The Rivalry Reloaded

Sports fans that just can't get enough of the Iowa State-Iowa grudge feud were given an early Christmas present with the announcement of the Cy-Hawk Series sponsored by Hy-Vee.

West Des Moines, IAWhat do you get when you combine the state's two most attractive athletic attractions with three powerful corporate entities?


That answer was revealed at a press conference on Thursday morning.  It's called the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series.


Borrowing an idea from states like Oregon, Oklahoma, Michigan, and North Carolina, Iowa and Iowa State have come together with the help of mega-companies Hy-Vee, Coca-Cola, and Kraft to expand their rivalry beyond just football and men's basketball.  Now the competition between the two schools goes global, with the inclusion of nine sports and academic achievement to determine the ultimate owner of bragging rights.


"Making this a year-long contest will add to the excitement," said Hy-Vee CEO and president Ric Juergens.  "We were proud to be asked by these two great universities to participate."


Learfield Communications, which owns the broadcast rights to Iowa athletics, and Clear Channel, which owns the broadcast rights to Iowa State sports, were the originators of the concept.  The two media giants first approached their member schools with the idea two years ago, after starting similar projects with other broadcast properties.  Both schools loved the idea, and the search was on to find a suitable corporate sponsor.  Iowa State Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde said going with a company as reputable and respected as Hy-Vee was a no-brainer.


"It's a company born and bred in Iowa that is owned by its employees, so they have a stake in it," Van De Velde said. "And everyone in the state has a stake in this rivalry."


The initial agreement for the series is a four-year deal.  The series is expected to generate at least $1.5 million in revenue for the two schools to split equally, regardless of on-field performance.  Hy-Vee is not shy about saying one of its primary goals in underwriting this series is the further promotion of college sports beyond football and men's basketball; or so-called non-revenue sports.  Each sport, with the exception of football, will have equal weight in the scoring formula.  The winner of the football contest will receive three points, the winner in all other athletic clashes will receive two points.


The competition schedule for this season is as follows:


  • September 11th, 2004—Football                                 
  • October 31st, 2004—Soccer                                          
  • December 1st, 2004—Women's basketball                  
  • December 4th, 2004—Women's swimming & diving    
  • December 5th, 2004—Wrestling                                              
  • December 10th, 2004—Men's basketball                      
  • January 28th, 2005—Women's gymnastics                  
  • February 19th, 2005—Women's gymnastics                 
  • April 19th, 2005—Softball                                             

In addition, each school can pick up an additional two points if its student-graduation is greater than the national average for all student-athletes according to the graduation rate reported each September/October by the NCAA.  Under this formula a year ago, the Cyclones would've won the competition by a score of 14-5 pending the academic statistics. 


The championship trophy wasn't ready to be unveiled quite yet but is being designed by the Des Moines Athletic Club.  More sports, especially volleyball, are expected to be added to the contest in future years.  

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