Faced with dwindling dollars for high school sports, the California Interscholastic Federation voted Friday to move ahead with a plan to seek more corporate sponsorship.
The CIF State Federated Council authorized $350,000 to be spent on a statewide marketing plan, which will be run by a private company.
In a surprise move, however, the council did not award the contract to Steel Marketing Partners of San Diego, which has worked with the CIF for the last year in developing a marketing strategy. The council decided to open the bidding to other marketing companies as well.
"It's been nice working with the CIF, but we will not bid again for this contract," said Annie Steel, president of Steel Marketing Partners. "We don't have any more time to invest in this project."
The CIF currently is represented by School Properties, Inc., of Yorba Linda, which started corporate sponsorship for high school sports in California five years ago. Its only two sponsors are Reebok and Pepsi-Cola, whose contracts expire at the end of 1992-93 school year.
"We really set ourself back today by not going with Steel Marketing," said Stan Thomas, commissioner of the Southern Section. "Deciding on another company may take another year, and that is valuable time lost as school districts continue to cut athletic budgets."
The council will not convene again until next October.