SBJ/March 6-12, 2017/Colleges

Gift suite debuting at Women’s Final Four

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Big East players are among those who can choose gifts from an online gift suite.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES


If the lure of hoisting a national championship trophy isn’t enough to entice this year’s participants in the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament to make it to the Final Four, maybe swag will help sweeten the pot.

For the first time, the NCAA will treat the women’s semifinalists to a gift suite at the season-ending event in Dallas later this month. Last year the NCAA debuted a gift suite at the men’s Final Four at NRG Stadium, and has broadened the program this year to include both the men’s and women’s regional and semifinal events.

In the ACC online gift suite: Quadrone Omega drone
The women’s high-end gift at last year’s Final Four was a GoPro camera.

The suite, a shopping-spree-like experience, is a way for players on the Final Four teams to receive NCAA-authorized gifts for reaching college basketball’s national semifinals.

Carrollton, Texas-based Performance Award Center handles the process for the NCAA, serving as a broker between high-end brands and the organization. PAC then sets up the experiential shopping trip on site. In this case, they’ll be putting together the selection of gifts from which players from the eight semifinal men’s and women’s teams will be able to select up to seven items worth a total of $350 per person.

On the gift list: (clockwise from top left): Camelbak backpack (Big Ten), Boxanne Bluetooth speaker (WAC), Rock ’Em Apparel socks (Big South), Wenger/Swiss Army Platoon watch (Mountain West), NEC beanie knit hat
The suite is the cherry on top of the other items the Final Four-participating players will receive from the NCAA, which will include a Fossil watch, a piece of the Final Four court, a Jostens ring and other goodies.

The NCAA caps the value of the gifts schools and conferences can provide. The association, however, according to its own rules, has no limit on the value of the gifts it can provide in an NCAA-run tournament.

Counting all the permissible gift-providing sources — school, conference, tournament organizer and the NCAA — players on a team that wins basketball championships for the regular season, the school’s postseason conference tournament and the NCAA tournament could take home total gifts valued at close to $4,000.

2017 Conference Basketball Tournament gifts

Here's a look at the gifts (and the number of gift packages) provided by NCAA Division I basketball conferences to players competing in their men's and women's basketball tournaments this month.

ACC (750)* Online gift suite from which players can select from the following: Apple iPad Mini; Quadrone Omega drone; Sony wireless sound bar; Beats Solo3 wireless headphones; Apple TV 64 GB and HDTV digital antenna bundle; GoPro Hero Session and Cocoon Slim backpack bundle; Recreation Cruiser bike.
America East (400) Under Armour short-sleeve performance shirt.
American Athletic (460) Online gift suite.
Atlantic 10 (644) Online gift suite.
Atlantic Sun (320) Online gift suite.
Big 12 (600) Online gift suite.
Big East (480) Online gift suite.
Big Sky (506) Choice of T-shirt, sweatshirt or a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Big South (500) Men's teams: Tech quarter-zip hoodie; Rock 'Em Apparel custom socks. Women's teams: Online gift suite.
Big Ten (420) Online gift suite from which players can select from the following: Ogio jacket-backpack combo; Ogio jacket-Google Chromecast combo; Coleman bean bag toss board; Kenneth Cole luggage; Thule backpack; Camelbak backpack; Sony Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth Speaker; Ray-Ban sunglasses; Kate Spade sunglasses; Amazon Fire tablet; Kate Spade wallet.
Big West (352) Hooded sweatshirt. Conference champions also receive a medallion.
Colonial Athletic (500) Under Armour gift.
Conference USA (600) Online gift suite from which players can select items from the following brands: Beats by Dre, Fossil, Ogio and Ray-Ban.
Horizon (287) Personalized Fat Head Real Big; Motor City Madness lapel pin; personalized locker-room nameplate; Gatorade water bottle; Hitachi beanie hat; Hitachi memory stick; power bank; cinch bag.
MEAC (450) T-shirt; souvenir guide. Conference champions also receive a T-shirt, hat and watch.
Metro Atlantic (550) T-shirt and backpack. Conference champions also receive champions T-shirts and hats.
Missouri Valley (500) Backpack and a choice of either Boompods Sportpod headphones or a Bask Solar power bank.
Mountain West (484) Online gift suite from which players can select from the following: Roku 2 broadcast kit with indoor antenna and HDMI cable; Oakley backpack; Jensen wall mountable 2.1 channel Bluetooth soundbar with subwoofer; Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker; Wenger/Swiss Army Platoon watch; Polo Ralph Lauren Bainbridge tote; Sony Bluetooth earbuds with microphone and Google Chromecast; ALC Home Control security system.
Northeast (352) Beanie knit hat.
Ohio Valley (352) Adidas sport watch.
Pac-12 (360) AppleTV; $100 iTunes gift card.
Patriot League (400) Sport-Tek quarter-zip pullover.
SEC (400) Gift suite at the tournament site.
Southern (220) Adidas apparel and shooting shirt.
Southland (250) Portable Bluetooth speakers.
Summit League (368) Quarter-zip performance fleece. Conference champions also receive a T-shirt and medal.
Sun Belt (450) Under Armour hat and T-shirt; Bluetooth speaker.
SWAC (50) Conference champions receive championship hats and T-shirts.
WAC (350) Boxanne Bluetooth speaker.
West Coast (440) Online gift suite.

* The packages for the ACC men's basketball tournament (in Brooklyn, N.Y.) are being paid for by the Barclays Center.
Notes: The Mid-American Conference and Ivy League do not provide participant gift packages. For the conferences that do provide this bonus, additional packages can be bought and given to guests, such as sponsors and media partners. Product details were provided by conference officials and are listed here based on the information that was available on Feb. 27.
Sources: The conferences

NCAA gift packages

What the players receive from the NCAA for playing in the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Championship tournaments.

Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament

All participants Fossil watch and a flash drive.
First Four* ($25 value) T-shirt; hat; socks.
1st & 2nd Rounds ($25 value) Men's teams: T-shirt; hat; socks.
Women's teams: Long-sleeve shirt; hat; necklace.
Regionals ($100 value) Two-tier gift suite.

Men's Final Four

Men's Final Four (Glendale, Ariz.) Seven-tier gift suite at University of Phoenix Stadium, valued at $350; plus Josten's ring; Wilson Men's Final Four basketball and backpack; lucite Men's Final Four ticket; bench towel; jersey fleece blanket; Men's Final Four bench chair; a piece of the Final Four court; thumb drive.

Women's Final Four

Women's Final Four (Dallas) Seven-tier gift suite at American Airlines Center, valued at $350; plus Josten's ring; Wilson Women's Final Four basketball; Women's Final Four ball cube and backpack; lucite Women's Final Four ticket; bench towel; inflatable lounge chair; custom belt buckle; a piece of the Final Four court; thumb drive.

Note: Team lounges are set up at the hotel or stadium. Game-day travel from the hotel to the stadium, as well as brunch, is provided for participants' guests.
* There is no First Four in the women's tournament.
Source: NCAA

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