allow Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to offer a complete program of
middle school sports for the 2011-12 academic year.
Due to budget cuts, CMS had expected to reduce the number of middle
school sports offered in previous years. The Hendrick sponsorship,
combined with a contribution from an unidentified donor, provides the
remaining amount necessary to fund the full lineup of 13 sports at all
32 middle schools for more than 6,500 students participating in
athletics across the district.
"We believe that sports play a crucial role in students' education and
development," said CMS interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh.
"Hendrick Automotive Group's generous support is a great example of
how the support of local businesses can make an enormous difference in
the lives of children."
The sponsorship agreement designates HendrickCars.com as an official
sponsor of CMS athletics, which offers opportunities for more than
16,000 middle and high school students.
The agreement gives the company naming rights of statistics announced
during breaks at high school athletic events; recognition as a title
partner in announcements at the end of high school events; and signage
that will be displayed at middle and high school athletic events. CMS
and Hendrick Automotive Group will explore options for additional
promotions, and the arrangement will not change any existing
partnership agreements between individual schools' booster clubs and
CMS will use the sponsorship money to help pay coaching stipends, fees
for officials and transportation costs for middle school athletics.
Students must still pay some sports-participation fees, introduced by
CMS for all middle and high school student-athletes last year.
"As someone who participated in sports growing up and has kids who
played, I understand the impact those experiences can have on young
people," said Rick Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group.
"The lessons athletics teaches – teamwork, communication, leadership,
dedication – are valuable, and they're carried forward into life and
business. We feel this sponsorship fits with our company values, and
we're proud to be associated with everyone who makes it possible for
these student-athletes to be successful."
Hendrick Automotive Group, headquartered in Charlotte, is one of the
nation's largest retail automotive operations. The company employs
about 7,000 people at more than 100 franchises in 12 states, including
12 dealerships in the Charlotte area.