SBJ/20090907/This Week's News

Zappos.com sponsoring WCC hoops tournaments

The West Coast Conference has secured its first title sponsor — Zappos.com — for its men’s and women’s postseason basketball tournaments.

WCC’s rights partner, IMG College, sold the deal to Zappos, an exclusively online retailer of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories based in Las Vegas. The conference announced last month a new three-year agreement to play the tournaments in Las Vegas at Orleans Arena, and Zappos’ deal with the conference will run concurrently with the arena extension through 2012. Financial terms were not available.

The tournaments, which previously had been held at campus sites, moved to Orleans Arena in 2009 for the first time and set attendance records for total and single-session crowds, playing 14 men’s and women’s games over four days. The men’s title game drew 7,845.

Before signing the deal to title sponsor the tournament, Zappos.com was a premier-level sponsor of last year’s tournament and ran a shoe drive that donated 5,200 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization that distributes shoes to needy children internationally.

Zappos also held an event to pass out shoes in Las Vegas in conjunction with the tournament and will likely repeat the effort as part of its activation next season.

The league’s teams are Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Portland, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

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