Women’s College Basketball Takes Center Stage with Ally Tipoff | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

Women’s College Basketball Takes Center Stage with Ally Tipoff

Ally Financial

The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Brand Experience or Activation


Ally and the Charlotte Sports Foundation joined forces last November to make an unprecedented investment in women’s college basketball by turning a regular-season women’s game between University of Iowa and Virginia Tech into a premier sporting event. The investment resulted in an epic experience for players, fans and viewers. The Ally Tipoff proved what Ally and CSF have long believed: If you invest in women’s sports, fans will come.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

The Ally Tipoff showed that women’s NCAA basketball is a viable media property on its own, not just as an add-on to men’s college basketball. The Iowa/Virginia Tech game’s 548,000 viewers made it the most-viewed regular-season women’s college game on ESPN2 since 2017. For context, it would also rank as ESPN network’s 4th best cable game last season, behind only three ESPN games. The Ally Tipoff also normalized having an all-women broadcast team for a primetime sporting event.

It broke the attendance record for a women’s college basketball regular season game in North Carolina state history. More than 7,600 visitors traveled to Charlotte for the game, with 31% traveling further than 100 miles and nearly 10% traveling further than 300 miles to get there. More than 3,100 people spent the night in Charlotte.

Overall, the event generated roughly $10 million for the city of Charlotte, the highest revenue of all-time from a women’s college hoops regular season game.


Ally and the Charlotte Sports Foundation saw the energy and excitement surrounding the 2023 NCAA Women’s National Championship and saw an opportunity to extend it, rather than letting it fade away, and bring it into the regular season.

Lack of investment in women’s sports has resulted in years of disappointing experiences for players, coaches, families and fans. They designed the Ally Tipoff to highlight the impact that meaningful investment can have in women’s sports.

The goal was to take a regular-season women’s college basketball game—between powerhouses Iowa and Virginia Tech – and transform it into a premier professional-level experience for everyone involved, from the players and coaches to viewers and fans. It was a first-of-its kind event at the collegiate level.

Strategy & Execution

Money talks and big numbers grab attention.

For the first time during a regular-season women’s college basketball game, the participating teams would each receive $150,000. The organizers of the Ally Tipoff created an epic experience for everyone. The players’ faces were plastered on giant buildings and billboards around Charlotte, giving young fans of the women’s game a glimpse of what the landscape could look like if their idols were given top billing.

The teams cruised into the Spectrum Center under VIP police escort. The fully-customized court design rivaled that of NBA In-Season Tournament courts. The event involved high-end branding elements, LED signage, step-and-repeats as players entered the arena, customized locker rooms, unique merch for fans and banners featuring star players.

Ally and the Charlotte Sports Foundation promoted the event heavily with branded elements across paid and earned media and social platforms. The game was broadcast in primetime with top-flight female commentators. Virginia Tech Head Coach Kenny Brooks said the atmosphere rivaled that of the 2023 Final Four.


  • Ally Financial
  • Charlotte Sports Foundation


Andrea Brimmer
Chief Marketing and PR Officer
Ally Financial

Bridget Sponsky
Executive Director of Brand and Sponsorship Marketing
Ally Financial

Jill Ellis
Manager Lead, Sports and Entertainment Marketing
Ally Financial

Maggie Myers
Sr. Marketing Specialist, Sports and Entertainment Marketing
Ally Financial

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.