By Greg Johnson
Spreading the word that all three 2010 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships would be played in Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium began a year in advance. After the game-ending horn at the 2009 Division I men’s final sounded on Memorial Day 2009, Lisa Dixon jumped to action.
Dixon, special assistant to the president and special events manager for the Baltimore Ravens, said the marketing efforts were consistent all the way up to the week of the event.
“Lacrosse is a primary sport here,” she said. “We had four host institutions in Towson, UMBC, Loyola Maryland and
Johns Hopkins.” Those institutions were able to download advertising materials from a specially created media center online.
“We were able to track who was downloading what and how it was being used,” Dixon said.
There were plenty of public address announcements, scoreboard messages, and television and radio advertisements. Dixon said fans who attended Major League and National League Lacrosse, as well as area youth groups, were also targeted.
More than 40,000 student-athletes compete in 88 NCAA-sponsored championships every year. Host institutions, conferences and NCAA staff are dedicated to ensuring that all of them experience a quality atmosphere from the moment selections are announced to the final whistle.
“We reached out to parks and recreation organizations and club teams,” Dixon said. “We did that all across the country. We had the first Youth Lacrosse Day, in fact, on May 29.”
The marketing team also took advantage of Ravens games to draw attention to the lacrosse championships.
“We have more than 70,000 people at those games,” Dixon said. “We sent out information on our e-newsletters and on Facebook, too.”
The Division I final drew almost 38,000 fans. Dixon believes the crowd would have been larger if a local team had advanced to the national semifinals.
Baltimore is hosting all three NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships again in 2011.
“We created an automatic renewal as an option,” Dixon said. “If you bought tickets by a certain date in 2010, you had the option to renew the same seats for next year. We get a jump on ticket sales this way. There are people in the world of lacrosse who will attend the championship every single year. That’s what they do on Memorial Day weekend.”