The CIAA and Urban Sports & Entertainment Group Form Partnership with Aspire for 2015-16 Championship Events

October 7, 2015

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The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and Urban Sports & Entertainment Group (USEG), an experiential marketing firm that specializes in the multicultural marketplace, reached an agreement with The Aspire Group (Aspire), the global leader in athletic revenue enhancement, to provide strategic consulting & research and ticket marketing & sales support for the upcoming 2015 CIAA Football Championship and the 2016 CIAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament.

“It is our goal to make sure the CIAA Football and Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships are the premier sporting events in North Carolina and that each attendee has an excellent experience starting from the point of purchase,” stated Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner. “Urban Sports & Entertainment had tremendous results working with The Aspire Group on one of their other properties, Honda Battle of the Bands, and we wanted these CIAA Championships to see the same benefits.”

For the CIAA football and basketball championships, Aspire will assign two sales and service consultants to assist fans with purchasing tickets and addressing associated questions from their National Sales Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Aspire will also provide strategic e-marketing support to digitally pre-qualify leads and improve sales efficiency.

Darren Arnold, Senior Director of Aspire’s National Sales Center, will be the liaison between Aspire, the CIAA and Urban Sports & Entertainment Group. In 2014, Darren was responsible for overseeing the Honda Battle of the Bands campaign, which increased their revenue by 35% and produced their highest attendance in over 5 years.

“We are ecstatic to be working with the CIAA as a partner to provide the best fan experience possible across both the football and basketball championships this year,” stated Darren Arnold. “We want to provide a customer centric approach that appeals to CIAA fans both young and old and it’s our goal to have every fan walk away from each championship with a lifelong memory and a desire to come back year-after-year.”

For more information about the CIAA conference and its championship sports visit, For more information about the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament visit,


About the CIAA

Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first African-American athletic conference and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 16 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine’s University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem State University. For more information about the CIAA conference and its championship sports visit, For more information about the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament visit, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

About The Aspire Group

The Aspire Group is a global sports and entertainment marketing firm that specializes in enhancing all revenue streams while building lifelong fans for our clients through superb fan engagement and service. The Aspire Group currently works with client partners in North America, Europe and Australia providing ongoing strategic business consulting and research; outsourced services; and implementation support in all facets of sport business and investment optimization. Aspire has become the global leader in outsourced revenue enhancement with over 40 collegiate properties in the USA and over 100 additional sports and entertainment properties who have trusted Aspire to drive revenue, attendance and enterprise value. In 2015, The Aspire Group was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Top Ten Best Places To Work For In Sports” and nominated by Sports Business Journal for a “Best In Property Consulting, Sales And Client Services” award for the second time. For more information, please visit

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