An inside look at the women's basketball grant writing team
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 2, 2008) - In March, a $45,000 grant was awarded to ETSU Athletics by the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program.  The NCAA created the grant program to help grow the game of women's basketball at the grass roots level. 


The athletic department at ETSU put together a team of individuals to work on writing and implementing the grant.  After receiving the $45,000, the team began planning new ways to gain exposure and increase attendance during the 2008-09 women's basketball season.  The grant team, led by Barbie Breedlove (Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator), consists of Sara Hacker (Marketing and Promotions Coordinator), Brandon Hudson (Ticket Manager), Kevin Brown (Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations), Kristi Smith (Women's Basketball Administrative Assistant), and Lindsay Christensen (NCAA Women's Basketball Grant Graduate Assistant).


Since receiving the grant the team has spent a lot of time implementing the plans such as: new ticket packages, higher levels of community involvement, exciting game promotions, and increased media exposure.


The ticket office created a new ticket structure, which combines the men's and women's games into one season ticket package.  A graduated pricing structure allows fans to buy season tickets ranging from $120 to $500.  There is also an addition of premium courtside seating, giving fans an opportunity to sit right on top of the action.  Season ticket sales for the Lady Bucs have increased dramatically from last year - already over 250 season tickets have been sold.


One important task for the grant team has been working on is promoting the Lady Bucs in the community, and informing the fans about their successes both on and off the court.  Also, creating a new and exciting game atmosphere has been another task to topple. 


Currently, advertising for the Lady Bucs can be found in local papers, online, and on billboards.  Starting in late November, advertising for the Lady Bucs will appear at every movie screen at Johnson City's Carmike Cinema and the Village Theaters in Bristol.  This new initiative will offer free admission to any Lady Buc game when the movie ticket stub is presented at the ticket window.  In addition, ETSU fans can expect to see new exposure for the Lady Bucs around the Tri-Cities as the season approaches.


The ETSU Athletic Department and the Lady Bucs know the importance of giving back to the community, and being involved with the youth groups in the area.  During the summer, the ETSU women's basketball coaching staff and some of its players conducted two youth basketball camps.  While they busy recruiting and coaching, some staff and team members volunteered at area youth day camps.  In July, head coach Karen Kemp and First Team All-Atlantic Sun selection Siarre Evans helped at Kingsport's X-treme Challenge, which was a fitness camp that served over 300 children.  Coach Kemp and others from the athletic department also volunteered at Discovery Olympics, which was a culmination of three day camps in Johnson City. 


Other arrangements the grant writing team has set up for the Lady Bucs include speaking engagements with community organizations such as the Rotary and Lions Clubs.  In doing this, we hope to increase awareness of the program's success amongst the community and connect the fans to our student-athletes. Another way fans can connect to the Lady Buccaneer players is by staying tuned to as each week (leading up to the season-opener) a student-athlete will be showcased in a player profile.


With more fans in attendance, the grant team plans to make sure the game atmosphere surpasses all expectations.  Each home game will feature face painting and poster making for any Lady Buc fan in attendance.  The ETSU marketing department has developed game day promotions that include Faith and Family Night, Bucky's Birthday Celebration, and Pink Zone (to help fight breast cancer).  There will also be tailgating just outside the Memorial Center for three of the Lady Buc games.


Join us this season as we strive to promote ETSU's women's basketball program and break attendance records.  We can't do it without you!


Stay tuned to for more updates on the grant and information about the Lady Buccaneer basketball team.