CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Bemidji State University Department of Athletics has earned gold recognition from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators in the organization's 2019-20 "Best Of" Awards.
Bemidji State won the top honor in the student promotion category for its “Denim Dam Night with Beaver Basketball" student promotion. The goal of denim-themed basketball doubleheader was to encourage student attendance, engagement and a festive atmosphere for an important Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference weekend for BSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, while generating donations for some of the less fortunate in the community through a jean drive.
Students were encouraged to attend the game wearing their favorite pair of jeans, denim item or outfit. The theme was carried through the on-court promotions and games all evening. Students were also given a denim fanny pack emblazoned with the event date and logo if they contributed a denim donation.
In the end, the event was the most well-attended night of the basketball season, up more than 100-percent over average student attendance. BSU also collected nearly 90 pairs of jeans and other denim items that were later donated to local organizations that help provide temporary shelter and safe haven for battered youth and women in the Bemidji community.
“We are proud and humbled to be recognized among some of the most creative and successful marketing teams in collegiate athletics,” said Brad Folkestad, BSU’s Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Marketing. "The NACMA ‘Best Of’ Awards highlight the top ideas from across the country and rewards both innovation and results. To be a gold award recipient for the first time in the history of Beaver Athletics is a tremendous honor.
“Our student marketing interns did an outstanding job creating this fun and exciting atmosphere. They drove the project from the brainstorming process to game day and worked extremely hard to promote the event." Folkestad continued, "But what I am most proud of is that we were able to use leverage a fun event to collect donations that we hope eventually helped individuals and families in our community."
Bemidji State received the gold in Group III of the student promotion category. Embry-Riddle University earned the silver citation and Grand Valley State University the bronze.
This marks the second NACMA “Best Of” Award for Bemidji State since 2017.
The NACMA "Best of" Awards program was initiated in 2003 to honor outstanding achievement in marketing and promotions. There are 16 categories annually and three divisions within each category, based on school size and conference affiliation. Nearly 900 entries were submitted for consideration for the 2019-20 awards.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).