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CIS basketball gets much needed marketing lift

Mark Alfano, manager of facilities and events with the McMaster Marauders, and Shawn Whiteley, Brock Badgers’ sports information and marketing, will sit on the Ontario University Athletics’ new marketing committee which will focus on basketball.

Similar to the previously announcements, these new groups will look at ways to build on an already strong product as seen on campuses and arenas across the province, as well as Quebec.

Both committees have met over the past couple of weeks as they began laying the groundwork towards maximizing sponsorship and marketing opportunities in these specific sports to the benefit of the entire organization.

In addition to Alfano and Whiteley, members of the basketball committee, chaired by RMC athletic director Darren Cates, include former OUA student-athlete Paul Jones, of the Fan 590 and Raptors TV; Jonathon Chang, manager of marketing partnerships with NBA Canada; Michele O’Keefe, executive director of Basketball Ontario; Howard Bloom, publisher of SportsBusinessNews.com; Mark Wacyk of CISHoops.ca, Dave Smart, head coach of the Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team, Ward Dilse, executive director of OUA; and Christine Stapleton, assistant athletic director of Waterloo Warriors.

Both Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national basketball tournaments were held in Ontario last March, as the Carleton Ravens hosted the CIS men’s Final 8 at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont., for the third straight year, while the McMaster Marauders hosted the women’s championship.

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OUA schools have won seven of the past eight CIS men’s national championships, with Carleton winning six to go along with Brock’s 2007-08 championship. The Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team was a national finalist in 2009-10.

The MBNA Capital Hoops Classic featuring the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Ravens at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont., has drawn an average of over 9,000 fans the past four seasons.

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