OUA marketing team includes Marauder, Badger

Mark Alfano, manager of facilities and events with the McMaster Marauders, and Shawn Whiteley, Brock Badgers’ sports information and marketing, will sit on the Ontario University Athletics’ new marketing committee which will focus on basketball.

The committee is one of two announced by the OUA. The second group will direct its attention to men’s hockey. Information regarding the formation of an OUA women’s hockey marketing committee will be announced at a later date.

Similar to the previously announced football marketing committee, these new groups will look at ways to build on an already strong product as seen on campuses and arenas across the province, as well as Quebec. Both committees have met over the past couple of weeks as they began laying the groundwork towards maximizing sponsorship and marketing opportunities in these specific sports to the benefit of the entire organization.

In addition to Alfano and Whiteley, members of the basketball committee, chaired by RMC athletic director Darren Cates, include former OUA student-athlete Paul Jones, of the Fan 590 and Raptors TV; Jonathon Chang, manager of marketing partnerships with NBA Canada; Michele O’Keefe, executive director of Basketball Ontario; Howard Bloom, publisher of SportsBusinessNews.com; Mark Wacyk of CISHoops.ca, Dave Smart, head coach of the Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team, Ward Dilse, executive director of OUA; and Christine Stapleton, assistant athletic director of Waterloo Warriors.

The men’s hockey committee is chaired by UOIT athletic director Ken Babcock and includes former NHL player Greg Millen of CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada; Dan O’Toole of TSN Sports centre, Joe Birch, director of recruitment and education services with the OHL; Joe Kantor, vice president of business operations with the Oshawa Generals; Krystle Krasnaj, integrated marketing services with NHL Enterprises Canada; Kevin Boston, director of marketing of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association; Adam Shell, head coach of the RMC Paladins; Marlin Muylaert, head coach of the UOIT Ridgebacks; Kelly Nobes, head coach of the McGill Redmen; Kevin Figsby, head coach of the Concordia Stingers; Vito Castiglione, athletic director of the Nipissing Lakers; Tom Warden, athletic director of the Lakehead Thunderwolves; Dave Easter, marketing and communications with the Guelph Gryphons; Jim McLarty, communications and promotions with the Ryerson Rams; and Scott Dennis, sports information director with the UOIT Ridgebacks.

Both Canadian Interuniversity Sport national basketball tournaments were held in Ontario last March, as the Carleton Ravens hosted the CIS men’s Final 8 at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont., for the third straight year, while the McMaster Marauders hosted the women’s championship.

OUA schools have won seven of the past eight CIS men’s national championships, with Carleton winning six to go along with Brock’s 2007-08 championship. The Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team was a national finalists in 2009-10. The MBNA Capital Hoops Classic featuring the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Ravens at Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ont., has drawn an average of over 9,000 fans the past four seasons.

The Queen’s Cup was played in front of a sold out crowd of 3,735 in Thunder Bay, Ont., as the McGill Redmen defeated the Lakehead Thunderwolves for their second OUA men’s hockey championship in three seasons. The 100th Queen’s Cup will be played in March 2011. Lakehead has hosted the CIS men’s hockey championship tournament the past two seasons and averaged a CIS-leading 3,028 fans during the 2009-10 regular seasons. The Nipissing Lakers 2009-10 debut in OUA hockey was a rousing success, averaging 2,370 fans for home games.