Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and University of Mount Union co-hosted the NCAA DIII Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships at SPIRE Institute in Geneva on May 25-27, 2017. This competition brought over 860 student-athletes and 340 coaches from across the country to Northeast Ohio.
SPIRE Institute supplied the venue where co-host and competitor, University of Mount Union, earned two national titles; the women’s 4x100 meter relay and the men’s 4x400 meter relay, to beat out nearly 180 DIII schools.
This event generated $2 million in economic impact for Northeast Ohio and sold out hotels throughout Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties.
GCSC and Mount Union will welcome back the NCAA DIII Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships to SPIRE Institute in 2019.
Student-athlete experience was a top priority to both GCSC and SPIRE Institute during the NCAA DIII Track & Field Championships to ensure student-athletes felt welcomed. GCSC designed a commemorative All-Session ticket and hosted a student-athlete banquet where each competitor received a pair of NCAA Championship-branded sunglasses to take photos with their teammates.
Additionally, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport displayed Welcome signage to greet our NCAA DIII Track & Field Championships visitors and welcome them to the Northeast Ohio community.
GCSC’s Youth Education through Sports (YES) presented by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and The Sherwin-Williams Company hosted a youth field clinic on the Friday of the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships at SPIRE Institute.
SPIRE Performance led the clinic, along with several NCAA coaches and athletes. As part of the clinic, youth learned about collegiate sports’ practice schedules, study habits and life as a collegiate athlete. Additionally, attendees received lessons on sports safety and had the opportunity to test their long jump capabilities.
Additionally, Special Olympics of Ashtabula County athletes assisted with award presentations during Saturday’s Championship ceremony.
In order to promote the championship in Northeast Ohio, GCSC submitted local calendar listings to online publications from Alliance to Geneva, OH and distributed press releases to Cleveland’s major TV, radio and print outlets. These efforts secured 110 credentialed media to attend the championship, resulting in both the Canton Repository and The News-Herald to run feature stories on athletes.
Working with local media and DIII school information directors, resulted in 162 clips, a total media audience of nearly 14 million people and a publicity value of $453.8 thousand.
Additionally, social media garnered 41,843 impressions and #NCAAD3 was trending in Northeast Ohio.
During the NCAA DIII Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships, over 100 volunteers donated their time for a total of 153 shifts and 751 hours. Among those volunteers were peer students from co-host Mount Union, and other local colleges and universities including John Carroll, Wooster and Lake Erie College.
Volunteers assisted in the following positions: Registration, Greeters, Track Event Assistants, Field Event Assistants, Ticket Sales, Hurdle Crew and more.
To promote awareness of the NCAA DIII Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Northeast Ohio, GCSC and SPIRE create promotional signage to draw attendees to the championship. Included in those items were: large banners placed around Ashtabula and SPIRE Institute, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Welcome signage and posters placed on community boards at Northeast Ohio running stores, coffee shops, recreational centers, DIII colleges and universities and more.
I drastically underestimated and did not understand all that Cleveland had to offer.
I had to be educated, and now I’m one of the biggest fans and I’m touting the city big-time.
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