THE HISTORY OF THE CIAA
(BALTIMORE – February 18, 2023) – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded and incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1912 as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization as the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association; adopting its current name in December 1950. The conference is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is governed by a Board of twelve (12) Presidents and Chancellors representing institutions from Pennsylvania to South Carolina; comprised of both private and public colleges and universities with enrollments ranging from 750 to over 8,000 students.
The CIAA is one of America’s oldest athletic conferences; producing championships annually in the following sports: Men’s and Women’s Cross Country; Volleyball; Football; Men’s and Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Women’s Bowling; Women’s Tennis; Golf; and Softball.
Of the 14 championships produced by the CIAA, its annual basketball tournament has evolved from a 2,000 seat sell out in Washington, D.C. during the inaugural tournament, into one of the nation’s premier sporting events attracting over 190,000 fans during the course of the week, and now touted as the third highest attended basketball tournament among all NCAA divisions.
The CIAA tournament is the quintessential cultural experience offering official events appealing to a diverse demographic of alumni and fans, including educational programming, community engagement, Fan Fest, Super Saturday, step-shows, and most importantly, 22 action-packed basketball games. It’s also one of few basketball tournaments in the nation that features men’s and women’s competitions in the same facility, during the same week.
During its 15-year run in Charlotte, N.C., the CIAA generated over $656 million in economic impact and produced over $402 million in direct spending for the host city. With the support of the City of Charlotte and CIAA corporate partners such as Coca-Cola USA, Nationwide, Food Lion, Toyota, and BSN/Under Armour, the conference has secured over $22 million in scholarships for its member institutions over the past 15 years, averaging $1.5 million annually. The CIAA Tournament moves to its new host city in Baltimore, Maryland in 2021.
Academic success is a staple of the conference. The CIAA recognizes the academic achievements of its student-athletes annually by naming its top student-athletes to the Commissioner’s All-Academic Team. The conference also recognizes the Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for student-athletes who have excelled on the field and in the classroom.
A brand synonymous to none, the CIAA is a crown jewel within college sports. Its annual tournament drives the distinct familiarity of the conference, generating national exposure with media and major corporations who acknowledge the athletic association’s exceptional value. Powered by vision and innovation, the CIAA continues to pursue brand prominence in all avenues that will strengthen the foundation of this historic conference.
CIAA Mission Statement and Strategic Vision
Mission Statement: The CIAA is committed to excellence in everything we do in DII to support the total student-athlete well-being and experience on and off the court through meaningful relationships and strategic partnerships to make the world a better place.
Vision: To foster an environment that celebrates athletics and education while honoring the traditions of the past, acknowledging leadership in the present, and ensuring communities are positively impacted by the CIAA and its members.
Strategic Plan Components
Building the Value: Maintain the fiscal matters of the conference with transparency including annual audits and broad-based participation in the budget process and create additional innovative streams of revenue to include sports championships, membership, and corporate partnerships.
Champions of Character: To promote and support the growth and development of the student-athlete and the mission of NCAA Division II.
Our Identity With a Great Story to Tell: To be the most recognized Division II conference through its licensing, media rights, and branding initiatives and to promote visible athletic and academic successes among the membership to enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the rich legacy, leadership, and community of the CIAA.
Virtue of Competitive Success: Identify educational resources for improved academic success, compliance, and governance while promoting and supporting the development of the conference membership in alignment with NCAA Division II
Integrity, Respect, Passion & Excellence: To lead strategic partnerships and development opportunities to make an impact in the communities the CIAA serves.
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