Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Oklahoma — the original four Jordan Brand schools — will compete in the Jumpman Invitational men's and women's basketball tournament beginning in December 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Charlotte Sports Foundation announced on Thursday.
The foundation and Jordan Brand entered a three-year deal for the blockbuster holiday tournament that is scheduled to take place Dec. 20-21, 2022, at Spectrum Center, home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring what we believe will quickly become the marquee college basketball event of the holiday season to the Queen City,” Danny Morrison, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, said in a statement. “These are four of the most storied and competitive programs in the game, and we’re looking forward to the interconference play.”
Morrison secured the venue working with Hornets Sports & Entertainment, a fitting location since Michael Jordan owns the franchise. Hornets president Fred Whitfield is a former Jordan Brand executive and worked with the company and Nike to organize the event over the past two years.
ESPN Events will work in conjunction with the foundation, per the release, and ESPN will air all four games on its networks. There will be two games each night with matchups and times not yet determined.
Jordan Brand schools come together for tournament
Michigan was the first school to strike a deal with Jordan Brand in 2016 and the six-time NBA champion's alma mater, North Carolina, followed the next year. The brand also signed Oklahoma and Florida in late 2017.
Morrison credited Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione with the original idea for the tournament.
"There has been tremendous harmony from the city to the Spectrum Center to ESPN," he told the Sports Business Journal (SBJ). "People have wrapped their arms around this event because it is a chance to do something really special, first and foremost, for the student-athletes.”
He told SBJ it's possible that Jordan Brand's fifth school, UCLA, could be added to the event in the future. An expansion could come in 2023 or 2024 and the partnership could extend past the four-year deal, per the release.
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