Dayton men’s, women’s players to appear at Fan Fest at UD Arena

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Dayton basketball practice highlights: July 2021

Tickets cost $5, and proceeds go to the players

Dayton Flyers basketball fans will get a chance to see the 2021-22 men’s and women’s teams for the first time Oct. 16 at UD Arena.

The Henny Penny Red Blue Dayton Basketball Fan Fest, presented by Premier Health, will start at 5 p.m. Doors open at 4 p.m.

This is not the tradition Red and Blue scrimmage that was held for years until the arena renovation and then the pandemic brought it to a halt the last four seasons. Fans will have to buy tickets to the event. The proceeds go to the players, who are taking advantage of their new name, image and likeness rights.

More information on the event and tickets, which cost $5, can be found at DaytonBasketballFanFest.com.

According a press release by G3 Marketing, which has run similar college basketball fan festivals at the University of Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati in recent weeks, “This extremely intimate fan experience will feature a dunk exhibition, 3-point shooting event, shooting stars showcase, and open gym. Raffles and other fan-centered opportunities and experiences will also be a part of the event agenda.”

Dayton Athletic Director Neil Sullivan said UD would have held a traditional Red and Blue game if this opportunity had not come up.

“We’re excited for the players,” Dayton Athletic Director Neil Sullivan said. “I’ve known the founder of G3 Marketing and Pro Camps for some time. It is a high-integrity, reputable organization that’s been active in in this space. Obviously, it’s a new space, but it’s something that our players are interested in participating in. We’re pretty much an arm’s length with it. It’s their event. We don’t have any financial interest or operating interest, but they’ve asked to rent the arena to happen, and we’re fully supportive and fully behind our players and fully behind the organization. We’re hopeful that it’s a success.”

While all players on both the men’s and women’s teams are expected to participate, the foreign-born players will not be paid.

“The NIL rules don’t allow international student athletes to be compensated for services at this time time but we have invited them to be a part of this event in a voluntary fashion,” said Greg Lazaroff, of G3 Marketing.

Lazaroff said both events with the Kentucky Wildcats and Cincinnati Bearcats were successes.

“They’ve been a great opportunity for the communities to get a first look at their basketball teams,” he said. “There’s an interactive element with fans and the student-athlete in a basketball arena. They’ve been super successful from an attendance standpoint. We’ve packed the arenas where we’ve held them. What’s great is the student athletes are having a great time with it. It’s been a great to do NIL with a team approach, which is really awesome. There’s been there’s been a lot of NIL deals out there that we’ve seen that are sort of individual based, and what’s great about the fan fests is they’re team opportunities.”

Sullivan sees these kind of opportunities as critical for the success of Dayton athletics in the NIL era, which began in June. He said Dayton athletes have been paid to give lessons to kids in their sports and been paid to appear at birthday parties in recent months.

“This is the path forward,” he said, “and our players need to know and feel in this environment that the Dayton community supports them and supports their goals and aspirations as young men and women, as athletes, as aspiring entrepreneurs. In their life after basketball, a lot of our players want to stay in this community. You see the things that Chris Wright has done and Brian Roberts has done. I had breakfast the other day with Ed Young, and he’s still in the community and active in business. For us, it’s a big-picture thing for our program. It’s not just about money. It’s about opportunities for young men and women for the rest of their lives and to learn about business and learn about opportunities all while trying to become a world-class athlete. The NIL thing is important, but it’s even bigger than just NIL.”

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