Print This Page Print This PageEmail to a Friend Email This Page

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., August 16, 2012 – Birmingham-based sports marketing firm Southern Sports Group (SSG) announced today that it will produce the 30th edition of one of the nation’s most prestigious high school volleyball tournaments, the 2012 Juanita Boddie Invitational, in Birmingham on August 24-25.

SSG will partner with the Birmingham Area Volleyball Officials Association (BAVOA) to handle all on-site event logistics, sponsorship development, and marketing communications efforts for the tournament.

New Birmingham Venue for 2012
The Juanita Boddie Invitational is the longest running high school invitational volleyball tournament in Alabama. This year’s 30th anniversary edition will feature 40 of the best high school volleyball teams from five states in competition at the world-class indoor sports facility, Birmingham Crossplex.

“We’re very excited to partner with the leadership at BAVOA to bring such a high level of volleyball competition to the city of Birmingham. The event facilities at the Birmingham Crossplex are state of the art, and allow us to provide teams, fans, and event sponsors with an exciting venue to fully showcase the athleticism and excitement of the sport,” said SSG President, Sandy Thompson.

Nation’s Best Will Compete
Two of the top five high school volleyball players in the nation will be competing at the tournament. More than 600 elite volleyball players and thousands of fans will gather for the weekend’s opening ceremonies on Friday, August 24 at 4 p.m. The two-day event features pool play kicking off on Friday afternoon, and continues through Saturday, August 25. The Championship game will be played on Saturday evening at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the tournament may be purchased in advance for a reduced cost by visiting the event’s website,, or purchased at the door at Birmingham Crossplex.

Named in honor of the highly respected volleyball coach and leader in the movement to boost opportunities for girls in sports, the Juanita Boddie Invitational will benefit children treated at The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama. The UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology is a component of the UAB Department of Pediatrics and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The Division’s programs are housed in The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.

"We're excited about this partnership. We believe the connection with these athletes and their families to Children's of Alabama is outstanding, especially as they help raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer," said Emily Hornak, Children’s Manager of Community Development. "We think this will be something truly unique for prep sports fans to enjoy, and of course a great way to support children treated at Children’s in the process."

Coach Juanita Boddie lost her own battle with cancer in 1982. During her successful career, Coach Boddie was an innovator and leader while building volleyball programs such as Grissom High School in Huntsville and McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, where she is enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame. She helped create the Birmingham Area Volleyball Officials Association (BAVOA), an organization that continues to provide leadership, training and support for the sport throughout the region.

About Southern Sports Group (SSG)
Southern Sports Group is the creation of Sandy Thompson and Jennifer Wilson, former collegiate athletes and sports industry veterans who share a lifelong passion for sports. Both enjoyed successful careers in marketing and sales prior to forming the firm. The company offers sports marketing, athlete management, and event management and marketing services for a variety of clients. For more information on Southern Sports Group partnership opportunities, contact Jennifer Wilson, VP Sales, at (205) 807-5768 or