CONTACTS:

Matthew Gillespie, TSSAA, (615) 889-6740

Mary Thompson, BlueCross, (423) 535-7694

HERMITAGE, Tenn. –- The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) announced today that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has signed a three-year agreement to be the title sponsor of the Division II high school football championships, expanding the BlueCross Bowl to include both Division I and II games.

The new contract further solidifies the relationship between BlueCross and the TSSAA. BlueCross has been the title sponsor of the five Division I championship games since 2000. In 2003, BlueCross became the official corporate partner of TSSAA as well as presenting sponsor of the Division II championships, previously known as the Clinic Bowl. Earlier this year, BlueCross signed on as title sponsor of the Spring Fling, the Division I and II spring sports championships.

“The BlueCross Bowl continues to set high standards for high school athletic championships. We are extremely pleased to see the relationship between BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and TSSAA continue to grow and expand. Their dedication to high school athletics and promoting healthy competition grows stronger and is more evident each and every year,” said Ronnie Carter, executive director of TSSAA.

“BlueCross is proud to expand its relationship with TSSAA and its commitment to promoting healthy competition among Tennessee’s youth,” said Scott Wilson, sponsorship project manager for BlueCross. “Healthy competition is about being strong both on and off the field and competing drug-free. Through our relationship with TSSAA and the BlueCross Bowl, we are able to bring attention to the dangers associated with performance-enhancing drugs and encourage students to compete healthy now and throughout their lives.”

BlueCross signed on as title sponsor of the Division I championship in 2000 as a way to promote healthy athletic competition among high school youth in Tennessee. The company has also begun an effort to educate coaches, administrators, teens and their families about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

In January, the TSSAA Board of Control voted to move the Division II championships to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tenn. With this move, all eight championship games will now be held at MTSU’s Floyd Stadium.

The Road to the BlueCross Bowl Division II playoff games will be Nov. 4 and 11, with the BlueCross Bowl Division II championships scheduled for Nov. 19. The Division I championships will be Dec. 2-3.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.