Jan. 20, 2011
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Infiniti is proud to announce The Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge and its collaboration with ESPN as the lead-in sponsor of the NCAA® Men's Basketball Primetime TV Game of The Week. The marketing campaign theme for NCAA Men's Basketball is "Inspiration is Contagious." The campaign includes special programming features during the regular season NCAA Men's Basketball where fourteen opposing coaches will be featured in the custom opener leading into the Game of the Week on ESPN.
This year, a very important charity tie-in has been added to the marketing program with ESPN, titled The Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge. Beginning Jan. 21, fans, alumni and consumers will vote on www.espn.com/infiniti for their favorite coach participating in the Infiniti sponsored GameDay Games of the Week. The coach with the most votes at the conclusion of the program will receive a $100,000 donation from Infiniti to the coaches' charity. The remaining coaches will receive a $10,000 donation from Infiniti for their selected charities. This program was built with Infiniti's partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation (NABC Foundation, Inc.).
The participating coaches, their schools and designated charities include:
Rick Barnes, University of Texas, Neighborhood Longhorns Program
John Calipari, University of Kentucky, Samaritan's Feet
Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh, Maggie Dixon Foundation
Billy Donovan, University of Florida, Sebastian Ferrero Foundation
Scott Drew, Baylor, Scott & Kelly Drew Scholarship Fund
Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech, American Heart Association
Tom Izzo, Michigan State, Coaches vs. Cancer
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, The Emily Krzyzewski Foundation
Frank Martin, Kansas State, Coaches vs. Cancer
Matt Painter, Purdue, Special Olympics
Bill Self, University of Kansas, Bill Self's Assists Foundation
Rick Stansbury, Mississippi State, Camp Rising Sun
Bruce Weber, University of Illinois, Coaches vs. Cancer
Jay Wright, Villanova, Coaches vs. Cancer
"The rivalry momentum among colleges during NCAA Basketball creates an inspirational platform for Infiniti," said Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit. "Infiniti is proud to support NCAA Basketball and the coaches' charities in all the great work they do."
"The NABC Foundation is proud to be partners with Infiniti and the NCAA in the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge," said Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC and NABC Foundation, Inc. "So many of our NABC coaches, at all levels of competition, do so many great things, both nationally and in their communities, to give back."
"I think people will see, in this Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge, that inspiration really is contagious," said Mike Krzyzewski, head coach at Duke University and president of the NABC Foundation. "Coaches are fortunate to have a platform to try and help inspire all of our great college basketball fans to support the various programs, foundations and charitable causes they'll learn more about through this challenge."
Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Marketing and Sales added, "Working with Infiniti to highlight the tireless work these coaches do on and off the court gives our audience a valuable new perspective. We look forward to engaging our fans to reward these dedicated and inspiring coaches."
Each coach will be featured in a short video in which they will discuss what inspires them. The videos, along with information about their designated charities, will be posted on an ESPN microsite. Social media extensions around the coaches and the Infiniti Facebook pages will provide opportunities for high engagement and viral sharing. The voting is set to launch on January 21 and run through March 11, with the winner announced on March 14.
The marketing campaign is designed to drive awareness of the entire Infiniti line of performance luxury vehicles, including the top-selling 2011 Infiniti G37 Sedan and new Infiniti G25 Sedan, while promoting philanthropy in our communities and college coaches' involvement in their initiatives.
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, and the QX full-size SUV. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at www.InfinitiUSA.com.
ESPN, Inc., is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes) and ESPN 3D, an event-based network. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are simulcast services.
Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, websites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV and other growing new businesses, including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
About the NABC Foundation, Inc.
The NABC Foundation was organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and to support the charitable and education purposes of the National Association of Basketball Coaches ("NABC"), a Kansas non-profit corporation. The NABC Foundation is the founder and chief sponsor of TTRR (Ticket to Reading Rewards), a national literacy program targeting middle school aged youth.
In addition, the Foundation operates the College Basketball Experience (CBE), an experiential facility which also includes the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Opened in October 2007, the CBE is adjacent to the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Mo. For more information, go to www.nabcfoundation.org.