SBD/October 29, 2013/Colleges

Grand Canyon Univ. Using Hoops Coach Dan Majerle As Primary Marketer

As the Grand Canyon Univ. men's basketball team is "about to begin its first season in NCAA Division I," former NBAer and coach Dan Majerle is leading a "push to cut through the tough Valley marketplace," according to Richard Obert of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. A TV contract "is complete," as all home games and three road games "will be broadcast." There also are "post-game concerts planned," and GCU is "hoping to fill up its roughly 4,400-seat purple arena and make it among the loudest." The school is "counting on Majerle to drive a marketing campaign to attract fans." Majerle said that his Majerle Sports Grill restaurants are "promoting the team, selling season tickets." With USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo serving as school President & CEO Brian Mueller’s "right-hand man, GCU was able to speed things up and become a member of the Western Athletic Conference this year." Colangelo said, "I think there is enough interest. There is a lot of enthusiasm on the campus for the sports, particularly men's basketball, because of Dan Majerle and what he brings in the way of enthusiasm." Meanwhile, Mueller "isn't worried about building a fan base." He said, "We've got Dan Majerle and he's one of four or five icons to come through this state. He's going to attract a fan base." Mueller added that Grand Canyon Univ. Arena "will be expanded with a second deck, allowing an additional 3,000 fans to be part of the games." Mueller: "We expect to sell out. There is a lot of excitement for this. People love our players" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/26).
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