Marquee Event Matches Success of Previous Years
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the city of Charlotte together produced another successful Tournament for the member schools, its fans and sponsors, and the local community this past February. This year’s 65th edition of the Tournament showcased its rich tradition and prestige, creating a unique atmosphere drawing loyal fans from across the country who continue to support the Conference.
According to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), the 2010 CIAA Tournament accounted for direct spending of $24.8 million and total economic impact of $37.1 million over the five-day Tournament period. Median spending per person decreased slightly from $760 per person, per visit in 2009 to $745 in 2010. Despite the minimal decrease, the economic impact figure is a successful report for the CIAA and city of Charlotte and a positive indication of the strength of the CIAA’s impact on our economy.
“The CIAA Tournament consistently produces more than $35 million in impact locally,” said Tim Newman, CEO of the CRVA. “In fact, these numbers show that even with an economy that has affected so many, the CIAA experience is still on the top of the attendees’ lists. In speaking with SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills, their business in February escalated compared to the same timeframe last year, showing the far-reaching effect of CIAA.”
The CIAA increased its ticket revenue by two percent and was able to maintain the momentum through its loyal fan base that view the Tournament week as an absolute must-attend annual event.
“This was a great Tournament for the CIAA. We have the continuous support of our loyal fans, new member, Chowan University, played in their first Tournament, and we signed a new television partner,” said CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry. “As a team, we’re constantly updating the Tournament and affiliated activities year-round to ensure we provide a new and exciting ‘CIAA Experience’ for the most loyal fans in the world so they will attend year-after-year.”
The CIAA expects larger numbers next year with the readmission of Winston Salem State University and the full-time admission of Lincoln University. Conference representatives are also preparing for the 100th anniversary celebration slated for 2012.
The Tournament also proved successful from a corporate standpoint, as sponsor support and activation programs remained active with the addition of TV One as the new television partner.
“TV One is proud to carry coverage of the CIAA Tournament,” said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers. “TV One is about chronicling African American culture and achievement, and, in addition to being a great sporting event, the CIAA Tournament is a compelling story, with its rich history and heritage.”
Overall attendance for official CIAA functions remained essentially flat with 2010 numbers at around 176,000** as the multitude of options continued to spread fans throughout the area. The Tournament is also unique in its ability to bring in fans that just want to be “part of the scene” – much like the Superbowl or NBA All-Star Weekend.
The CIAA also generated $1.5 million in scholarship dollars, which will be split amongst the 11 member institutions providing educational opportunities for students to attend any CIAA school.
The Ford Fan Experience remained a popular attraction with CIAA patrons drawing thousands of fans over the three-day period. Highlights of the Ford Fan Experience included the Steve Harvey and Yolanda Adams Morning Shows, a concert series featuring national recording artists Joe, Ginuwine, Melanie Fiona, K’Jon, the Taste of Food Lion Stage, and many more interactive activities for people of all ages.
The McDonald’s Super Saturday produced record attendance figures drawing the largest Super Saturday crowd to date. Highlights of the McDonald’s Super Saturday included a performance by Bow Wow, the Darrin Henson Show, Food Lion Miss CIAA Pageant, the Cheerleading Exhibition, McDonald’s DJ Burger Battle and many more activities geared towards the family. Both the Ford Fan Experience and McDonald’s Super Saturday were free to the public.
The official CIAA Tournament Web site (www.ciaatournament.org), which serves as a central hub to connect CIAA alumni and Tournament attendees, drew 161,072 unique visitors in 2010; a 14 percent increase from 141,818 in 2009. The CIAA Tournament Facebook fan page also generated over 20,000 fans in a three-month period.
* Economic Impact was derived using the City of Charlotte’s Tourism Impact Model (created by Elliott D. Pollack & Co.) and is a function of the number of visitors and their spending habits over the course of Tournament week.
** Attendance figures include all official CIAA functions – men’s and women’s basketball games, Ford Fan Experience, McDonald’s Super Saturday, Education Day, Career Expo, Post Tournament Party, CIAA Step Show & Step Show After Party, the Women’s Health & Wellness Symposium, and the Women’s Luncheon.
ABOUT THE CIAA
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded in 1912 and is based in Hampton, Virginia. The CIAA is America's oldest historically black college and university conference and is made up of 11 colleges and universities situated along the Eastern Seaboard. For more information about the CIAA Basketball Tournament, visit www.ciaatournament.org. For more information about the CIAA, visit www.theciaa.com.