Hope everybody’s had a great week and weekend! I apologize for the tardiness of this post if you were looking for it last week Friday/Saturday, but the MAAC Basketball Championships effectively consumed my life from last Wednesday to earlier tonight. Our group of 7 (including fellow blogger Matt, who will give his take on the tourney later this week…) were in business attire for pretty much the entire weekend, and assisted in everything from operations to on-court promotions to observing what makes a basketball conference championship actually function.
To say that we worked long hours at the tournament would be an understatement. By our count, the 7 of us managed to be at the arena 70 hours over 5 days, which included two days in a row where we were at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard from 7:00 am to 12:00 am. The hours were long, but the experience as a whole was invaluable (and we were even in the background on ESPN2). One of my jobs was to tweet pictures and be involved in media relations during the games, which was a lot of fun. The atmosphere the fans created was indescribably loud and exciting, and my job consisted of capturing a taste of that atmosphere for the conference from a marketing and media perspective. Look for me on Twitter (or just find the MAAC) to get a sense of the kinds of things we were up to.
Personally, my highlight of the tournament took place after the semifinals on Monday, when a good chunk of the staff got together and just played some pickup basketball together. To get all these professionals together, who are dedicated to sport, and just let loose on the court and have some fun playing basketball, was unforgettable, and really gave perspective on what sports can be all about. Professionals ranging from the conference commissioner (who has a mean hook-shot) to some of the interns, we were able to really just enjoy some time together. We played for 2.5 hours or so, and running into everybody the day after, talking about the games we played, just made the tournament that much more special.
Professionally, we met with the commissioner for awhile, who gave us some great advice, and I personally met with the conference’s Senior Associate Commissioner, who deals with compliance and marketing, and I may pursue a fellowship with the conference later on having talked with her for awhile. But anyway, now that we’re back in Buffalo it’s back to the books!