CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Defenders have a warning for you if you have children in athletics. If you get phone calls about t-shirt offers, they might not be legitimate.
Playing high school athletics is part of the experience of high school, for both the athlete and their parents. Involved parents like Richard Colven know the joy and the expense of high school athletics.
Richard’s got a cheerleader daughter at Hough High School and he’s the booster club president, which is why he immediately knew the t-shirt sponsorship deal he was being offered was nothing to cheer about.
Richard says, “I got a call from a woman from a company named Touchdown Sports; she said she was helping out the kids at Hough High School and she was making promises I knew she couldn’t deliver. When I started asking questions she couldn’t answer, I knew then it was probably a scam.”
Richard wrote Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and outlined the call he got; he told them about the sponsorships that were being promised, announcements with his company name, and the t-shirts with logos that would be sold at games.
Call it whatever you want, for the moment NBC Charlotte will call it a “business opportunity”. But when the target is a school district, with many athletic programs and many parents willing to pay to support their kids and their teams, you have an energized, cash-driven environment, which is why CMS is getting out in front of this and warning all of us with kids in athletic programs.
District Athletic Director Sue Doran says she's “never heard of Touchdown Sports, nor has any athletic director or coach in the district that I’m aware of”.
The Defenders called Touchdown Sports out in Texas and left a message; a quick Google search turned up a D+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and many other news stories in other cities about these same types of calls from the same company.
If you get any call like this, Doran says, “I would definitely check with the athletic director at the school just to be sure.”
Late-Tuesday, NBC Charlotte spoke to the company. A representative said they did, in fact, have an “agreement” with a coach at Hough but would not provide a copy of it when we asked. Touchdown Sports says they have a D+ rating with the BBB because they don’t respond to negative complaints about their business.
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