Varsity Spirit Celebrates 25 Years of National Cheer and Dance Championship Experiences at Walt Disney World

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Jan 18, 2019

Memphis, Tennessee (January 18, 2019)Varsity Spirit, the organization dedicated to empowering youth through community and school spirit, announced today that 2019’s competition season marks a quarter century partnership with Walt Disney World Resort® (Florida).  Since 1995 at the brand’s first UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship at Disney to present day, Varsity Spirit has welcomed millions of athletes and coaches from across the globe to participate and support their annual competitions.

“It’s been an amazing journey watching the evolution of our national competitions and seeing the significant growth of the sport since we first started hosting our events at Disney,” said Jeff Webb, Founder of Varsity Spirit. “With cheerleading recognized by the International Olympic Committee, we are now also accommodating global competitions with cheer athletes from nearly 100 countries around the world. Disney has been an excellent partner in helping us achieve our goals and serving the thousands of athletes that look to Varsity Spirit as the leading authority on cheer.”

The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will host the nearly 5,000 athletes at the prestigious UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship. The 8,000-seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena is one of the largest in the country designed specifically with cheer and dance events like Varsity Spirit’s in mind. Fittingly, the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship was the inaugural event at The Arena in January 2018, marked with a grand opening ceremony with a high energy routine involving Minnie Mouse in a new cheerleading uniform.

Over the past 25 years, thousands of teams have participated in Varsity Spirit competitions, making them the largest youth festival event partner of Walt Disney World®. In total, ten competition and holiday events are hosted each year, including at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex® and at other Walt Disney World Resorts. In 2018, Varsity Spirit events hosted more than 100,000 athletes, coaches and spectators.

“Varsity Spirit has been instrumental to the expansion of ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and we’re grateful to have collaborated for so many years with the company on their events,” said Faron Kelley, Vice President of Disney Sports. “We are excited to host these annual national and world championship experiences and congratulate Varsity Spirit on their continued success.”

To learn more about Varsity Spirit, please visit

About Varsity Spirit
Memphis-based Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, and the leading global source for all things cheerleading and dance. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation and educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting nearly a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 5,000 employees have been helping raise cheerleading’s influence and profile since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit or

About ESPN Wide World of Sports
ESPN Wide World of Sports, located at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, is the premier site for amateur sports in the nation.  The complex hosts more than 100 entertainment and sporting events each year and has accommodated 70 different sports featuring athletes from 70 different countries.  Designed to provide professional, amateur and youth athletes with experiences synonymous with the names Disney and ESPN, the 220-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including 16 baseball/softball fields, 9,500-seat Champion Stadium, 18 multi-purpose outdoor fields for soccer, football and lacrosse, three field houses for basketball, volleyball, other indoor sports, a track & field facility, a cross country course and a tennis complex with 10 courts. In January 2018, the complex opened The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, an 8,000-seat facility specifically designed for cheerleading and dance competitions and other indoor sports.  ESPN Wide World of Sports also provides coaches and teams with a variety of unique sports solutions, such as special travel packages, fresh ready-made meal options, photography services, customized event merchandise and post-game celebrations in the Disney ParksThe sports complex also contains a state-of-the-art production center which produces content for the Disney family of networks and distributes programing globally through its extensive fiber network. The production center is a 3,200-square-foot next generation facility with three control rooms, three replay rooms, eight edit suites and a full broadcast studio with 42 channels of replay. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex production team is capable of capturing and producing events in HD, 4K and immersive 8K.  For more information, visit for news releases, photos and videos.  Follow us on Twitter at @ESPNWWOS and at Facebook at ESPNWWOS.


Sheila Noone
Varsity Spirit; 901-251-5959

Catherine Pope
Rubenstein Public Relations; 212-805-3022