once again be an important part of the competition. Through this service platform, each participating step team will participate in an hour and a half service activity at a local Boys & Girls Club in each host city. Sprite will also present each participating Boys & Girls Club with a $4,500 check and book donations. The Clubs include:Charlotte, NC - The Salvation Army Belmont Boys & Girls ClubNew York, NY- Kips Bay Boys & Girls ClubAtlanta, GA - Boys & Girls Club of Metro AtlantaLos Angeles, CA- Challengers Boys & Girls ClubHouston, TX - Boys & Girls Club of Greater HoustonChicago, IL - Boys & Girls Club of Chicago"We're so grateful to Sprite for making Boys & Girls Clubs such an integral part of the Step Off Competition," said Frank Sanchez, vice president, sports, entertainment & alumni relations for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
"Our Club members need inspiration from high achievers like these step competitors to graduate from high school with a plan for their future."Sprite Step Offbreaks the mold of traditional step competitions by creating a platform that focuses on scholarship, education and community service.
The community service initiative will be supported by participating teams a core element of the National Pan-Hellenic Council's nine organizations since their founding. These organizations include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.College Greek "Stepping" is a mix of foot movements, handclaps and voice chants performed by historically African-American Greek letter organizations. This form of self-expression has transcended African-American Greek letter organizations and is now shared by many multicultural fraternities and sororities, including both Hispanic and Asian groups.
Sprite created the tournament to celebrate the uniqueness and manifestation of stepping and to recognize the leadership, service, loyalty and perseverance that make the multicultural college Greek system a source of empowerment.