A mini-poster of a car tag celebrating the state's four straight national collegiate football championships will be available Thursday at tourism offices and welcome centers, Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell says.
The 17- by 8-inch enlargement of the Sweet Home Alabama license plate bears the personalization "4NAROW" with decals in the four corners indicating by color which years the Crimson Tide won titles and the year that the Auburn Tigers won. Three red squares have the dates 2012, 2011 and 2009 reversed in white to represent the years the Tide won. The fourth square that is orange and blue for Auburn has the date 2010 in white. The design is similar to expiration decals on plates issued by the Alabama Department of Revenue.
"The four championships are a great source of pride for our entire state. Like Gov. Robert Bentley says, the victories have united us all," Sentell said.
Posters are available free at tourism offices, state welcome centers.
WSFA 12 News graphics designer John Shryock created the poster last week while watching Alabama's blowout victory over Notre Dame. Tourism department art director Tommy Cauthen got permission to adapt it and fashioned the date decals.
Cauthen said several fans on Facebook and Twitter correctly pointed out that the original line of "4INAROW" could be misread as "41 in a row" so the text was shortened by dropping the capital Ietter I.
The poster contains elements of the state's official car tag that has been in use for five years. The tourism department originally created the Gulf Coast beach design for the 2009 tag with the phrase Sweet Home Alabama.
On the back side of the poster, a 1,000-word description of a Bowl Championship Series "road trip" directs fans to the Paul Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa and the Auburn University Arena, where the trophies are displayed, and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham which honors many of the state's outstanding athletes.
The American Football Coaches Association gave permission through their licensing agent, John Lisk of Championship Licensing, to use images of the eight-pound Waterford crystal footballs which sit atop the Coaches' Trophy, that symbolizes the national collegiate football championship, said Sentell. "The Waterford crystal Coaches' Trophy is so conic. The ones on display in Tuscaloosa and Auburn are probably the most photographed images in each museum."
The tourism department began writing and numbering what is projected to be 100 road trips that cover the state. "The championship road trip created a year ago after the Crimson Tide's victory over LSU gave the state three titles in three years was updated last week. It is appropriate that the football trip is literally No. 1," he said. The road trips descriptions are available at the website www.alabama.travel. Some 43 Raycom Media television stations air commercials that promote the tourism agency's various road trips.
Posters are free at local tourism offices that are members of the Alabama Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus. Posters can be picked up at the following locations:
Anniston, 1330 Quintard Ave.;
Athens, 101 S. Beaty St.;
Auburn, 714 E. Glenn Ave.;
Bessemer, 321 N. 184th St.;
Birmingham, 2200 9th Ave. N.;
Daphne, 29750 Larry Dee Cawyer Dr.;
Decatur, 719 6th Ave. SE;
Dothan, 3311 Ross Clark Cir. NW;
Eufaula, 333 E. Broad St.;
Florence, One Hightower Pl.;
Foley, 109 W. Laurel Ave.;
Fort Payne, 1503 Glenn Blvd. SW;
Gadsden, 90 Walnut St.;
Guntersville, 200 Gunter Ave.;
Huntsville, 500 Church St.;
Mobile, One S. Water St.;
Montgomery, 300 Water St.;
Orange Beach, 2385 Perdido Beach Blvd.;
Scottsboro, 407 E. Willow St.;
Selma, 912 Selma Ave.;
Tuscaloosa, 1900 Jack Warner Pkwy.;
Tuscumbia, 719 U.S. Hwy 72 W.;
Wetumpka, 110 E. Bridge St..
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Tourism
1720 Valley View Drive