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WESCO ATHLETIC NEWS STSPN
The 2015 Football University (FBU) National Championship will be returning to Naples, Florida for a second consecutive year. Previously held in San Antonio, Texas, the month-long tournament allows talent infused all-star teams in 6th, 7th and 8th grade divisions the opportunity to compete on a national stage. Each team is comprised of young athletes who have been selected from various all-star teams across the country.
Considered the single biggest event in youth football, the FBU National Championship has been likened to a mash up between the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Little League World Series. Football University is looking to build a platform for youth football that mimics the growth of the Little League World Series, which featured a $60 million 8-year broadcast extension with ESPN in 2013. In 2014, the 6th and 7th grade championship games were broadcast on ESPN3, while the 8th grade championship game was broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.
Here are some highlights from the 2014 tournament: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cm9mXihJnQ
This year's tournament will kick off December 5th and 6th, 2015, at 16 regional sites across the country with over 6,000 athletes and 1,200 coaches in participation. Championship Week will be December 15-22, 2015, with the final four games in each division to be held at Naples High School.
"We are absolutely thrilled that the FBU National Championship is returning in 2015," said Rob Wells, Senior Sports Marketing Manager at Naples Marco Island & Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau. "This is the premier amateur sports event for Naples. 2014 was a great beginning and we look forward to working with the FBU staff to continue building this event into the premier youth football event in the world."
Youth athletes are gaining exposure through participating in the Football University National Championship. Last year, college scouts attended the 8th grade championship game held at Naples High School. Ten players from the 2014 tournament have already received offers from Div. I football programs.
"We started to see players getting national exposure from the recruiting services in 2013," said Steve Quinn, Vice President of Player Development. "The tournament is the only true national youth all-star event. With 10 athletes receiving their first Div. I scholarship offers last year, we expect that more attention will be paid to the tournament in 2015. Coaches, players and athletes from coast to coast realize this is the next step in the progression of playing at the next level."