Oct 12, 2020 New name reflects organization’s evolution and long-term vision MEMPHIS, Tenn. October 12, 2020 – Varsity Spirit—the global leader in apparel, camps and competitions for cheerleaders, dance teams and bands, and a division of Varsity Brands, the market leader in team sports, school spirit and achievement recognition—announced its support of longstanding philanthropic partner, The Sparkle Effect, as it enters the next phase of its evolution with a new name, Generation Spirit. Generation Spirit empowers students to create school spirit teams that bring together peers with and without disabilities. Over the last decade, Generation Spirit has started programs at more than 225 schools in 31 states that have directly involved over 20,000 students. Because of support from partners like Varsity Spirit, Generation Spirit is the only organization of its kind to provide its services, which include apparel grants and on-site training, free of cost, to participating schools. The organization’s new name and visual identity reflect both the evolution of the group and its broader vision for the future. “We changed our name to Generation Spirit to match the power and the passion behind what has truly become a nationwide movement for inclusion,” said Generation Spirit Founder Sarah Cronk. “We are especially excited for this school year because we believe the circumstances in which we find ourselves offer tremendous opportunities for our inclusive teams to positively impact their schools. Now, more than ever, students are looking for ways to come together, to leverage the power of youth, and to catalyze long-lasting cultural changes in their schools.” This partnership is one of Varsity Spirit’s efforts to spotlight the many ways students can leverage the power of school spirit to make a difference in schools and communities. For more than ten years, Varsity Spirit has helped Generation Spirit create school-based spirit teams that bring together students with and without disabilities. “Varsity Spirit is proud to continue our support of Generation Spirit, which provides schools nationwide the hands-on support they need to cultivate a school culture where all students feel valued—not in spite of—but because of their differences,” said Bill Seely, President of Varsity Spirit. “Students who lead Generation Spirit teams offer an outstanding reminder that school spirit and inclusion must go hand-in-hand. In truly spirited schools, all students participate in raising school spirit and all students feel supported by the school community.” Although the name, logo, and website have been reimagined, Generation Spirit’s mission, leadership and staff have not changed. To learn more about Generation Spirit, please visit generationspirit.org. About Varsity Spirit Memphis-based Varsity Spirit is not only the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, it is also the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team and performing arts. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation, as well as educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting more than a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment, and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 5,000+ employees have been dedicated to celebrating school spirit through its brands since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit varsity.com or varsitybrands.com. About Generation Spirit Generation Spirit (formerly The Sparkle Effect) is a nonprofit organization that creates, outfits, trains, and sustains school-based spirit teams that include students with and without disabilities. Students come to Generation Spirit teams in roughly equal measure and, significantly, all students come to the team on equal footing. Since 2009, Generation Spirit has generated more than 225 teams in 31 states that have directly involved over 20,000 students. Generation Spirit operates on the belief that everyone needs a cheerleader and anyone can be a cheerleader: a philosophy that ultimately drives long- term, positive transformations in school culture.