ESPNU Warrior Classic, New Lacrosse Event, to Launch in 2010

College Sports (Miscellaneous)

ESPNU Warrior Classic, New Lacrosse Event, to Launch in 2010

UMass, Georgetown, Denver and Fairfield Make up Inaugural Field

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ESPN Regional Television, Inc., a subsidiary of ESPN, announced today the creation of the ESPNU Warrior Classic, a doubleheader that will be played Saturday, April 24, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. 

ESPNU_Warrior_Classic_logo001[1]The doubleheader will feature No. 17 Denver vs. Fairfield at 11 a.m. ET, followed by No. 18 Massachusetts vs. No. 13 Georgetown at 1:30 p.m. Both games will be televised live on ESPNU

“We jumped at the opportunity to partner with ESPNU for the inaugural ESPNU Warrior Classic,” said Dave Morrow, President, Warrior. “ESPN’s commitment to lacrosse is making the sport accessible to more players and fans than ever, and this event is an extension of our shared passion for grassroots events and competition. It will be very exciting for lacrosse enthusiasts to have four  elite programs, the worldwide leader in sports media and the premier lacrosse brand team up for the first ever Warrior Classic.” 

“We are excited to launch a collegiate lacrosse event with ESPNU and Warrior Lacrosse,” said Clint Overby, senior director of events, ESPN Regional Television. “We look forward to growing the event as a fixture in the collegiate lacrosse landscape.” 

Massachusetts won the East Coast Athletic Conference championship last season before falling to Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Minutemen, who finished the season with a 9-6 record, are leaving the ECAC this year for the Colonial Athletic Association. In the ESPNU Warrior Classic, UMass faces former ECAC rival Georgetown, which is also joining a new conference, the BIG EAST. The Hoyas finished with a 7-7 record last season. 

Fairfield posted a 7-6 record in 2009, its first winning campaign since 2006. The Stags will face ECAC rival Denver in the ESPNU Warrior Classic. Fairfield won three of five meetings when the two teams were part of the Great Western Lacrosse League from 2001-05. Denver welcomes new head coach Bill Tierney, who won six NCAA titles in 22 seasons at Princeton. The Pioneers were 7-8 in 2009. 

“We’re very excited to be invited to play in the first annual ESPNU Warrior Classic,” said Dave Urick, Georgetown head coach. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the sport of lacrosse to have increased exposure in the Northeast, and this field brings together some very talented teams. ESPNU has provided great television exposure for the sport of lacrosse and this event shows their commitment to the sport.” 

“The Denver Pioneers are thrilled to be a part of the inaugural ESPNU Warrior Classic,” said Bill Tierney, Denver head coach. “To play alongside such prestigious programs as Georgetown and UMass and compete in an important ECAC matchup with Fairfield is an honor for our team. We are trying to create excitement about lacrosse in Colorado and in the West, and this event will certainly help us spread the good news about the University of Denver and our lacrosse program.  ESPN has been so instrumental in the visibility and rising popularity of college lacrosse, through its coverage of the NCAA Tournament and regular-season telecasts.” 

“We are very excited to be a part of the ESPNU Warrior Classic,” said Greg Cannella, Massachusetts head coach. “We are looking forward to playing one of our former ECAC rivals, Georgetown. When these two teams get together and play, it is always exciting and fast, the way college lacrosse should be played. We look forward to the opportunity and thank ESPN for putting the event together.” 

“We’re thrilled about the opportunity to play in the ESPNU Warrior Classic,” said Andy Copelan, Fairfield head coach. “Having a nationally televised lacrosse doubleheader featuring four great teams at Rentschler Field is great for the development of our sport in this region. We thank ESPN and everyone involved for putting this together and we are looking forward to a great day of college lacrosse.”  

ESPNU will lead ESPN’s college lacrosse coverage with increased game coverage this season, including 40 men’s and women’s regular-season contests combined. For more information on the ESPNU Warrior Classic, visit http://ESPNPlus.com

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC). 

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Papajohns.com Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Texas Bowl (Houston); the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Cancun Governor’s Cup; Charleston Classic (S.C.); DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); SONIC All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the new ESPNU Warrior Classic (Lacrosse, April 2010); ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit ESPNPlus.com

ESPNU

ESPNU launched March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network televises more than 600 live events annually, including college football, college basketball and Olympic sports from more than 25 Division I conferences, as well as premier high school content. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA for enhanced coverage of 22 NCAA Championships. 

ESPNU also offers comprehensive studio programming, including live simulcasts of ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and replays the best games of the week from ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNU HD and online at ESPNU.com. 

In addition, ESPNU Campus Connection, a multi-platform student-generated content initiative, was introduced in August 2007. ESPNU is available in more than 65 million households and has long-term carriage agreements with nine of the top 10 providers – Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 614), DISH Network (Channel 148), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse. 

Warrior Sports

Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Warrior Sports is recognized as one of the sporting goods industry’s premier manufacturers of innovative, high performance, cutting-edge equipment, footwear and apparel for lacrosse and hockey athletes of all ages and abilities. Founded in 1992 by former champion lacrosse player David Morrow, Warrior was acquired by privately-held New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. in February 2004. The 2007 acquisition of Boston-based Brine Sporting Goods further established Warrior Sports as the dominant force in the lacrosse world.

Warrior is dedicated to a core set of philosophies and strengths: technical superiority, grassroots marketing, original and creative youthful expression, and strong partnerships with retailers and suppliers. Since creating the first titanium shafts in 1992, Warrior has constantly pushed the envelope in the evolution of the game. By taking a fresh, energetic approach to the game, and employing young, enthusiastic lacrosse players like Jesse Hubbard and Mark Millon, Warrior set out to change the game – the best gear in the world, developed by the best players in the world. 

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