About the CIAA Tournament:
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and is one of America’s oldest athletic conferences. Founded in 1912, the conference is home to 12 colleges and universities located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and holds 14 championships in men and women sports. The CIAA mission promotes athletic programs which will develop leadership, physical fitness, sports participation, diversity, and athletic excellence of the highest ethical character through competitive intercollegiate athletics. However, of the 14 championships the CIAA produces, the event that has the fans of collegiate athletics abuzz and has become synonymous with the CIAA brand is the annual basketball tournament.
A successful brand consistently delivers a great experience to the customer. It has longevity, and it creates a strong impression in the market. For the hundred of thousand attendees that travel from locations all over United States, and for sponsors that continue to commit millions of dollars to the conference, the CIAA tournament illustrates the definition of a successful brand. The annual men’s and women’s basketball tournament is described as the quintessential cultural experience and known as one of largest in attendance and financially successful basketball tournaments in the United States. With an estimated economic impact of $55.6 million to the host city Charlotte, North Carolina in 2015, the CIAA tournament is the third largest behind the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big Ten Conference amongst all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournaments. Moreover, the CIAA tournament is also one of a handful of basketball tournaments in the nation that features men and women competition in the same facility, during the same week.
One of the many reasons the CIAA brand solidified its prominence in collegiate athletics is a direct result of the organization’s ability to continuously cultivate the relationship with the alumni of the member institutions by leveraging past successes with new elements. Marketing the CIAA brand is a year round activity that includes strategic planning, creative, and advertising to support the effort. The CIAA brand extends generations and gives credence to the conference slogan, ‘CIAA For Life’.
A brand synonymous to none, the CIAA is a crown jewel within college sports. The annual tournament drives the brand awareness of the conference, generating national exposure with media and major corporations who acknowledge the one-of-a-kind brand value. Powered by vision and innovation, the CIAA continues to pursue brand prominence in all avenues that will strengthen the foundation of this historic conference.
Over the past 13 years, the CIAA has generated over $325 million in economic impact for Charlotte, NC, the host city of the CIAA Tournament. The CIAA corporate sponsor retention rate is a phenomenal 90 percent over the past 24 years. Corporate partners have enabled the CIAA Conference to secure over $20 million in scholarship dollars for the member institutions over the past 13 years.
Countless jobs have been provided to CIAA students through corporate internship programs established between the CIAA and their corporate partners, which has generated a network of successful entrepreneurs, business executives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, professional athletes, etc. that continue to give back and support the CIAA and future generations to come.