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CSL Daily

June 17, 2009

Center for Sport Leadership Presents Lobs & Lessons with $1,000 Donation

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The Center for Sport Leadership proudly presented Lobs & Lessons with a $1,000 check on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 after raising money for the program through Kickin’ 4 Kidz. The Kickin’ 4 Kidz event, held on April 8, 2009, hosted more than two hundred children for a fun-filled day of soccer and other festivities at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Virginia. The children, from nine Richmond-area community centers including the Downtown YMCA, Peter Paul Development Center, Greater Richmond YMCA, Police Athletic League, Southside Boys and Girls Club, Southwood Boys and Girls Club, Capital One Boys and Girls Club, Central Boys and Girls Club, and West End Boys and Girls Club, participated in a morning of soccer skills instruction followed by an afternoon of soccer games. The soccer festivities were accompanied by a carnival-like festival consisting of entertainment activities including inflatables, face painting, and music and dancing from Radio Disney.

Through community donations, the Center for Sport Leadership raised funds to donate to the Lobs & Lessons program. Lobs & Lessons was started as a SportsCenter student project in 2004 and now operates under VCU’s Office of Community Engagement. Lobs & Lessons promotes education and life skills for elementary school-aged, economically disadvantaged children through the combination of mentoring, tutoring and tennis. Center for Sport Leadership students provide more than 2,000 service hours each school year by working with Lobs & Lessons and other community service groups.

Hunter Leemon (Center for Sport Leadership student, class of 2009) and Carrie LeCrom (Assistant Director, Center for Sport Leadership) presented the check to Kathleen Bowles (director of Lobs & Lessons), and Elizabeth Frazier and Michael Frazier (CEO, Genworth Financial and program sponsor of Lobs & Lessons). “The Center for Sport Leadership is thrilled to make this donation to Lobs & Lessons and to continue to support the program by providing mentors,” said LeCrom. “Our graduate students treasure their time with the Lobs & Lessons children while at the same time developing a servant leadership base that they can build on throughout their lives. The strong relationship between the Center for Sport Leadership and Lobs & Lessons is one that has brought both programs much success and we look forward to continuing this in the future.”

June 3, 2009

Tomasini and VCU Conduct Economic Impact for Carolina Football

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (May 13, 2009) – The 2008 North Carolina-Notre Dame football game generated an economic impact of $6.4 million for the Chapel Hill and Orange County economies plus $325,000 in local and state tax revenue, according a study by Nathan Tomasini of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Sport Leadership.

“The results of this study clearly indicate the tremendous economic benefit of home football games for Chapel Hill and the surrounding community,” said UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with many community organizations to make Kenan Stadium and Chapel Hill the best place there is to enjoy a college football weekend.”

Last year, eight Chapel Hill area organizations united to produce the “Touch Downtown Chapel Hill” campaign with the shared goal of bolstering the community, hometown spirit and economic activity during football weekends in 2008.

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, Town of Chapel Hill, UNC Department of Athletics, The UNC Rams Club, Tar Heel Sports Properties and UNC General Alumni Association were partners in the campaign.

“Touch Downtown” strived to encourage football fans, both residents and visitors, to start early and stay late in the Chapel Hill area after the game ends and enjoy nearly 100 restaurants, 50 specialty stores and a mile of family cultural attractions.

Among other key findings in the study:

- The average age of attendees was slightly higher (45-54) than the average collegiate football attendee across the country (mid 30s), although the average age of a Carolina attendee has slightly decreased over the past few years.

- A total of 83.9% of attendees came from North Carolina. Indiana, home to Notre Dame, represented 2.3% of the attendance population, totaling approximately 1,400 people. In addition, 41.2% of Notre Dame fans came from North Carolina, with many of the fans coming from Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.

- Of the 83.9% of attendees that came from North Carolina, 38.6% came from the Triangle.

- A total of 45.0% of all attendees planned to attend all Carolina home games.

“UNC Football is certainly an important part of the local visitor economy,” said Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. “And with a coordinated effort like ‘Touch Downtown,’ we look forward to seeing local spending grow continue to grow, which supports local businesses and our important local government services.

“It’s interesting to note that these statistics are very aligned with our destination visitor profiles. The average visitor to all three towns is 49 years old, from North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia and has a median household income higher than the national average. They like to shop and play while here.”

In 2009, the partners are committed to enhancing both the gameday and destination experience when North Carolina faces The Citadel on September 5, East Carolina on September 19, Virginia on October 3, Georgia Southern on October 10, Florida State on October 22, Duke on November 7 and Miami on November 14. They plan to build upon many of last year’s marketing vehicles that included magazine, radio and interactive ads, street banners, a dedicated web site TouchDowntown.com, email blasts, brochures, a concerted communications and publicity push and numerous cross promotions.

“In today’s economy, it’s important to ask for the business,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. “There was a day when we could assume our streets, hotels and restaurants would be full but other communities have stepped up their efforts to attract Carolina fans and we must do the same. ‘Touch Downtown’ tells fans – new and seasoned – that Chapel Hill wants their business. That’s a smart move.”

Nathan Tomasini, Ph.D., is the Director of the Center for Sport Leadership, a graduate program in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to his work with the University of North Carolina Athletics, Tomasini’s client list includes the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Sky Conference, Gonzaga Basketball, Ironman, the National Hockey League and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.