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Enhancing the FAN EXPERIENCE

The Athletic Department has partnered with a dozen community sponsors to raise money for its new “Championship Drive” program.

Championship Drive is “a culmination of ideas” to assist the University’s teams, said Paul McNeal, coordinator of athletic department development.

The Championship Drive initiative, announced in July, helps raise money to support teams that qualify for national tournament competition. Sponsors help cover costs for travel, meals, hotel stays and other related expenses.

“One of the most amazing experiences a student-athlete can have is competing at a national tournament,” MVNU Director of Athletics Aaron Quinn said in a press release.

The Drive began with the department’s new philosophy, MVNUnited, which promotes unity within the athletic department, the campus and the community.

“Unity begins with community,” McNeal said.

Wendy’s, Mount Vernon Grand Hotel, Mohican Sports Medicine, Karhl and Company Insurance, First-Knox National Bank, Comfort Inn, Crossfit 1808, Options Plus Furniture, Knox Community Hospital, Domino’s, Revere Roofing Company and CES Credit Union are all partners with the Drive, meaning they have exchanged money and prizes for promotion and advertising.

This promotion and advertising includes T-shirt giveaways, business mentions during games, the opportunity to set up an information table near the gate, mentions on WNZR, banners in Ariel Arena and the baseball and softball fields, and the opportunity to partner with the Athletic Department to sponsor specific games.

Partnering for a game means more fan participation, with chances to win prizes and other giveaways, McNeal said. MVNU students are likely to see shooting competitions and other promotional events as this year. These events will be most evident during men’s basketball games.

McNeal began contacting area businesses this summer to set up the Championship Drive partnerships.

“It’s just been a blessing,” McNeal said. “The work we are doing here in the Athletic Department has been so well received throughout the community.”

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