Title Sponsor Withdraws from Pizza Hut Invitational; 2012 Event Named Greensboro Sports Council Invitational Presented by NewBridge Bank

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The high school basketball tournament founded as the Little 4 Invitational in 1976 will be named the Greensboro Sports Council Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank in 2012, it was announced today. The 37th annual Greensboro Sports Council Invitational is set for Dec. 26-28, 2012 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex Special Events Center.

The local Pizza Hut franchise that funded the tournament sponsorship was purchased by a much larger franchise operator located in South Carolina earlier this year. Terms of the purchase did not require the new owner to honor existing contracts, and the new franchise elected not to continue its highly-successful sponsorship. Pizza Hut became the title sponsor of the tournament in 1996.

The Greensboro Sports Council made extensive last-minute efforts to secure title sponsorship for the 2012 tournament, but due to the late notification the Council received, sufficient time did not exist to secure title sponsorship for this year. Therefore, this year’s tournament will be called the Greensboro Sports Council Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank. Multiple local entities have made significant donations to provide funding for this year’s tournament and allow time for the search for a new title sponsor. That search is ongoing and will continue until sufficient sponsorship is secured for the future.

“We are certainly disappointed that the new owners of the local franchise chose not to honor our sponsorship agreement; the terms of their contract did not require them to do so, and the company with which we had an agreement no longer exists,” Greensboro Sports Council president Randy Cobb said. “We did everything we could to sign a new title sponsor for this year’s tournament, but at the end of the day, we just didn’t have enough time. We are extremely grateful to the organizations that have funded this year’s tournament and look forward not only to a great event next month but also to securing a new title sponsor for 2013 and beyond.”

The 2012 tournament will feature the same stellar field and thrilling matchups that characterized last year’s event: Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northeast Guilford High School, Northern Guilford High School, Northwest Guilford High School, Page High School, Ragsdale High School and Smith High School.

The Greensboro Sports Council Invitational presented by NewBridge Bank is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight Guilford County high schools playing at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the tournament is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council.