Monday, March 12, 2012
UPS and Connor Sport Court to Deliver Basketball Court for 2012 Men's Final Four
UPS, an official NCAA corporate partner and Connor Sport Court International, the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance sports flooring, today announced plans for a seven-city tour of the hardwood basketball court that will serve as the centerpiece of the 2012 NCAA® Men's Final Four®.
UPS also announced the launch of an exciting new multi-faceted marketing communications campaign to coincide with the tournament, focusing on game-changing plays that altered the course of college basketball history.
The Final Four will take place March 31 and April 2 at the Superdome in New Orleans. The championship court, which will be transported by UPS Freight, will begin its road trip on March 16 at UPS's hub in Columbus, Ohio. From there it will travel on March 17 to Louisville, Ky., one of the host sites for the second and third rounds of the men's tournament.
On March 19, the court will make a stop at the UPS Freight facility in Atlanta followed by Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., on March 20; the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg on March 21, and LSU in Baton Rouge on March 22 before arriving at its final destination in New Orleans on March 23.
UPS and Connor Sport Court have planned a wide range of entertaining events and activities at each stop, including photo opportunities with a replica of center court, a Final Four trivia game with collectible prizes and a shooting contest on a "backyard" basketball court provided by Sport Court. The events at the UPS facilities in Columbus and Atlanta will be exclusively for UPS employees, but the other court destinations will be open to the public. For more information regarding the itinerary for the 2012 Connor Sport Court tour, contact Jeff Morton at 801-712-6411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Logistics done right requires 'the three P's' - planning, preparation and precision - and it's the same whether we're delivering a critical medical device to a diabetes patient or the flooring for one of the most exciting college sports events of the year," said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, sponsorships and events. "It's a great honor for UPS to be entrusted with such an important responsibility and also to work with our friends at Connor Sport Court, who have done an amazing job creating the flooring for this year's tournament."
The court, A QuickLock portable system, was crafted by Connor especially for the 2012 Men's Final Four. It was constructed of northern hardwood maple in strict accordance with NCAA specifications. Connor Sport Court is a member of the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) and adheres to the stringent grading and quality standards of that organization.
"It's a pleasure to partner with the eminent UPS brand on our tour," said Ron Cerny, President and CEO of Connor Sport Court. "It's a great pairing. We are the foremost expert in building sports surfaces and UPS is the foremost expert in logistics."
Connor Sport Court also is supplying the court for the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four, which will take place April 1 and 3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The hardwood maple for the NCAA Final Four courts is sourced by Connor as rough lumber from about 60 different sawmills, most of which are located in Michigan and Wisconsin.
UPS's new "Game Changers" marketing communications campaign will include broadcast, print and digital advertising as well as social media components, some of which feature the logistical insights of four titans of college basketball who also will serve as UPS brand ambassadors. They include legendary broadcast analyst and former coach Dick Vitale; Rutgers University women's head basketball coach Vivian Stringer; Butler University men's head basketball coach Brad Stevens, and University of Connecticut women's head basketball coach Geno Auriemma.
"We'll engage our new 'team members' in various ways to help us demonstrate that success in both the business world and on the basketball court requires a firm grasp of logistics," added Rogowski.
The campaign will include two new TV commercials, including one that highlights Christian Laettner's historic last-second game winning jump shot that propelled Duke University over the University of Kentucky in the East Region final of the 1992 NCAA tournament. "The Pass" will use actual game footage to illustrate the role that logistics played in setting up Laettner's successful shot, which is widely regarded as one of the most memorable plays in college basketball history.
Other elements will include videos featuring the four brand ambassadors, who will share their thoughts on various tactical innovations that changed the game of basketball including the fast break, the motion offense and the high post. The videos will run on March Madness Live on CBSSports.com where viewers can watch live broadcasts of tournament games online. In addition, the videos will be available for viewing on various social media platforms.