Attended my first men’s college volleyball match in years on Saturday evening. It pitted number one ranked Pepperdine University vs. number two ranked UC Irvine.
The match was UCI’s final regular-season home volleyball event against visiting Pepperdine. In any sport, when No. 1 faces number No. 2, the fans came out in droves. The 5,000 seat Bren Center had about 2,800 people on Saturday night and UCI (22-4, 17-3 in the MPSF) gave the home crowd something to cheer for with a 31-29, 30-24, 30-22 sweep over the Waves (19-3, 17-3). If you want to see the stats from the match, click here or the full game story here
Attending a College sports event remains a fun and family friendly entertainment option. While I am not a hard core volleyball fan, the event itself was very entertaining. Took some quick notes on the Orange County-based sponsorship roster in the campus gym and noted the following sponsors.
UC irvine School Of Business
The District Shopping Center
OCTA – Orange COunty Transit Authority.
UC Irvine Medical Center
Only one really had national implications in Pepsi and Pepsi based products. No surprise the soft drink had pouring rights in the building. Also Army had some signage which was interesting. The military has been traditionally a big college recruiter. Most of the list local restaurants or organizations somehow connected to the campus. Wells Fargo listed but this is just for a local branch I am guessing.
The facility remains very clean and other than static signage, there are basic sponsor opportunities missed on the campus. Did not see any real activation programs on this one night or in game promotions.
For those of you that are Volleyball Fans, here are a few stats and then background on the league.
* Pepperdine, which is/was ranked number one in the country, suffered its first match sweep this season.
* The loss also breaks a nine game win streak by the Waves
* UCI is no slouch when it comes to volleyball. The OC based University won it all in 2007 and earned a trip the White House.
Background on The league
Both teams play in the The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) for volleyball. The organization was established during the 1992-1993 academic year and serves the following conferences: Pacific-10, Big West, Mountain West, Western Athletic and West Coast Conferences and other selected universities in the western United States. The MPSF provides championship competition for Division I intercollegiate Olympic sports for select sports. it is an interesting set up since it combines several conferences under one Federation.
According to the web site, the Federation serves as an “incubator” for emerging sports and as a safe harbor for sports impacted by conference realignments. Besides volleyball others sports served by the Federation include Men’s Gymnastics, Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Indoor Track & Field, Women’s Indoor Track & Field, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Water Polo, Women’s Water Polo.