“THAT’S GREAT … but my TEAM isn’t going to the SHOW!”

Dejected Basketball TeamLess than twenty per cent of the 351 Division I colleges and universities get invited to the NCAA tournament each year.  But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t proceed with the March Madness activities and events suggested in “Forget the Activity Calendar. . . ACT NOW!” [http://wp.me/pCemc-j8] if your favorite team wasn’t selected.  This article includes five additional methods to tie into the excitement created by college hoops at this time of year.

 

NIT Logo♥  If you live in West Virginia, you might want to switch your focus to the National Invitation Tournament (“NIT”), which includes 32 additional teams and concludes with the final games played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi and Vermont join West Virginia as additional states represented in the NIT that were excluded from the original 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Cinderella     There are 32 Conferences included in the NCAA Tournament.  Determine what conference that your local school belongs to and then your residents can cheer for (or against → in some cases fans will root for “my school or whoever plays ABC University!”) the Conference Champion who is at the Big Dance.  Frequently these teams from the smaller conference – who only get an automatic bid by winning their conference tournament – become the Cinderella team of the tournament.   Will their trip end after one game or will they go “deep into the tournament”?

Even if this doesn’t apply to your local team, let your residents pick a Cinderella team from one of the non-major conferences and support them in the tournament.

  There are 14 different sites where the tournament games will be played over the next 3 weeks, including Dayton, OH for the four “play-in” games on March 18 & 19.  Even though there are no Indiana schools in the tournament, Indianapolis will be the location of the Midwest Regional Finals on March 28 – 30.  If you are near one of these locations, there should be a lot of local press in newspapers, TV, etc. that you can tie into.  You don’t have to do a full “Bracketology”, but have fun by picking the winners in the local games.  Set up pools for a) largest margin of victory, b) total margin of victory (all games), c) number of overtime games, etc.  Vote for favorite coach and/or player.  If you’re into social media, sponsor that person online.

  If your local team’s season is over, contact the Athletic Department and request a visit from someone on the coaching staff and/or the Cheer Squad.  Explain what you are doing to involve your aging adult residents and ask them to participate in your “life-long-learning” series by presenting a 15 – 20 presentation on how the tournaments work, etc.   Tell them that you know how hard they work and that your residents want to recognize their achievements in this season as you wish them more success in the future.  Build the foundation for an on-going, inter-generational relationship with the school.  Consider the residents’ excitement to have the Cheer Squad do a couple of routines for them in your building and maybe have the mascot speak.

Cheer Squads

Star Difference If you really want to “think outside of the box”, work with the Athletic Department to create several special awards that could be presented in a ceremony at your community (e.g.  Above and Beyond, All-Around Excellence, Rising Star, Leadership/Citizenship, etc.→ contact me directly for more ideas and help in implementation).   This is another great way to generate “free press” and present your community in a very positive fashion.

♥  Finally, there are another 64 teams in the Women’s UT - UConn Ladies BasketballNCAA Basketball Tournament.  Because of the preponderance of females in our resident populations, this may offer a particularly attractive alternative for celebrating March Madness, which will be addressed in a subsequent article.

The important thing is to DO SOMETHING!  Don’t be a slave to your published activity calendar and miss this opportunity to improve the interactive lifestyle of your residents.

NCAA Basketballs

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Forget the Activity Calendar . . . ACT NOW!

NCAA BasketballOne of the most publicized CURRENT EVENTS that involves millions of people in the workplace every year IS HAPPENING NOW→  the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  What are you doing to involve your residents in the excitement that permeates our entire society – aka “March Madness”?

  • There are 68 schools in the Tournament.
  • The schools represent 32 stat2014 March Madnesses plus the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) {65% of states}.
  • Two-thirds of these States have more than one school in the tournament.
  • One-third have 3 or more schools participating.
  • 4 states:  California, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas have 4 schools included.

Can you identify a participating school from your state and generate interest and support from your resident population for that school(s)?  For multi-school states, you’ve got a perfect opportunity to create some friendly competition within your community to produce an additional level of excitement.

  • Set up your own March Madness Tournament as indicated in my prior blog articles: https://progressiveretirement.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/march-madness/
  • Contact me directly to discuss ways in which you might turn this into a Marketing Event.
  • Have a fundraiser by letting residents, employees and visitors deposit coins (pennies, dimes or quarters – depending upon your resident population) into different jars based upon the team that they expect to go the farthest in the tournament.  Donate the proceeds to a designated charity!

An interesting feature is that the tournament often features a school from a “smaller” conference, so that a State such as Georgia is represented by Mercer University from Macon, GA this year while the more well-known University of Georgia (SEC) and Georgia Tech (ACC) squads were not selected.2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament

  • Here is an opportunity for a “life-long learning” session to educate your residents about the history, culture and achievements of one of these smaller schools in your state.  Contact a local alumni association and/or the college or university Alumni office to find a potential speaker.
  • Stimulate conversation about why different schools in your area were selected over other more recognized schools.  For example:
    • TEXAS:  Stephen F. Austin and Texas Southern selected;  SMU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU not selected.
    • LOUISIANA:  Louisiana-Lafayette “in”; LSU “out”.
    • MARYLAND:  Mount St. Mary’s in the tournament; Maryland is not.
    • SOUTH CAROLINA:  Wofford and Coastal Carolina “in”; Clemson & South Carolina “out”.
    • Ohio should have great competition with Dayton playing Ohio State in a first round game and both Cincinnati and Xavier in “the Big Dance”.

Survey your residents (and prospects) to determine connections to the tournament participants:

  • Score a “hit” if you have anyone who graduated, attended or was married to someone from any of the schools in the tournament.
  • Make it a “home run” if they played basketball in college.
  • Call it a “grand slam” if you happen to be lucky enough to have someone who actually played in the NCAA tournament.
    • TRIVIA:  The tournament was organized in 1939 with the Oregon Ducks beating Ohio State to win the first championship.
    • UCLA leads all schools with 11 National Championships!

One of the nice things about this tournament is the number of games that are played and broadcast during the middle of the day.

  • Decorate your “TV rooms” with the big screen TVs with the local school colors.
  • Have a special meal appropriate to your region and school or that might be found at a tournament site (e.g. hot dogs & fries).  Serve popcorn during the game.
  • Show your Colors:  give prizes for best dressed in team colors, mascot look-a-likes, etc.
  • Show the movie “Hoosiers” (one of the Top Ten Sports movies of all-time) to stimulate excitement.  SORRY, INDIANA, NOTRE DAME and other Indiana colleges and universities – no one made “the show” this year!

Set up your own “bracketology” and let the residents project the winners.  I recommend that residents be given a gift/prize for participation and then for each correct projection.  PLEASE CONSULT WITH ME TO LEARN INNOVATIVE WAYS TO RECOGNIZE AND REWARD RESIDENTS.  NCAA-Tournament-Printable-Bracket-2014

  • Instead of predicting the entire “bracket”, it probably makes more sense for your residents to handle each round as a program unto itself.  There are 36 games this coming week and that is more than enough challenge for the residents.  Your objective should be to have as many continuing participants as possible over the next few weeks.   Therefore, you want as many “winners” as possible and no eliminations from the early rounds to keep them motivated to continue their participation.
  • As an alternative, you might get a panel of residents to predict a particular bracket and then challenge a panel from the staff to see who would get the most victories.   Potentially, this could involve a number of participants with 4 teams from both the residents and staff.
  • Another option is to get a Staff Prognosticator who will post their bracket (or bracket for each round) and then allow the residents to bet for or against the Prognosticator’s projection for each game.  In most cases, these would be penny or nickel bets.  Any “net” winnings by the prognosticator would be donated to charity (and/or activity supplies/equipment for the residents).

REMEMBER:  You are only limited by your imagination!

NCAA March Madness