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May 14, 2024

MEMPHIS, TN (May 14, 2024) – Bill Seely, president of Varsity Spirit, a division of Varsity Brands and a leader in cheerleading, dance team, and band apparel, camps, competitions, and yearbooks, will serve as the first Corporate Champion of St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®, the largest single-day fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

As Corporate Champion, Seely will engage business leaders to become sponsors, start corporate fundraising teams and bring in new donors to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.®

This year, St. Jude aims to raise $16 million during the marathon weekend and anticipates the event will bring 22,000 runners and walkers to Memphis along with thousands of volunteers and spectators.

Seely will play an essential role in achieving this year’s goal by encouraging fellow business leaders to create corporate teams to fundraise leading up to race weekend. In addition to raising funds for St. Jude, marathon weekend contributes to the local economy and generated an estimated $43 million in impact for Memphis’ retail, transportation and hospitality industries in 2023.

“As Corporate Champion for St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, I am honored to lead the charge to raise funds and awareness for the kids and families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Seely. “Supporting St. Jude has always been my passion, and I’m elated to expand our impact by uniting more business leaders behind this mission.”

Seely’s experience in profit and nonprofit sectors uniquely positions him to advance this work while bringing the business community together for a common purpose. In addition to his role at Varsity Spirit, Seely is the founder of Crosscheck Athletics, one of the largest nonprofit youth sports organizations in the greater Memphis area. Seely has long supported St. Jude individually as a St. Jude Hero and through Varsity Brands programs such as Team Up for St. Jude and Spirited by Varsity. Varsity Brands has raised more than $13 million for St. Jude since becoming a partner in 2011.

“We are deeply grateful to Bill for donating his time and considerable expertise to rally business leaders across the country behind St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This expanded corporate support and Bill’s personal dedication will help accelerate the ongoing work by St. Jude to increase global survival rates for the six most common forms of childhood cancer from 20 percent to 60 percent by 2030. Together, we can make a difference toward the goal that no child – anywhere – dies in the dawn of life.”

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend brings in supporters from around the globe to Memphis. Now in its 23rd year, the event has raised over $140 million, and in 2023 alone, this inspiring weekend engaged participants from all 50 states and representing more than 75 countries.

Support St. Jude and its hometown of Memphis by getting involved as a runner, walker, or volunteer in this signature event.

Sign up for a Varsity Brands program here to help kids and families of St. Jude.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was largely considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on XInstagramLinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.

About Varsity Spirit

Memphis-based Varsity Spirit, the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, is the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team, performing arts and yearbook. 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 employees have been dedicated to celebrating spirit through its brands since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit or

About Varsity Brands

Varsity Brands is the premier provider of customizable team sports, cheer, dance, band, and yearbook services, experiences, and products. The company’s mission is to elevate the student experience, positively impacting the lives of over 55 million young people nationwide. Its divisions—BSN SPORTS and Varsity Spirit—champion youth participation and celebrate their achievements, fostering passion, enthusiasm, and community engagement. The company serves elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges, universities, gyms, club select teams, and professional sports. Explore how Varsity Brands is shaping the future of youth engagement and making a difference in the lives of young people across the country at

Kurt Rossler