By Tammy Tedesco NWCA
The 2011-12 wrestling season will showcase an exciting new format for the NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Dual Meet Championships that will feature four regional locations and a culminating “final four” championship. This concept, being dubbed “Mat Mayhem,” will include a variety of new exciting marketing content that will be released throughout the year.
The ultimate goal of Mat Mayhem is to create a premier national dual meet championship that will become a platform for growing spectator and media interest in wrestling both at the institutional and national levels.
The NWCA will unveil numerous interviews and promotional videos with competing coaches, sponsors, and staff in the months and weeks leading up to the event. This marketing effort is a collaborative effort between the NWCA and Dr. Coyte Cooper with Elite Level Sport Marketing, to help bring the excitement of competition to the sport of wrestling that will be centered on team competition.
“The Mat Mayhem concept has tremendous potential to significantly grow the intercollegiate wrestling spectator base at the institutional, regional, and national levels. When you think of every mainstream media/spectator sport in America, they all have one thing in common….the outcome of every regular season game/competition carries a lot of significance because they determine advancement to some type of post season championship,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer.
“Conversely, in intercollegiate wrestling, our infrastructure is currently designed to support an individual championship at the end of the year so there is very little importance placed on the outcome of most regular season dual meet competitions. Without the success of the Mat Mayhem concept, it is unlikely that we’ll have more than eleven (of our 78) intercollegiate wrestling teams with an average spectator base of more than 1000 (which is what we currently have). For Mat Mayhem to succeed, we are going to need everyone’s support including fans, media, and participating teams,” said Moyer.
This year 22 of the top 25 teams from last year’s final coaches poll ranking have accepted invitations including eight of the top ten teams.
The top twenty-four teams for the 2012 event have been selected and placed into four regions of six teams (the first team listed is the host team):
- Iowa State, Iowa, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Northern Iowa.
- Cornell, Central Michigan, Oklahoma, Purdue, Illinois, and American.
- Rutgers, Minnesota, Kent State, Michigan, Missouri, and Cal Poly.
- Oklahoma State, Boise State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Rutgers will host their regional on February 11th, while the other three regional tournaments will take place at Cornell, Iowa State and Oklahoma State on February 12th.
All videos and information for Mat Mayhem will be listed on the www.nwconline.com homepage, along with the NWCA You Tube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. This will allow all information to easily be shared by one small click of a button.
Ticket and more specific event information (dates, times, etc.) will be available at www.nwcaonline.com under the events section.