SBD/June 16, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Capital One Signs On As Presenting Sponsor Of College World Series Fan Festival

Capital One, an NCAA corporate champion, has agreed to a three-year deal to be presenting sponsor of the College World Series fan festival. The CWS opens Saturday in Omaha at the new TD Ameritrade Park. This marks the first CWS in the new ballpark and the first time one of the NCAA's corporate champions has stepped up to support a fan fest at this event. In the past, NCAA fan fests have been held at the men's and women's Final Fours, but not typically at other championships. The fan fest will include the Capital One Cup Fan Zone, batting cages, speed-pitch booths, interactive games from a variety of NCAA sports, souvenir photos, autograph sessions, food, prizes and merchandise. Turner Sports, in partnership with CBS, runs the NCAA's corporate partner program (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

READY TO PLAY: In Omaha, Maggie O'Brien noted TD Ameritrade Park "will open its doors to 24,000 fans in Omaha for the College World Series ... starting with Friday's opening ceremonies." Ballpark operator Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority President Roger Dixon said that "after a few early problems that came up during Creighton baseball games there earlier this spring, the ballpark is ready for the craziness." There were "no ATMs inside the ballpark" for the Creighton games, and during an April Nebraska-Creighton game "long lines bogged down the concession stands." But Dixon said that since then "two First National Bank ATM machines have been installed." Additionally, Levy Restaurants, the "food service company for the ballpark, axed a few menu items that took too long to prepare and contributed to the long waits" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 6/15).

FLOOD PREPERATIONS: Also in Omaha, Burbach & Robb report NCAA officials "have contingency plans that could include delaying College World Series games or even playing them elsewhere if Missouri River flooding exceeds expectations and makes the event unplayable at TD Ameritrade Park." NCAA VP/Baseball & Football Dennis Poppe said that city officials "have assured the NCAA that the series will be able to be played despite the flooding." But he "acknowledged that unprecedented amounts of water are on the way to Omaha in an already flooding Missouri River." Poppe: "It would be negligent if we didn't have something in the plan." However, he did not discuss emergency plans. Burbach & Robb note the College World Series is scheduled to end June 28 or 29, and "peak releases from dams upriver are expected to reach Omaha next week" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 6/16).
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