FRANKLIN, Tenn., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Infiniti today announced that it will once again partner with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the NCAA® and ESPN as the sponsor of the "Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge." Now in its third year, Infiniti, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, will make a $100,000 donation to the winning coach's designated charity. The program, expanded last year, pits 48 NABC coaches from the nation's top NCAA Division I men's basketball programs in a fan-vote challenge, with the total Infiniti contribution of $335,000.
Fan participation will determine the ultimate winner over an eight-week period beginning January 14 by registering and voting on a custom microsite on www.ESPN.com/Infiniti. For the first six weeks, four brackets of 12 coaches will be paired against each other, with the winners from each group moving onto the next round in week seven and the final round in week eight. Fans can vote for one coach per region per day. The winning coach will be announced March 11, 2013.
Among the participating coaches, and their charities are: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke, Emily Krzyzewski Center; John Beilein, Michigan, The St. Louis Center; Sean Miller, Arizona, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Southern Arizona; and Bill Self, Kansas, Assists Foundation. All 48 coaches' charities are guaranteed at least $5,000 from Infiniti.
"Last season, Infiniti was pleased to present Ohio State University men's basketball coach Thad Matta a $100,000 check for his charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, for winning the annual "Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge," said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. "We know Coach Matta will plan on defending his title, but the 47 other coaches and their fans are going to put up a great fight."
"College basketball coaches across America contribute in so many ways throughout the year for numerous national and local charitable organizations as well as community projects and initiatives," said Jim Haney, executive director of the NABC. "The Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge enables college basketball fans to team with these outstanding coaches in providing significant financial support and awareness for so many worthy programs."
The Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge will be promoted each week through a wide range of media, including the ESPN Game of the Week, Facebook and other social media.
ESPN's promotions kicks off with four new integrated content pieces on ESPN.com/Infiniti. Voiced over by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the pieces feature a who's who of top-level college coaches, including Roy Williams (UNC), Mark Gottfried (North Carolina State), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Tom Crean (Indiana), Brad Stevens (Butler), Matt Painter (Purdue), Bob Huggins (West Virginia) and Ron Hunter (Georgia State). The first piece premieres today during the Tennessee vs. Kentucky game beginning at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, and will run during approximately 14 college hoops games on ESPN this season from now through early March. Each offers a humorous take on how great coaches can still struggle with things like fundraising. The pieces – available online at Infiniti's YouTube channel – shows the coaches selling cookies, hosting a car wash, running a marathon and playing a round of golf together. ESPN CreativeWorks collaborated with creative agency TBA\Chiat\Day New York for the pieces.
"Infiniti is proud to once again support NCAA Division I men's basketball and the NABC and their outstanding efforts in raising funds and support for their designated charities," added Poore. "We're also looking forward to joining fans across the nation for a great season of outstanding competition on the courts."
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, Infiniti M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, the QX full-size SUV and the all-new Infiniti JX luxury crossover. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at www.InfinitiUSA.com.
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports.
Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. [NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.]
About the National Association of Basketball Coaches
Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Forrest "Phog" Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game.
The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men's basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today's student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.org.