(Written by Jeff Bunch)
The world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament comes to life on the streets of downtown Spokane for just one weekend annually, but Hoopfest is definitely a year-round venture.
Planning for each year’s tournament takes months of preparation by a core leadership team, including Executive Director Matt Santangelo, Marketing Director Bailee Neyland, staff and key volunteers.
No sooner was this year’s tournament event over when efforts began for 2016. It’s a labor of love for all of those involved.
“One of the things that surprised me the most about my role at Hoopfest was the size of the job,” said Santangelo. “Our event is only four days in June, but it literally takes more than a year to plan and execute – and that is not to mention our other great programs throughout the year.”
Some of the things the team has been working on as we headed into the fall/winter include:
- Spokane AAU, which just recently wrapped up its season (www.spokaneaau.com);
- Ignite Basketball Association (IBA, formerly Midnight Basketball Association) which finished its 2015 season in the fall;
- Stewardship and a review of current sponsorships, as well as identification and cultivation of prospective sponsors; and
- Vision, strategy and business planning for 2016 and multi-year business plan development.
Santangelo and Neyland returned excited and rejuvenated from their fall trip to Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, as part of Hoopfest’s longtime partnership with the visionary company.
The organizations collaborate to ensure the participants and fans of Hoopfest’s myriad programs have a great experience. The visit included consulting with Nike to determine color story, apparel purchase, game ball development, socks and retail assortment for Hoopfest 2016.
The efforts put into all these activities will be on full display during the last weekend in June on the streets of Spokane.
“I love this organization, what we do and what we stand for,” said Santangelo. “It is a lot of work and responsibility, but I get out of bed every morning feeling fortunate that I am in a position to take on the challenge.”