The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF), along with Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY), announced the Ally Tipoff, its newest high-profile event, featuring the women’s basketball teams from the University of Iowa and Virginia Tech facing off on November 9, 2023. Both teams are coming off appearances at the 2023 Women’s Final Four and projected to be Top 10 programs for the 2023-24 season. The matchup will be available on ESPN Platforms with specific details announced at a later date.
Iowa is led by Caitlin Clark, the returning AP Player of the Year and first team All-American, who averaged over 27 points a game and led the country in three pointers made last season. Virginia Tech also features an All-American with Elizabeth Kitley placing on the second team after a season where she was named ACC Player of the Year for the second year in a row after averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds a game.
“We are thrilled to host these incredible teams and players in Charlotte for what we believe will be one of the most compelling women’s basketball games this season,” said CSF executive director Danny Morrison. “With Ally calling Charlotte one of its hometowns and their history of making real impact with their sports sponsorships, we know they are going to be an outstanding teammate in putting on a world-class event. We are pleased to collaborate once again with ESPN Events and the Spectrum Center as we continue to advance our mutual dedication to promoting women’s sports in Charlotte.”
Ally, the nation’s largest digital-only bank, has quickly become a leader in sports with its commitment to the fight for media equity. In May of 2022, Ally announced its 50-50 pledge, a five-year initiative focused on reaching parity across its paid media spending in men’s and women’s sports. Since then, Ally recalibrated its spending in men’s sports and increased its paid media investment in women’s sports by more than 300%.
“The majority of sports fans want to watch women’s sports, but in the past access has been limited,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally. “By partnering with the Charlotte Sports Foundation and ESPN, we’re continuing to invest in access, giving fans the opportunity to watch what they really want. And, as sports fans ourselves, we can’t wait to watch two championship-caliber women’s college basketball teams going head-to-head right here in the Queen City.”
Since its pledge announcement, Ally has also made media investments with:
The Ally Tipoff will be played in Charlotte’s Spectrum Center in partnership with Hornets Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and operates the facility. Tickets will go on sale later in the summer and fans can sign up for more information and presale opportunities at AllyTipoff.com.
“We’re excited to take our team to Charlotte this November and play a quality team such as Virginia Tech, who joined us in the final four last season. This will be another great opportunity to showcase our sport on the national stage and create exposure for our university,” said Lisa Bluder, Iowa head coach.
“I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Ally Tipoff playing against the University of Iowa,” Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks said. “This game will feature high level talent that will showcase two teams that experienced the Final Four last year. This premier matchup will be great not only for our prestigious conferences but will be a great display for women’s basketball.”
“We’re excited to partner with the Charlotte Sports Foundation to host the Ally Tipoff at Spectrum Center,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “We look forward to bringing these two outstanding teams to Charlotte and providing a great experience for them, their supporters and our local fans of women’s basketball.”
“ESPN has a long-standing commitment to elevating women’s sports and ESPN Events plays an integral role in driving that commitment forward,” said Clint Overby, Vice President, ESPN. “This collaboration with the Charlotte Sports Foundation and Ally Financial is the latest effort in seeking innovative ways in which ESPN Events can engage fans in quality events focused on women’s basketball. Charlotte is an excellent staging ground for college sporting events, and we look forward to future opportunities to work with CSF.”