SBD/January 24, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Memory Motel: Big East Launching Ad Campaign That Reaches Into The Past

The new Big East Conference is launching an ad campaign that recalls memorable moments from the old iteration of the league. The marketing effort, to be played across the conference's TV assets as well as with print, digital, e-mail, social media and in-arena ads, comes roughly six weeks before the new Big East's first men's basketball tournament, scheduled for March 12-15 at MSG. The campaign is titled "Glory Awaits" and has TV creative from Recreate and digital ads from agency G-Funk seeking to establish the connection and continuity between the Big East of old and the new version of the league. "This is about leveraging our marquee event to create awareness, and selling tickets to that marquee event," said Big East CMO Ann Crandall. What was the Big East became the American Athletic Conference last year. The original league sold the Big East name to a group of seven Catholic universities -- Georgetown, St. John's, Providence, Villanova, Seton Hall, DePaul and Marquette -- which broke away to form the new conference last year. Those seven schools then added Butler, Creighton and Xavier to form the current 10-school conference. Under the new configuration, the Big East basketball tournament shrinks from 16 teams to 10. MSG has played host to the Big East basketball tournament for the past 30 years. While the former Big East was annually one of the country's premier college basketball conferences and the new Big East has schools like Villanova and Creighton enjoying stellar seasons, there is still a question about whether it will be as successful in MSG without Syracuse, which has departed to the ACC. Syracuse was a particularly important draw in N.Y., where it has a strong alumni base.
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