Varsity Spirit Signs Lease with Keel Street LLC for HQ Move to Downtown Memphis

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Sep 09, 2020

Memphis, Tenn., September 9, 2020 – Varsity Spirit, the global leader in apparel, camps and competitions for cheerleaders, dance teams and bands, and a division of Varsity Brandsthe market leader in team sports, school spirit and achievement recognition, today announced it hasigned a lease with Keel Street LLC to officially relocate the company’s headquarters to downtown Memphis. The new headquarters will be housed in the former American Snuff Factory location, the latest development venture of Billy and Benjamin Orgel, who purchased the building in 2016. 

Founded in Memphis in 1974, Varsity Spirit has been the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic global phenomenon it is today. Today, the company serves the cheerleading, dance team and marching band communities, with more than 5,000 employees nationwide. The move to downtown Memphis strengthens Varsity Spirit’s connection to the core of the city and provides greater proximity to event spaces like the Cook Convention Center with the potential to host future events, national sales meetings and staff trainings, as well as an increased opportunity to work with and support local Memphis schools. 

“We are thrilled to be a part of the revitalization of this historic Uptown neighborhood,” said Bill Seely, President of Varsity Spirit. “Downtown continues to see tremendous progress and as a Memphis company we want to play a role in helping move Memphis forward. We think this up-and-coming downtown location will be perfect for our energetic and inspired employeesIn fact, the spirit of grit and tenacity Downtown Memphis is known for certainly means more to us now after weathering the storms of the last six months. 

The relocation also brings the company closer to two valued partners, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Memphis NBA franchise, the Memphis Grizzlies. Since 2011 Varsity Spirit and its parent company, Varsity Brands, have raised more than $9 million for St. Jude. In July 2019, Varsity Spirit announced its multiyear partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies, which includes being the Official Outfitter of the Grizz Girls, the Grizzlies Dance Team.  

The American Snuff Building is located in the Uptown neighborhood of Memphis and was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Orgels have developed their reputation renovating historic structures in Memphis, most notably the Tennessee Brewery, which was redeveloped into a mixeduse residential and commercial space in 2015. The Orgels have outlined plans for a $50 million mixeduse development at the Keel Avenue location. Working alongside them on this project are Adam Slovis, Tom Marsh, Jay Lindy and Michael McLaughlin. 

“Varsity Spirit is a dynamic company with long roots in the Memphis community, and we look forward to the spirit of innovation they will bring to this historic property,” said William “Billy” Orgel of Keel Street LLC. “We know they share our passion for the city and will help us transform this developing part of the neighborhood.” 

Varsity Spirit intends to house approximately 250 employees at its new headquarters location. The company’s distribution center, which employs more than 100 workers, will remain at its Bartlett location on Appling Road. The move is anticipated to take place in the fall of 2021. Ron Riley of Colliers International represented Varsity Spirit throughout the process.

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 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

About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: BSN SPORTS; Varsity Spirit; and Herff Jones. Together, these businesses promote personal, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams and corporations. Through its 9,000 dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year via e-commerce sites, catalogs, telesales, and direct sales channels. 

Media Contact:
Samantha Coulombe
Rubenstein Public Relations