March 31, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech was one of 32 winners in the NCAA Division I “Pack the House” Challenge. “Pack the House” is national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to build attendance. NCAA Division I women’s basketball marketing staffs selected a home game and designated that date as a “Pack the House” game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 31 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions were named. Selections were based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria. The NCAA will award prizes and donate $500 to the nonprofit organization of each winning institution’s choice.
And pack the house, they did. Almost two-thirds of the Division I membership – 184 institutions – participated in the effort that attracted more than 559,000 fans. Georgia Tech hosted 6,212 fans at its women’s basketball game on December 5, 2008.
Events at Auburn, Bradley, Central Michigan, Gonzaga, Marist, Memphis, Niagara, Notre Dame and Providence College produced sell-out crowds. Sixty-three other programs surpassed their single-game attendance highs from last year.
“We believe this initiative has served as a catalyst to increase attendance, create excitement and enhance exposure for our women’s basketball programs,” said NCAA Vice President of Division I Women’s Basketball Sue Donohoe. “Institution personnel committed a great deal of time, effort and resources to this program and the results were extremely positive. This program provides great `best practices’ and examples of success for institutions that are seeking to `grow’ women’s basketball and these success stories will continue to strengthen efforts in the future.”
The ideas to market the games were as diverse as the membership itself.
At Georgia Tech, for example, the event and promotions’ staff hung flyers in the community, sent out mass e-mail blasts to over 350 campus organizations, advertised in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and on 790 The Zone, provided fans a discount for wearing gold and provided t-shirts to the first 1,000 fans in attendance.
The event was also designated as the day to recognize participants in the “Jacket 2 Jacket” program. Over 500 kids came to celebrate the completion of the event.
“We are excited about the achievement and appreciative of the support our fans displayed through this challenge,” Associate AD/SWA Theresa Wenzel said. “The efforts of our marketing and women’s basketball staffs have proven positive results. We look forward to similar success next season with a continued growth of our women’s basketball season ticket holders.”
Winners of the 2008-09 NCAA “Pack the House” Challenge are:
America East – Hartford
Atlantic Coast – Georgia Tech
Atlantic Sun – East Tennessee State
Atlantic 10 – Fordham
Big East – Notre Dame
Big Sky – Montana State
Big South – UNC Asheville
Big Ten – Illinois
Big 12 – Missouri
Big West – Long Beach State
Colonial – VCU
Conference USA – Marshall
Horizon – Valparaiso
Independents – Cal State Bakersfield
Ivy – Columbia
Metro Atlantic – Niagara
Mid-America – Central Michigan
Mid-Eastern – North Carolina A&T
Missouri Valley – Bradley
Mountain West – TCU
Northeast – Mount St. Mary’s
Ohio Valley – Tennessee-Martin
Pacific-10 – California
Patriot – Army
Southeastern – Auburn
Southern – Chattanooga
Southland – Sam Houston State
SWAC – Jackson Statev Summit – Indiana/Purdue-Indianapolis
Sun Belt – Arkansas-Little Rock
West Coast – Gonzaga
WAC – Louisiana Tech
– RamblinWreck.com –