Athletic World Advertising*

City: Fayetteville
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2001

Since becoming the world's largest sports calendar company in 1999, Athletic World Advertising of Fayetteville has only picked up steam.

With 280 employees, AWA is the official sports calendar company for at least 15 state associations, including the big four of California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas. AWA has about 5,000 schools under contract.

AWA has seen substantial revenue growth since it was founded in 1996 with 15 accounts and 13 employees. Its first year, it had sales of less than $500,000. In 2001, AWA generated more than $20 million in sales.

AWA's target clients have been primarily high schools - in all 50 states - but it also has picked up the University of Arkansas. Previously, the UA had done its athletic calendars in-house.

"I'm sure [AWA] will get every college in America before it's all over," UA Athletic Director Frank Broyles, a member of the company's board of directors, said last year. "They've got a great staff and great products."

AWA also founded and sponsors the national High School Athletic Director of the Year Conference annually in St. Augustine, Fla.

AWA president Gregg Ogden secured the services of former Arkansas and National Football League legend Pat Summerall for narration work on AWA videos. Summerall was a longtime broadcaster of NFL games.

"They're on the cutting edge of changes, motivation, employee satisfaction and market analysis," said Dick Johnson, Fayetteville High School athletic director. "Gregg is universally well thought of."

Ogden chalks up success to some time-honored practices, including understanding clients and giving them "exactly what they want." He also credits quality products, dedicated employees and a "first-class approach" to everything the company does.

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