JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 2, 2008) - History was made Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Center as the ETSU department of athletics and Mountain States Health Alliance partnered up to create the largest crowd to witness a Lady Buccaneer basketball game in program history.
This season the NCAA has challenged all 32 women's basketball conferences to a "Pack the House" night, and the ETSU marketing department and MSHA teamed up to create the slogan "02-02 at 2: Two Teams, One Fight...Women against Heart Disease."
The competition was designed to help promote women's basketball and increase its fan base, by having each school come up with a creative marketing plan and sellout or increase its previous year's single-game record attendance. ETSU and MSHA enjoyed a successful day as their plan broke the previous Lady Buccaneer mark of 1,117.
The catchy and creative slogan worked, as it drew 250 people to a Red Dress Luncheon prior to the game. During the pregame fashion show, 13 women who have battled heart disease were honored and escorted through the crowd by members of the men's basketball team.
In total, 1,236 ETSU fans watched the Lady Bucs defeat Kennesaw State in a critical Atlantic Sun showdown.
Another key to ETSU's record setting day was its plan to have every dollar of the $2 admission ticket go towards the purchasing of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The money will be totaled to determine how many AEDs can be purchased. Then, MSHA and ETSU will hold an event to present the AED's to needy organizations and places where they will be most useful around the area.
Finally, after the conclusion of the contest, the ETSU women's basketball team conducted a youth basketball clinic. Over 250 youth basketball players and children that were in attendance received a chance to go on the court, learn drills and meet their favorite Lady Buccaneer player(s).
"We are very pleased with the event and working with MSHA," said ETSU marketing and promotions coordinator Sara Hacker. "We were able to educate the women on the affects of heart disease and its causes. Overall it was an exciting day as we accomplished our goal by setting a new record crowd and hopefully we can continue to build off this success."
For more information on ETSU athletics and news, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.