The Pioneer Valley Tip-Off is an annual High-School Basketball Showcase that takes place here at UMass in the historic Curry Hicks Cage. Started back in 2011, the PVTO aims to bring in the best high school basketball teams in and around Western MA. This year, the 7th annual Tip-Off has increased from its usual 11 games to 12. They have also extended the program by one day to include the new event, Prep School Sunday.
The event strives to bring together the Western MA community for a fun and exciting weekend at the Commonwealth's Flagship Campus. The event is run by the McCormack Student Leaders Club, with the help of Amherst-Pelham Regional High School.
Through the efforts of 14 administrative staff members and over 60 Isenberg Students, the PVTO is able to give real life experience to those interested in working in the sport industry. Departments include: Sponsorship Sales, Marketing, Data Analytics, Basketball Operations, Philanthropy, Finance, Design, Media Relations and Game Day Operations.
Jonathan Cahill, the Executive Director of the PVTO, is very passionate about making sure each student gets something out of working with the event. "The purpose of getting involved with any event or club here at Isenberg is to gain experience for the real world, and that's what I hope to give each student involved with the PVTO,” Cahill explained, “Throughout the entire semester, we have all been working hard as we aim to make this the best Tip-Off to date."
This year, Cahill has tried to mix things up a little bit. With the help of Stephen Black, the Director of Business Operations, they have added a Design Department, a Broadcasting and Media Relations Department, and a Philanthropy Department. Their overall goal is to help increase the brand of not only their event, but of the McCormack Department as a whole. They are excited to partner with Eastbay, this year’s title sponsor.
Each year, the PVTO partners with the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer Program. Last year, the event was able to raise $1,600 for Coaches vs. Cancer. With the addition of the Philanthropy Department, headed by Samantha Bernstein, the PVTO aims to raise over $2,000 at this year's event through the raffling off of many different donated items from local sports teams.
The Pioneer Valley Tip-Off will be taking place December 8-10, and is free to all UMass Students, Faculty and Alumni. Those interested in learning more about the Pioneer Valley Tip-Off are welcome to check out their website, pioneervalleytipoff.com.