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CIAA unveils new logo, familiar message
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The CIAA basketball tournament's new logo includes a drawing that represents the Charlotte skyline, is meant to give the tournament a modern feel without losing the CIAA’s century of history, officials said.

With less than a month to go before the CIAA tournament returns to Charlotte, conference officials unveiled a new logo Monday, as well as a theme for this year’s event.

The 2013 theme – “Back to Basketball” – reflects the CIAA’s ongoing campaign to lure more fans away from parties and other entertainment and into Time Warner Cable Arena to see the actual games.

In 2009, tournament officials adopted the theme “Rock the Rim” with the same basic goal in mind. They also offered special ticket deals that year.

“Let’s get back to the game; let’s support our student-athletes; let’s get people in the seats,” CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter said Monday during a media briefing at the Charlotte Convention Center.

With the exception for the men’s and women’s championship games, most tournament matchups are sparsely attended. Even when first lady Michelle Obama made a half-time visit during one of the semifinal games last year, plenty of lower-level seats were available inside the 20,000-seat arena.


CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter talks about the 2013 tournament during a media briefing at the Charlotte Convention Center. (Photo: Jordan Stutts)

Carpenter said her goal is not to make the five-day event less festive but to simply put the focus back on basketball and the student athletes.

“This is a community affair,” she said. “That’s one thing we didn’t change. We want people to feel like when they come to this tournament it’s like a reunion.”

Tournament officials also announced Monday that R&B legend Chaka Khan would perform at a post-tournament party on Saturday, March 2. Ticket prices are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. The concert is scheduled for 11 p.m.

Carpenter said this year’s logo, which includes a drawing that represents the Charlotte skyline, is meant to give the tournament a modern feel without losing the CIAA’s century of history.

“When you look at this brand, when you look at this logo think about commitment. Think about community. Think about excellence,” she said.

The CIAA tournament has been held in Charlotte each of the last eight years and is now one of the city’s biggest economic events, drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the city each year to attend various parties, concerts and official events. The five-day tournament accounts for about 45,000 hotel room nights each year, The Charlotte Observer recently reported. For comparison, a recent study that measured the economic impact of last year’s Democratic National Convention found that the three-day DNC event generated about 61,246 hotel room nights.



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April 19, 2014
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