“It’s The Creative Challenge” Rewards Marketing Departments For Thinking Differently

Free bacon, teams starring in music videos and changing weekday games to a noon tip for Field Trip Day are just a few of the ideas that creative marketing staffs have dreamed up to promote women’s basketball through the years. These fun ideas get people talking in their community and beyond, with the unified message providing a stronger voice.

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With that in mind, the NCAA is asking for your involvement to help spread a women’s basketball marketing message that teams can rally around — “What It’s All Four.”

Schools will be encouraged to tell their stories individually while also being part of the overall 2014-15 women’s basketball story. By pulling out the word “It’s,” teams can tell their fans what makes them special. It’s the fans who paint their faces, it’s volunteering in the community, it’s the tough workouts, etc. Being able to showcase why the student-athletes and the fans are so invested in their teams allows people to see how special each team is.

Then, at the Women’s Final Four the messaging will change to “Four It All” as they vie for the 2015 national championship. In addition to the trophy, “All” also encompasses everything around the Women’s Final Four, including the community events, the fan fest, the autograph sessions, the hospital visits, etc. It all matters.

Along with the launch of this new brand messaging, the NCAA created a program that will encourage Division I marketing staffs to tell their own stories by sharing best practices for chances to win prizes. “It’s The Creative Marketing Challenge” consists of monthly contests in different categories with winners being determined by peer voting via Facebook that will include Division I marketing staff members, sports information staff members and directors of basketball operations. Be sure to have your staff members request to join the WBB Marketing group on Facebook to be eligible to vote each month.

The first category to tip off the challenge is “Best Poster” with entries being accepted via email (EVarley@ncaa.org) until Friday, October 24 at 11:59 pm EST. Voting will begin on Monday, October 27 and will close on Friday, October 31 at 11:59 pm EST. The winners will be announced on Monday, November 3. Only one entry per school will be accepted. The full list of categories and deadlines are below.

Best Video:
Entries accepted November 1-14, 2014
Voting November 17-21, 2014

Best Holiday Promotion:
Entries accepted December 1, 2014-January 2, 2015
Voting January 5-9, 2015

Best Community Outreach Initiative:
Entries accepted January 12-30, 2015
Voting February 2-6, 2015

Best Pink Game:
Entries accepted February 9-27, 2015
Voting March 2-6, 2015

Attendance Increase:
Attendance recaps submitted by March 31, 2015
Winner announced during the semi-final games in Tampa Bay on April 5, 2015

Each month will also have a wildcard selection for a creative idea that stands out overall so the more the schools share, the better their chances are to win. A variety of prizes will be awarded to the schools, as well as to the individual marketing staff member for accepting this creative challenge. For more information about the challenge, please email Tracie Hitz at thitz@ncaa.org.

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