March 19, 2012
RUSTON - After five years of the NCAA Division I "Pack the House" Challenge, Louisiana Tech stands alone.
For the fifth straight year, Louisiana Tech was the Western Athletic Conference's winner of the NCAA's "Pack the House" Challenge - a national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to build attendance at their women's basketball games.
"When I found out that we had won for a fifth straight year, I just started smiling," said Tech Assistant A.D. for Marketing/Game Management Leah Beasley. "Louisiana Tech is the only school in the country to win this for five straight years. I'm so proud to be a part of an administration that promotes creativity and growth of a huge event such as this. It's great to have the opportunity to promote such a tradition-rich program as our Lady Techsters."
The initiative was started by the NCAA in 2007 in an effort to help promote women's basketball nationwide. Division I women's basketball marketing staffs select a home game and designate that date as a "Pack the House" game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 32 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions are chosen each year, with the selections being based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria.
Louisiana Tech is the only school in the country to have won the award for its respective conference every year. LA Tech was one of 153 institutions participating in the effort this year, attracting more than 431,000 total fans across the country.
"We greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and support of our basketball fans and supporters who has been so instrumental in our success the past five years with this promotion," said Tech Director of Athletics Bruce Van De Velde. "I want to congratulate Leah Beasley and our staff for organizing this year's event, making it a great success and winning the NCAA Pack the House Challenge for the fifth consecutive year."
This year's theme was "Fairwell Fresno State: The Rematch" as Beasley and her staff centered the promotion around the Feb. 4 rivalry game with Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State. After last year's success that saw more than 7,000 fans watch the Lady Techsters down the Bulldogs 90-84 in an emotional overtime contest, Beasley felt that it only made sense to play off of that particular match-up again.
It worked. With promotions such as carnival rides, a petting zoo, free food and discounted ticket prices, the game drew more than 7,000 fans once again as Fresno State defeated LA Tech 61-59 in another exciting game before a great college basketball atmosphere.
Winners of the 2011-12 NCAA "Pack the House" Challenge are:
America East - Vermont
Atlantic Coast - Virginia
Atlantic Sun - Florida Gulf Coast
Atlantic 10 - Massachusetts
Big East - Marquette
Big Sky -Sacramento State
Big South - Winthrop
Big Ten - Iowa
Big 12 - Kansas State
Big West - Long Beach State
Colonial - Delaware
Conference USA - Memphis
Great West - New Jersey Institute
Horizon - Green Bay
Ivy - Pennsylvania
Metro Atlantic - Canisius
Mid-American - Central Michigan
Mid-Eastern - Morgan State
Missouri Valley - Missouri State
Mountain West - Air Force
Northeast - Central Connecticut State
Ohio Valley - Did Not Participate
Pacific-12 - California
Patriot - Bucknell
Southeastern - Kentucky
Southern - Georgia Southern
Southland - Sam Houston State
SWAC - Southern University
Summit - Oral Roberts
Sun Belt - South Alabama
West Coast - Portland
WAC - Louisiana Tech
Independents - Longwood
OVERALL WINNER California- Pacific 12