June 2, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame, in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), announced Monday that it will sponsor the inaugural WBCA Pink Zone Challenge, to be held during the 2008-09 season.
The Challenge will be a friendly fund-raising competition, with the top 20 women's basketball programs in the final 2007-08 NCAA national attendance rankings being invited to participate. Each of these schools will be charged with trying to collect the most money through the Pink Zone initiative (formerly known as "Think Pink"), a global, unified effort for the WBCA's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.
"The WBCA Pink Zone is such a wonderful and worthwhile concept, and we believe this competition will serve as a catalyst to take that effort to a whole new level," Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw said. "I hope my fellow coaches will join us in making the WBCA Pink Zone Challenge an important part of the upcoming season, and for many seasons to come."
"I am excited to see schools taking the initiative to challenge other participants," WBCA CEO Beth Bass said. "Our coaches are so competitive and to take this quality off the court for such a worthwhile cause will take Pink Zone to new heights in 2009. I hope this is only the beginning in the new wave of Pink Zone efforts and that women's basketball coaches will continue to unify in the fight against breast cancer."
The WBCA Pink Zone started two years ago, with more than 120 schools unifying for this effort and helping to make the inaugural campaign a success. In 2008, over 1,100 teams and organizations participated, reaching more than 830,000 fans and raising more than $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. Participants have shown their support for the Pink Zone through such unique displays as pink uniforms, warm-ups, shoes and officials' whistles.
The first-ever WBCA Pink Zone Challenge will take place during one specially-designated home game from Feb. 13-22, 2009, although some schools may not have a home game scheduled within that time frame and will compete as close to that window as possible. Participating schools will report their total fund-raising amounts to WBCA Director of Communications Summer McKesson by March 15, 2009.
The inaugural WBCA Pink Zone Challenge winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention at the 2009 NCAA Women's Final Four, which is slated to take place April 5 & 7 in St. Louis. The winning school will be presented with a special trophy, to be provided by the University of Notre Dame.