Coach Adam Cowart Talks Forming an Esports Program, Securing Sponsorships
With Sponsor Patches On Their New Jerseys, Evans H.S. Arrived to PlayVS Prepared For Battle
Since becoming the first school in their region to add esports to their list of varsity sports, Evans High School Coach Adam Cowart has worked tirelessly to set the program up to succeed and garner local support. After his athletic director OK’d the program for varsity sports status, he set about designing jerseys and finding local businesses who might like to form partnerships.
“To get an idea of which businesses to partner with, I went to Google Maps and scouted our town's main road before driving it all the way to downtown,” Cowart told PlayVS. “I tried to check with any business that has a focus on gaming, technology, and recreation.”
Cowart – a gamer and one of the school’s Spanish instructors who jumped at the idea of coaching – knew he would at once legitimize the team, and thrill its athletes by securing financial backing and furnishing the lab with fresh gaming computers. Not only that, but the school’s athletic director knew these partnerships would enable Evans H.S. to implement scalable coaching tools and enable them to jump into organized, regional play potentially elevating their competitive drive and lend seasonal structure to the program.
The idea paid off immediately when Butler Automotive wrote him a check and cemented a sponsorship that Cowart had hoped would kick off interest in his school’s new endeavor. Then: Nothing. Crickets. “Got just one email back from a local computer shop with a polite no,” he said. The team would still have a ways to go in order to become the sort of transformative club their coach had envisioned.
Being a small school in Georgia, Cowart knew the Knights needed these partnerships in order to motivate his students and give them a shot at playing in arenas like Riot’s chic LCS Arena. So rather than giving up, he visited and emailed people at every company that came to mind, from Chik-fil-A to MSI to Logitech.
“Finally, one day I got a message in my inbox from the owner of Source Code Escape Games asking if our $500 spot was still available.”
Now, all Evans Esports live streams are “Presented by Source Code Escape Games" – and both were even seen on local news, when Cowart and his team were featured on Channel 12. "They know 100% this is business, this is a high school sports team. We are Evans High School Knights," he proudly told the station.
For every Rocket League goal or League of Legends win, and all the learning experiences in between – it makes his hard work that much sweeter. And having some financial backing means the Evans Knights are officially a part of PlayVS high school competition.
“The effect on our players and program has been immense,” he said. “It lets them feel like a real ‘school team,’ and we’re excited to see how far we can take things this season.”
For more information on registering your high school team with PlayVS, check out our guide for signup steps.