BOSTON - Choice Hotels International has entered into a three-year agreement to become the official hotel partner of the America East Conference and title sponsor of the conference`s Men`s Basketball Championship. Choice brands will be promoted exclusively to America East athletic directors and coaches, who generate approximately 14,000 room nights annually. In addition, Choice Hotels will also receive television exposure, championship public address announcements and championship event signage throughout the 2002-03 season as part of the America East Conference package as well as radio exposure, signage, on-court corporate representation and in-game promotions during the men`s basketball tournament. Game program and ticket advertising, the inclusion of Choice Hotels in the championship logo and exposure via the conference`s web site—americaeast.com—is also included.
Choice will provide the America East and its member institutions with a centralized number for hotel reservations and discounted room rates at over 3,300 properties throughout the United States and Canada.
“We are tremendously pleased to have Choice Hotels International as the title sponsor of our men`s basketball championship,” said Chris Monasch, Commissioner of America East Conference. “We appreciate Choice Hotels support of America East and our nine institutions and look forward to a long-term partnership.”
Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) franchises more than 5,000 hotels, inns, all-suite hotels and resorts open and under development in 46 countries under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Rodeway Inn, Econo Lodge, and MainStay Suites brands.
“This partnership will generate revenue for our franchisees and also enhance Choice`s corporate identity and brand image in the sports marketplace and for that we are truly excited,” said Brian Parker, director of sports marketing and sales for Choice Hotels International. “We`re looking forward to providing sports teams from America East institutions with quality accommodations while they`re on the road competing.”
It is the first title sponsorship for the America East Men`s Basketball Championship, which began in 1979-80 as the ECAC North Championship. America East has utilized the present single-site championship format since the 1995-96 season.
Boston University and Northeastern University will co-host the 2003 Choice Hotels America East Men`s Basketball Championship at Walter Brown Arena on the Boston University campus. Quarterfinal games will be played Sunday, March 9. Semifinal games are scheduled for Monday, March 10. The championship game will be played at the home court of the higher seeded team on Saturday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
America East, a 21-sport conference, attracts fans from many of the top markets in the Northeast including New York and Boston. America East will consist of nine men`s basketball teams in 2002-03: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont. Binghamton will not eligible until the 2004 Choice Hotels America East Men`s Basketball Championship due to its transition to Division I.
Game times and ticket information for the 2003 Choice Hotels America East Men`s Basketball Championship will be announced at a later date.
Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites, and Rodeway Inn are registered trademarks of Choice Hotels International.