DAVIS, Calif. — UC Davis is one of 30 institutions nationwide, and one of only five on the West Coast, selected to participate in the 2018-19 NCAA Women’s Basketball Advancement Program, the organization announced.
A two-year pilot program launched prior to the 2017-18 campaign as an initiative to raise awareness of women’s basketball and enhance attendance, the program aims to grow the game through marketing and branding efforts. Through their participation, member institutions will collaborate with industry leaders in those fields, while seeking out creative minds from college basketball marketers across the country.
The areas of concentration include social media use, digital advertising, student marketing, season ticket marketing, single-game ticket marketing, public relations planning, and event presentation. Each school will be assigned industry leaders committed to helping schools audit their marketing plans, developing best practices, and evaluating the effectiveness of budget, communications, promotions, and game atmosphere, throughout the season.
Consultants will begin working with universities in June to give each institution enough time to develop a marketing plan in time for the 2018-19 campaign.
UC Davis is coming off a two-year stretch that has seen the Aggies post a combined 53-15 overall record — including 28 victories last season that ranks second in school history — while setting or tying 11 school single-season records and ranking among the top 50 in the nation in 12 different categories in 2017-18.
Head Coach Jennifer Gross was named the Big West Coach of the Year for the second straight year and was one of 10 finalists for the WBCA National Coach of the Year award. Record-setting junior forward Morgan Bertsch was named to the All-Big West first team, seniors Pele Gianotti and Rachel Nagel earned second team laurels, senior Dani Nafekh was an honorable mention selection as well as a CoSIDA Academic All-District second team honoree, and newcomer Cierra Hall was named to the all-freshman team.
The program’s success brought the fans out to The Pavilion in droves as UC Davis drew a total of 18,010 fans for 15 home contests last season — including hosting the program’s first postseason game at the Division I level in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament — marking the second-highest home attendance mark in the program’s Division I history, while averaging better than 1,000 fans (1,201) for the fourth consecutive year en route to a 14-1 record at The Pavilion.