ETSU Grant Team leads two days of sessions to tip off year-long initiative

Thursday, July 15, 2010

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - One month after receiving one of 14 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grants designed to increase awareness, exposure and attendance of women's basketball, the Atlantic Sun Conference and its 11 member institutions participated in a two-day seminar on the campus of East Tennessee State University.


ETSU has received $100,000 in NCAA Grant funding over the previous two years, during which time grant team the women's basketball team shattered previous attendance records and increased Web site traffic to record numbers, in addition to winning consecutive A-Sun Championship titles. This year the A-Sun received $50,000 to promote women's basketball conference-wide. The six members of the ETSU Grant Team, Senior Associate Athletic Director Barbie Breedlove, Ticket Manager Brandon Hudson, Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions & Event Management Sara Hacker, Assistant Director for Media Relations/Sports Information Kevin Brown, Graduate Assistant Jeff Hiestand and Administrative Assistant Kristi Smith, each led sessions detailing various aspects of how ETSU has successfully promoted women's basketball and game attendance over the past two seasons.


"We are honored to be one of the grant recipients this year, and we know we can do great work for women's basketball and our student-athletes," A-Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. "Our folks have seen the tremendous progress made here at ETSU and we're fired up about multiplying that effect throughout the A-Sun."


In addition to leading presentations for the entire group, the six members of the ETSU Grant Team led break-out sessions with smaller groups focusing on topics such as its successful Dean's Challenge where Deans from eight of the schools on campus faced off at selected ETSU women's games to bring in most fans in competition for scholarships. Sessions also focused on the "Pack the House" promotion, the Lady Buc Extravaganza, ticketing and advertising, working with large groups and building databases.


"I was very pleased with the high level of engagement," Breedlove said. "Everybody came to learn and exchange ideas. This week is a great springboard for the grant and the A-Sun laid a terrific foundation for promoting attendance. We are very excited about the prospects for the A-Sun and for the growth of women's basketball."


The seminar represented the first step of the year-long program designed to increase awareness, exposure and attendance of women's basketball. The conference will hold regular conference calls with and the membership as well as with the NCAA and the other grant recipients to foster ideas and learn from one another.


This marketing initiative concept was generated from the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Discussion Group, chaired by the late NCAA President Myles Brand. The group consisted of head coaches, media representatives, former student-athletes, conference, institutional and Women's Basketball Coaches Association administrators. It has been strongly supported by the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Issues Committee.


Fans can follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and on Facebook. Visit to begin receiving updates on conference news, weekly awards, and from A-Sun championships. Atlantic Sun followers with a Facebook account can become a "fan" of the conference by visiting


The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

Follow ETSU Athletics on Twitter Twitter and become a fan on Facebook Facebook.
MBB Virginia-Wise 66 F
Nov 18 ETSU 111
WBB Appalachian State University 76 Final
Nov 19 ETSU 70
WBB ETSU 79 Final
Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
VB ETSU Greensboro, N.C.
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. No. 5 Western Carolina (SoCon Quarterfinal)
MBB UNC Asheville 87 F
Nov 22, 12:00 p.m. ETSU 98
Nov 24, 12:00 p.m. Winthrop 64
WBB ETSU 69 Final
Nov 24, 12:00 p.m. Indiana State University 76
WBB ETSU 69 Final
Nov 26, 12:00 p.m. Indiana University 97
WBB ETSU Blacksburg, Va.
Nov 29, 5:00 p.m. Virginia Tech University
MBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 1, 7:00 p.m. Morehead State
WBB ETSU Fairfax, Va.
Dec 3, 5:00 p.m. George Mason University
MBB Western Carolina Freedom Hall
Dec 3, 8:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB ETSU Huntsville, Ala.
Dec 6, 6:00 p.m. Alabama A&M University
MBB UNC Greensboro Freedom Hall
Dec 13, 4:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB Eastern Kentucky University Johnson City, Tenn.
Dec 13, 7:00 p.m. ETSU
WBB ETSU Morehead, Ky.
Dec 15, 12:00 p.m. Morehead State University
MBB ETSU Richmond, Ky.
Dec 16, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Kentucky
WBB ETSU Wilmington, N.C.
Dec 19, 11:30 a.m. University of North Carolina Wilmington