SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 35 of 75

January 2018 36 SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue The Wyoming 3x3 basketball tournament has been going strong for 22 years, bringing 165 teams and more than 825 players and more than a thousand spectators last year to the event which has been held in Casper, Wyoming, for the past three years. Athletes and spectators travel from as far away as South Dakota, Colo- rado, Nebraska and Montana to participate and watch the action, creating a positive economic impact for the area. When John Giantonio, director of the Casper Sports Alliance (CSA), and his staff learned the tournament was looking for a new home after 17 years in Thermopolis, Wyoming, it was quickly decided that Casper's revitalized downtown with new bars, restaurants, entertainment and venues would make a perfect place to hold the fun-filled basketball event. Now, World Events Incorporated, the founder of the 3x3 tournament and the Casper Sports Alliance (CSA) work together to make the Wyoming 3x3 a showcase event on Memorial Day weekend. Using the streets of Casper around the new David Street Station, the tournament is viewed as a festival of downtown excitement during the largest and longest running 3x3 tournament in the state. Sponsored by local automotive dealership, Foss Motors, the 2018 tournament will continue its success in its third year and become one of the championships for the Cowboy State Games – National Congress of State Games. "It truly is the official state championship," Giantonio said. "With 3x3 basketball a part of the 2020 Olympics, we are working with USA Basketball to make this event one of the tour- naments in the qualifying process." Giantonio said CSA and World Events are equal partners with the Casper Sports Alliance overseeing marketing, promotion, volunteers, venues, permits, sponsors, security, road closures, business notifications and financial support. The privately held World Events launched by Kim Dennis in 1998, recruits teams, organizes registration, hires game officials and works with all third-party entities. Dennis, the chairman of World Events Sports Marketing consults and contracts national events with established national brands. In addition to the Wyoming 3x3, World Events negotiated direct contracts with the NCAA Final Four Hoop City, the Bracket Town Project, the NFL Flag Youth Football Program and numerous NBA teams such as the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers. They have also been involved with charities, colleges and corporate clients such as the New York City World Police and Fireman Games, the PAC 10 Conference, Nike and Allstate and continue to lead the grassroots sporting event business, according to Giantonio. When Giantonio, a 27-year veteran in the sports industry formed the Casper Sports Alliance in 2014, he was already a veteran developer of three award-winning sports commissions in the United States. With his vision, the CSA was formed as a 501 (c )(3) organization that supports the Proud to Host the Best committee in its work with the Wyoming High School Activities Association and the Cowboy State Games. As part of its mission, the sports alliance pursues, supports and attracts sporting events and sports-related business opportunities to the Casper area. "Upon calling World Events, we discussed how Casper was undergoing a renaissance in the downtown area and how our central location in the state of Wyoming made our location the best location for the tourna- ment," Giantonio said. "It was quickly decided that with the background, experience and all the amenities we have to offer that Casper is the perfect place for holding the tournament." "These efforts continuously raise the sports profile of the Casper area and Wyoming while establishing them as a premier sports tourism destination," Giantonio said. For the 3x3 tournament, "We use a three- block area and the new David Street Station, an outdoor entertainment venue, for the tourna- ment. We set up 16 to 20 courts on the streets in downtown Casper. The tournament is both basketball tournament and festival with music, contests, vendors and games going on all day; it's a great weekend to come downtown. In addition, a car show is held the same weekend on an adjacent block with more than 400 cars and as many people. The downtown rocks that weekend! The event makes our downtown area more alive and gives our residents their first weekend to kick-off summer. As you can imagine, we very much enjoy and celebrate our summers here. This event helps solidify Casper as being The Sports Capital for Wyoming. The event creates a valued economic impact on Casper and raises the level of awareness of Casper being a destination with a vibrant downtown and a great place to live." As downtown Casper continues to grow, Giantonio predicts the tournament will attract more participants and spectators to shoot hoops downtown or enjoy all the activities planned during the holiday weekend. Winners of the 3x3 are crowned the best team in the state with teams in the Youth/Adult Competitive and Top-Gun Divisions having the opportunity to advance to the Hoop It Up Nationals and on to the USA Basketball and In- ternational Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Championships. n Wyoming 3x3 John Giantonio, Director Casper Sports Alliance & Cowboy State Games Kim Z. Dennis, Chairman and Manag- ing Director of World Events Sports Marketing, Inc.

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