Local AAU Associations Can Create Special ?AAU Nights at the Arena? at WNBA Games

The Amateur Athletic Union and the WNBA Announce Partnership

The Amateur Athletic Union and the WNBA have formalized a community partnership at the national level to jointly develop programs that promote health and fitness to young people across the country. The WNBA and the AAU share a common goal -- reaching, motivating and inspiring young people through sports. Attending WNBA games is a great way to do that, especially since AAU Girls Basketball is the most popular of all the 34 AAU sports in the organization. This partnership will help increase exposure for and participation in AAU sports programs on the local level and provide WNBA teams with an enthusiastic audience.

The majority of WNBA fans attend games with a family member because the games are affordable, fun and exciting entertainment for the whole family, young and old alike. WNBA games are not just limited to basketball enthusiasts. In fact, over 75% of the audience at WNBA games are women and girls, many of whom are not traditional sports fans. Regardless of sports interest or gender, though, WNBA players are excellent role models for young people. Local AAU associations can take advantage of this special opportunity to activate the WNBA partnership by attending or participating in an �AAU Night� at the arena during one of the team�s 2002 home games. The WNBA season tips off on May 25 and ends on August 13. An added bonus of attending a special �AAU Night� at the arena is that your association may receive discount tickets to the game and could be recognized on the arena PA system and/or the jumbotron.

�Working with the WNBA will be a pleasure and a treat for the young people of our organization,� said Bobby Dodd, AAU President. �We expect our entire membership, male and female, to benefit from the fun filled nights and excellent talent that will be on display during the competition. Add to that the off court camaraderie between player and fan and this is what the game should be all about. We look forward to a long lasting relationship between the AAU and the WNBA�.

"The popularity of AAU and high school girls basketball has soared in the last ten years," said Val Ackerman, WNBA President. "This partnership helps both the AAU and the WNBA nurture that interest and introduce young female athletes to extraordinary role models both on and off the court."

** The AAU and WNBA partnership can offer you a myriad of additional benefits, depending on the level of your group�s local participation:

  • WNBA player and/or coach appearances at group events
  • WNBA player-led and/or coach-led basketball clinics for AAU teams
  • Possible Olympic or collegiate athlete speaker for sports other than basketball prior to the game
  • Concourse tabling at WNBA arena (to enable associations to distribute program and recruitment information)
  • Participation in pre-game ball exchange with WNBA players
  • Behind-the-scenes arena tour
  • On-court activity (scrimmage, honorary ball person, etc.)
  • Overnight sleep-over in the arena
  • Fundraising opportunities (auction items availability, etc.)

    **Exact benefits to be negotiated between WNBA teams and local AAU Association/team

    The National AAU is asking associations with proximity to a WNBA team to take advantage of this great opportunity by inviting a WNBA representative to come to a meeting of all the local sports team managers to promote the WNBA �AAU Night� opportunity. Don�t delay! Many WNBA teams are already making plans to host special nights for other groups and want to be available to come to your meeting. Please schedule these meetings as soon as possible by calling the WNBA team contact listed for your local area on the attached sheet.

    AAU ContactWNBA National Contact
    Eddie Clinton: AAU Manager of Girls BasketballKarin Buchholz: Director of Fan Development
    (407) 828-3162212-407-8657
    Email address: eddie@aausports.orgEmail address: kbuchholz@wnba.com