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Engaging Community Through Sports

March 30, 2023

With tip-off of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four only days away, the NCAA, Dallas (Texas) Local Organizing Committee, Big 12 Conference, and ESPN are gearing up for a signature moment in women’s sports history—the 50th anniversary of Title IX, celebrated alongside the NCAA championship competition it helped foster.

This is only the second time in the 41-year history of NCAA women’s basketball that the NCAA Division I, II and III national championships will be decided at the same site; and for host Dallas, it’s the second time the growing city will host the Women’s Final Four inside its American Airlines Center.

With all this unique history built-in, what are the NCAA and its partners doing to further energize excitement among basketball fans and, ultimately, drive ticket sales?

The answer is simple: engaging the community.

Having recently attended the 2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four press conference, our public relations team had the opportunity to learn firsthand how the NCAA and the City of Dallas are teaming up to prepare, and in many ways, embrace the role community relations plays in a larger PR and marketing strategy.

Combining professional development events on the docket like its “Beyond the Baseline” panel discussion (focused on how to empower women in sports and business) to more typical celebratory community gatherings like a “Party on the Plaza” pregame event, the NCAA and the City of Dallas see the value this championship event can bring the local community. Add to this pairing additional offerings like open practices, red carpet player viewings, free concerts and even a youth parade that encourages children to come out and dribble their way through city streets, it seems that organizers may just have the right recipe to churn out fans, both young and old.

Monica Paul, Executive Director of the Dallas Sports Commission, says the championship games have grown in popularity over the years. Because of this, she fully expects this year’s turnout to bring out an even larger fanbase, thanks to the roster of ancillary events, all against the backdrop of a city and tourist destination experiencing unprecedented growth.

According to Omar Narvaez, Deputy Mayor, “Dallas is ready to write another chapter” as it looks to position itself as a premier sports destination. With the Final Four coming back, all eyes will be on North Texas this month and Dallas anticipates the Final Four will bring more than $30M in economic impact.

Thanks to a long list of community partners and sponsors, ancillary events will encourage visitors to not only experience the games, but also explore downtown, enjoy the parks, the food, and the arts. To support these aims, organizers have enlisted more than 2,000 volunteers to ensure the multi-day event goes on without a hitch.

The NCAA, City of Dallas, and the Local Organizing Committee all agree that the key to this year’s marketing campaign is to have constant and transparent communication. With so many moving parts and organizations involved, teamwork is the most important factor in ensuring the event goes well—and the community is invited to play an active role in sharing in the excitement generated by the excellence of women’s athletics.

Huge sports fans and experts in marketing events of all kinds, The Martin Group is well-equipped to help get butts in seats for your brand. Please reach out today to learn more.

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