New title sponsor for Emerald Coast Classic

NICEVILLE, FLA. — Global Sports Management has announced that the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau has become the title sponsor for the 2017 Emerald Coast Classic basketball tournament.

The Emerald Coast Classic, presented by the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be played Thanksgiving weekend Nov. 24-25 at The Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College.

The eight-team tournament is headlined by top teams from across the country, including Maryland, New Mexico, TCU and St. Bonaventure. TCU won the 2017 NIT Tournament, while Maryland advanced to the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

“We’re extremely pleased to enter into this partnership with the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau as the title sponsor for the Emerald Coast Classic,” said tournament director Maury Hanks, who is also the chief executive officer for Global Sports. “Our goal to bring high-caliber teams and their fans from all over the country to play some great basketball and experience this beautiful place makes the ECCVB a perfect fit to partner with us in this capacity.

“The future of this tournament is very bright and we are excited about having the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau on board with us.”

“We welcome all of the teams from across the country to the beautiful beaches of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Okaloosa Island,” said Jennifer Adams, the director of the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to be partnering with the Emerald Coast Classic to help make the tournament a memorable one.”

Virginia beat Providence, 63-52 to win the 2016 Emerald Coast Classic. Iowa State defeated Illinois, 84-73, to capture the 2015 Emerald Coast Classic, while Ole Miss topped Cincinnati to win the inaugural tournament title in 2014.

The semifinal round games on Nov. 24 feature TCU playing New Mexico at 6 p.m. Central Time followed by St. Bonaventure facing Maryland at 8:30 p.m. Central Time.

The championship game Nov. 25 will tip off at 6 p.m. Central Time at The Arena.

Jackson State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Omaha, and Tennessee Tech round out the list of teams competing in the tournament.

For the third consecutive year CBS Sports Network will televise the semifinal round and championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic presented by the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitor’s Bureau

Starting Oct. 6, fans can purchase tickets for the tournament online by going to the official tournament website,

First and second-round games will be played at on-campus sites Nov. 12 through Nov. 21.