Elizabeth City State University is about to participate in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (CIAA) first-ever virtual tournament. The week-long celebration, the CIAA Virtual Vibe: Tournament Edition, takes place from Feb. 23-27, traditionally known as CIAA Basketball Tournament week.
The CIAA Virtual Vibe marks the Tournament’s 76th annual celebration of HBCU championship basketball, sports, and culture. Although no tournament games are being played, the tournament will spotlight each of its CIAA member institutions and offer VIP access to ECSU on the virtual platform. Alumni, students and fans can visit the campus, participate in chats and exclusive events by purchasing a special 2021 Commemorative ticket HERE.
“This is an exciting and innovative approach to a highly anticipated event,” says ECSU Athletic Director George Bright. “While COVID-19 precautions have postponed actual games, to be able to participate in the CIAA’s virtual event is a terrific way to celebrate the schools and our student-athletes.”
The CIAA has partnered with Visit Baltimore to make this virtual event a week to remember. The CIAA Virtual Vibe: Tournament Edition will feature a Baltimore-themed interactive virtual platform that will help welcome fans to the ‘Charm City’ while showcasing a host of events, including several that serve as cornerstones of tournament week.
This includes the always popular CIAA Fan Fest, the CIAA Step Show, plus community engagement mainstays High School Education Day and Career Expo.
The virtual experience, hosted by comedians B. Simone, Darren Brand and Burpie, will also offer a collection of new events, including an Old School/New School DJ Battle and the CIAA Esports Tournament. These events, along with performances by national recording artists and celebrity appearances, will celebrate the legacy and tradition of the CIAA and its member institutions while highlighting the nostalgia and cultural significance of the CIAA Tournament.
Free registration for the Tournament is now open on the virtual platform and can be accessed HERE.
“We are thrilled to be able to create this virtual tournament week experience, which will be one of a kind for an NCAA athletic conference at any level, to engage our fans, alumni, students, member institutions, and partners,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Despite no in-person activity or games being played, this is a great opportunity to expand our reach beyond the 150,000+ fans that annually convene in our host city during tournament week and expose new audiences to the legacy and rich tradition of this conference while introducing the many elements that embody the CIAA Tournament experience and highlighting the cultural impact it has on our community as a whole.”
Accompanying this one-of-a-kind experience is a new theme, “The Legacy Lives On,” which will be highlighted in social media and marketing campaigns as well as in custom memorabilia for the conference.
Access to the CIAA Virtual Vibe is free, but registration is required. Those interested in taking part in this unique virtual experience are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Accompanying the registration information is the tentative schedule of events, which can be found at www.ciaatournament.org.
For the latest information on the CIAA, visit theciaa.com.