INTRODUCTION - Sports Network International, Inc. (SNI) began as a small, family run company organized with the intent of producing first-class, youth athletic competitions throughout the United States. Over the past four decades, SNI has grown to become one of the oldest & most prestigious companies in North America involved in the production of national sports and sports-related competitions for youth. Working with the four branches of the military as civilian contractors for some of their biggest high school athletic competitions, as well as serving as the event manager for the largest single-seekend football spectacular in large cities from coast to coast, SNI maintains its headquarters facility in sunny Daytona Beach, Florida.
SNI BACKGROUND - Begun in 1972 in Plantation, Florida, a small group of Optimist International members decided to work together to host several Northern youth football teams to play Thanksgiving youth football bowl games in a warm, sunny climate. That initial competitions held in 1972 was played on two dirt baseball diamonds marked out as football fields with four youth football organizations attending from Alabama, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida. Named the Little Yankee Bowl, that early four-team football tournament formed the humble beginnings of the National Youth Football Championships.
The Little Yankee Bowl competition hosted 8-12 teams each year as more and more teams continued to spread the word about the fantastic football weekend. The number & quality of fields, officials and hours of set-up needed to host this competition was growing. The growth of the event both honored and humbled our founders. Sports Network International was truly begun around this time to handle the rising costs associated with producing this enormous youth football competition.
With few hotels located in then tiny Plantation, Florida. SNI decided to move the event to Orlando, Florida in 1979 to ensure all of the attendees could easily find a place to stay. Also, the name of the event was changed to be the National Junior Super Bowl. The event grew rapidly to host roughly 20-24 teams. Around this same time, many of our teams felt the event had lost something moving to such a large city as Orlando. SNI felt certain the future of the event should be built around a smaller beach city where attendees could come and have a wonderful, beach family vacation weekend, play in the ocean for free and then travel to the nearby theme parks if they wished.
THE MODERN ERA BEGINS - In 1982, SNI moved the NYFC to Cocoa Beach, Florida and changed the name of the competition to the now familiar National Youth Football Championships (at the "urging" of the NFL!) This move was a turning point in the event. The number of teams literally exploded and within one short year, SNI soon found itself without the facilities it needed to expand. SNI then moved its main event venue to Daytona Beach in late 1982, bringing the NYFC football competition to the mid-sized beach town.
After several more years, the NYFC event had exploded to maintain roughly 90 football teams annually. Both the football and cheer competitions were over-full each year and many quality football teams were being turned away. At the urging of several teams who attended the event from California and other western states, SNI began the National Youth Football Championships - Western Division in 1987. Originally conducted in Sacramento, California for a single year in 1987, the Western Division of the NYFC was moved to its permanent home of Las Vegas, Nevada the following year and has remained there ever since. The event now fills annually with roughly 80+ teams attending from throughout the Western United States and Canada and maintains the same fantastic competition as it's senior brother, the National Youth Football Championships - Eastern Division.
The NYFC continued to gain more notoriety for the excellent organization who attended from around the globe. Teams from Hawaii and Canada began to attend the football competition. In 2011, the NYFC further expanded to host a Central Division event in Texas. Then, our FIRST EVER team from Panama in Cemntral America registered to bring two teams to the event! This amazing group was the first EVER from central America and looked at many events before deciding on the NYFC and we remained extremely honored! Many teams now choose to attend the NYFC before their season even starts knowing the benefits it will provide to their program to tell the kids upfront at the end of the season win or lose, we're heading to a National Tournament! In 2012, the Central Event was moved from Lubbock, Texas to Austin, Texas to provide more activities and a more central location for teams throughout the center of the country.
Sports Network International remains humbled with our success and always remembers how we got here -- hard work, fairness and always trying to make the event better. Imitators have tried to copy the success of the NYFC but as any team who has ever attended the NYFC will attest, no other football tournament compares to the NYFC.
The future of the NYFC continues to look bright with teams from across the North America and beyond contacting Sports Network International asking to be included in this invitation youth sports spectacular. It remains the hope and goal of SNI to make a positive difference in the lives of the players, cheerleaders, coaches and parents that choose to end their season annually at the most famous and highly respected youth event held anywhere in the world, the National Youth Football Championships.