al.com and Alabama Newspapers Sign Alliance with AHSAA for High School Sports Programs

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The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile's Press-Register and al.com have signed a five year alliance with The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA).

The Alabama High School Athletic Association is pleased to be working hand in hand with these newspapers and al.com

The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile's Press-Register and al.com have signed a five year alliance with The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). The alliance includes four main aspects: endorsement of al.com's website for high school sports statistics, online streaming of events, focus on sportsmanship and co-marketing.

The Association has endorsed al.com and its affiliated newspapers as the source for Alabama high school sports statistics. al.com offers every team at every high school in Alabama the ability to easily publish team stats online. Coaches and team statisticians can easily publish their team stats directly to the site. Stats can then be utilized by its affiliated newspapers for publication. To date more than 6,300 student athletes are listed in the online database.

al.com will hold the exclusive online streaming rights to all AHSAA events. This unique alliance will make available online, for free, live and archived game video. The first games planned for streaming are the Alabama Volleyball Championships at the end of October and the SuperSix in December.

The group has agreed to a special emphasis on sportsmanship. The Association will write and update a blog on al.com focusing on the education of sportsmanship. Monthly state-wide awards will be given to students or coaches who have excelled in sportsmanship and will be promoted on al.com. Scholarships will be granted during the year based on criteria including sportsmanship.

al.com and its affiliated newspapers will be the exclusive media sponsors of all AHSAA events including the SuperSix football championship and the Final Four basketball championships.

"The Alabama High School Athletic Association is pleased to be working hand in hand with these newspapers and al.com," said AHSAA Executive Director, Steve Savarese. "We have the same goal at heart - to support the student athletes - and will work together toward that mission."

"The Birmingham News looks forward to continuing its support of high school athletics by collaborating with the AHSAA and al.com," said Victor Hanson, III, President and Publisher of The Birmingham News.

"We are proud to work with the AHSAA and our newspapers on this important initiative and look forward to expanding our online offerings for high school sports in Alabama," said al.com CEO/President, Cindy Martin. "People here care about sports and we want to emphasize the importance of strong sportsmanship behavior."

Visitors to al.com will find the most comprehensive Alabama high school sports news and coverage in the state on http://www.al.com/highschool , provided by The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile's Press-Register. They will also find live Friday night football scores, team schedules, rosters, standings and stats as well as individual player bios. Visitors will also have the ability to interact on the site by posting photos on team and player pages and by joining ongoing discussions in the high school forums.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (http://www.ahsaa.com), based in Montgomery, Ala., is a private agency organized by its member schools to control, promote, regulate and coordinate the interscholastic athletic programs that include 700 public, private and parochial institutions and over 100,000 participants. The AHSAA provides the vehicle through which member schools write their own rules and regulations, and then determines that schools abide by those standards in such areas as student eligibility, contests and championship programs. Another basic function of the AHSAA is the registration, training and regulation of officials. A major arm of the AHSAA is the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, composed of coaches that meet the AHSAA Coaches Education Program requirements and also administrators. Since 1924, the AHSAA has been a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the national leadership organization for high school sports that reaches more than 11 million students through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia.

al.com (http://www.al.com), based in Birmingham, Alabama, is an affiliate of Advance Internet, Inc., a leading creator of highly interactive, online community-based news and information Web sites created in alliance with over 36 newspapers owned and operated by Advance Publications Inc., and its subsidiaries, including The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and Mobile's Press-Register. In addition to al.com, Advance Internet, Inc. develops and manages nine other local Web sites including cleveland.com; MassLive.com; MLive.com; NJ.com; NOLA.com; OregonLive.com; PennLive.com; SILive.com; syracuse.com and two specialty Web sites, gulflive.com and MardiGras.com.

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Erin Leon
al.com
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Alan Mitchell, AHSAA
AHSAA
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