CAMPAIGNS: Event marketing - Philly fired up for Final Four 2000

Client: Philadelphia Women’s Basketball 2000

Client: Philadelphia Women’s Basketball 2000

Client: Philadelphia Women’s Basketball 2000

PR Team: In-house PR committee (Ike Richman, Laura Loro, Paula Butler,

Danielle Cohn) Campaign: Tip-off for NCAA Women’s Final Four in March


Time Frame: Oct. 15, 1999 through March 2000

Budget:: dollars 1,500 (tip-off only)

Philadelphia is proud to host the NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball

tournament this March. To generate local support, the city’s First Union

Center (site of the tournament) held a Tip-Off and Pop-A-Shot contest on

Oct. 15. The theme: ’The road to the Final Four tips off today and ends

in Philadelphia with the Women’s Final Four.’

According to Ike Richman, PR director for First Union Center, the idea

was to hold a ceremonial event to increase awareness of the tournament

to get the city, potential sponsors and volunteers excited. In addition

to sponsors, the Final Four is seeking at least 1,500 volunteers to help

with tasks like chaperoning VIPs.


The shooting contest was held at Dave & Buster’s Sports Bar after

business hours so more of the general public could come. Members of the

Philadelphia Women’s Basketball2000’s PR committee were responsible for

coordinating the event with the restaurant, writing releases, contacting

the media and designing the agenda. ’We had a three-week window to pull

it all together,’ Richman says.

The group wanted to ensure that coaches of local women’s teams


’We wrote to each coach and they all wanted to bring not only their team

but their mascot,’ Richman says.


Daily phone calls, faxes and e-mails were sent to the media. Because of

his position with the arena, Richman was able to talk to writers

covering the Philadelphia 76ers. Also invited were morning drive radio

DJs, who told their listeners about the event.

At the time, Philadelphia was going through a heated mayoral race and

the two leading candidates were invited to participate. Only one,

Republican Sam Katz, showed up but he lent a news value to the event. ’A

lot of media showed up because of him,’ Richman says.

Katz challenged Kathy Andrezzui, executive director of the Philadelphia

Women’s Basketball2000, and local coaches in the shooting contest. He

fared better than he did in the election, which he lost in a close race

a few days later.


Four TV stations and three newspapers covered the event, in addition to

a couple of radio stations, which aired it live. About 200 people


Among the women’s coaches were Kristin Foley of Temple, John Miller of

LaSalle, Kevin Murphy of Drexel, Kelly Greenberg of Penn and Stephanie

Gaitley of St. Joseph’s.


Richman describes the PR for the basketball tournament as ongoing. ’Each

month will bring a new photo-op or media event,’ he says. Other

pre-tournament events include open practice and autograph sessions.

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