GCI Tips Off Title Sponsorship of Great Alaska Shootout

Alaska’s top telecommunications company will tip off its title sponsorship of the largest state’s biggest basketball event.

The 2014 GCI Shootout begins tonight in the new 5,000-seat Alaska Airlines Center on the campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.  The event runs through Nov. 29 and features the host Seawolves in eight-team men’s and four-squad women’s fields.

GCI, which is also the venue’s official technology partner, is using the event to expand its brand presence and product sampling with a number of on-site and on-air executions.  The MSO, which succeeded Carrs Safeway as the tourney's title sponsor, will give attendees a chance to win 1 million Alaska Airlines miles, as well as the latest smartphones, tablets and accessories via its Tech Toy Giveaway.

Every child in attendance can take home a free GCI Great Alaska Shootout basketball, as well as become festooned with temporary tattoos at the operator’s new retail store within the venue. 

“As Alaska’s leading telecommunications company, it is fitting that we would be the company now dedicated to renewing the original interest and excitement around this tournament,” said GCI senior vice president and general manager of consumer services Paul Landes. “GCI is looking forward to finding new ways to engage Alaskan fans and families. Our goal is to get everyone in the community excited about coming to experience the Great Alaska Shootout at the new Alaska Airlines Center.”

From a television perspective, GCI will televise five of the games on its origination channel.  CBS Sports Network, which is not distributed by GCI, will air eight of the games nationally.

In addition to the host team, former tournament champion Washington State, four-time competitor Pacific University and newcomers Colorado State, Mercer, Missouri State, Rice and University of California Santa Barbara will vie for the men’s crown.

On the distaff side of the court, the she Seawolves will be up against Boise State, Long Beach State and Yale for the title of GCI Shootout champion.