Local Awareness and Engagement Spikes Following Grassroots, Influencer and Paid Campaign for Women's Final Four®

  • Challenge

    Promote awareness and encourage participation in unique Women’s Final Four events outside actual basketball games

  • Solution

    Developed and executed a comprehensive promotional plan including grassroots awareness, influencer outreach and paid media

  • Results

    Converted >40 percent of database contacts into event leads; generated >5.4 million media impressions



With a packed schedule of activities in a market relatively unfamiliar with women's basketball, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) engaged GFM to leverage a limited advertising and promotions budget to promote local market awareness of the many fan events surrounding the Women’s Final Four in Denver.


2012 NCAA® Women's Final Four®

In partnership with the marketing and communications teams at the NCAA, as well as its local partners at VISIT DENVER and Denver Sports, GFM's team worked as a local NCAA extension to develop and execute a comprehensive plan including grassroots awareness, influencer outreach and paid media in the Denver market. The effort was anchored by a GFM-cultivated database containing local contacts from a broad range of civic, community, youth, school districts and business stakeholders. To maximize the NCAA's limited paid advertising budget, GFM partnered with local media buying firm, Emico Media.

In addition, GFM led several Denver-specific initiatives including a number of firsts for the NCAA:

  • Collaboration with the Colorado High School Activities Association to promote the events at state high school basketball tournaments
  • Street teams handing out information to families during the Denver St. Patrick's Day Parade
  • Outreach to mom bloggers and hyperlocal media outlets
  • Implementation of the Denver Community Drive that awarded $2,500 to the local nonprofit with the greatest number of attendees at the Tourney Town fan festival


The Women's Final Four enjoyed incredible success in Denver. In the days before the event, strategic allocation of the advertising budget led to high-impact placements with significant value ad opportunities.

Together with NCAA and its local partners, GFM converted more than 40 percent of the database contacts into leads for the fan events and generated more than 5.4 million media impressions via paid campaigns and direct community outreach.

For the events that GFM was responsible for promoting, nearly 20,000 adults and youth participated in the three-day Tourney Town, and another 10,000 children participated in other NCAA-sponsored community events.