Friday, October 9, 2009

#1 Fan?

C and R got an email from the University of San Francisco Athletics Department. They wanted to let us know about their new ad campaign to attract more fans to their women’s basketball games and wanted our help to get the word out. Then a week later we got a similar email from St. Mary’s. At first we thought, boy, we are glad someone out there knows how to use Google! Then we realized we are turning up in Google when people are searching for women’s college basketball. Cool! Nothing like invented pride to swell ones head! Our little ol’ blog is getting noticed, typos and all. And with a great blog about women’s college basketball comes great responsibility. So we want to do our part to help promote women’s basketball, not just Stanford.

So I picked up the phone and had a wonderful talk with Rachel Engrissei, Assistant Media Relations Director for theUniversity of San Francisco Athletics Department. Anytime I get to talk women’s college basketball with someone equally excited, it’s a good day! We both acknowledged that there is a need to attract more fans to women’s games in general. She told me The West Coast Conference has launched an innovative marketing campaign titled the “WCC Fan Draft”. She gave me some background on this new campaign.

Wait, first, go to the website listed below, pick a team and try it out. It is cute! Then come back and finish the rest of this post.

In the quest to find the “No. 1 fan” for all eight institutions, fans should visit and enter their name and phone number to attend the virtual WCC Fan Camp and have a chance to win tickets to the 2010 WCC Basketball Championships on March 5-8 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. (What happens in Vegas…hmmm, maybe C and R will go to the Final Four this year!)

The ad is based on a clever idea Gonzaga had last year that sparked a lot of buzz in the sport business/marketing world. The other colleges in the conference wanted to try it out, but marketing takes money, and we are talking about women's basketball… the WCC applied for a grant!

The program was funded by a 2009 -10 NCAA Women’s Basketball Marketing Grant. The West Coast Conference was one of only 18 recipients of the grant program, which dedicated approximately $750,000 nationally to increase awareness, exposure and increase attendance of women’s basketball.

“With the help of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Grant, the West Coast Conference and its institutions were given the opportunity to design and implement a new and unique viral marketing campaign that would have not been possible in the past,” said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. “We feel very strongly about promoting our women’s basketball programs as much as possible, and feel that the WCC Fan Draft concept will greatly enhance each of our school’s women’s basketball marketing efforts for the 2009-10 season. We hope that success from this program will help us to continue to earn these grants in the future.”

We love that the WCC Commissioner feels strongly about promoting women’s basketball. We are going to do our part and some WCC games. Do yours too, and meet us there!

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