SBJ/April 18-24, 2011/Events and Attractions

CBS, Turner might hop into Final Four skills ontest game

The State Farm college slam dunk and 3-point contest, which for 23 years has been held on the Thursday night prior to the Final Four, might have some competition.

Turner and CBS, the NCAA’s marketing partners, are considering a skills competition of their own on the Buick-sponsored center court in Bracket Town on that same Thursday night.

Just 13 months ago, the NCAA had embraced the dunk and 3-point event by bringing it into Bracket Town for the first time, but that proved to be a short-lived arrangement. The competitions had previously been at an arena in the Final Four city, but away from the NCAA’s activities.

The event didn’t return to Bracket Town this year because NCAA partner Buick sponsors the center court and Mercedes-Benz is a major sponsor of the 3-point contest. Instead, it moved off-site this year to the University of Houston’s Hofheinz Pavilion. It apparently will stay off the NCAA’s site in the future because of the potential for sponsor conflicts.

Intersport, the Chicago-based agency that created and manages the slam dunk and 3-point event, sells sponsorship to its event and ESPN televises it. State Farm, Mercedes and Denny’s are among the major sponsors.

— Michael Smith
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