Agency Helps Boston Land NCAA Tournament

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos played a pivotal role in helping Boston land the NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four tournament, which will take place in 2006.

Hill, Holliday’s work, done pro bono for the Massachusetts Sports Partnership, helped Boston overcome Cleveland, Indianapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis. The tournament’s semifinals and championship game will take place at the FleetCenter, named for FleetBoston Financial, Hill, Holliday’s largest client.

The 2006 tourney will mark the event’s 25th anniversary and is projected to pump $20 million into the local economy.

Hill, Holliday created a bid package with the theme, “Returning to the birthplace of basketball.” The package contained Boston lodging and transportation information, a logo created for the event and a timeline highlighting the history of the sport in the state—including its 1891 invention in Springfield and the first women’s basketball game in 1893 at Smith College in Northampton.

“We have an advantage because basketball was invented in Massachusetts,” said Amy Hardcastle, senior vice president of account services at Boston’s Hill, Holliday.

Soosie Lazenby, president and CEO of MSP, credited Hill, Holliday’s visual presentation and creation of the themeline and logo as key elements in the pitch’s success. “They were a huge factor in our winning the bid,” Lazenby said.

Hill, Holliday has had a relationship with the nonprofit MSP since 1997 when it created an image campaign that included a logo and the tagline “Where the game begins.” The MSP is dedicated to luring big-time sports events to Massachusetts.

Other organizations partnering with Hill, Holliday and MSP on the NCAA bid included the FleetCenter, Dunkin’ Donuts, Reebok, Gillette and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.