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By April Salvador, Special Correspondent

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has rounded up its latest list of sponsors for this year’s tournament.

The four major sponsors listed at ciaatournament.org,  Food Lion, Toyota, Russell Athletic and Coca-Cola Zero. All have events at the CIAA or have previously been conference sponsors.2017 ciaatrn logo

According to sportsbusinessdaily.com, these major sponsors spend at least $350,000 or more each year.

"Food Lion is proud to be a part of the CIAA’s 2016 tournament to show our continued support for our communities surrounding the 12 CIAA schools", said Dave Bass, central division vice president for Food Lion, last year. This same sentiment still stands today as Food Lion is one of the CIAA’s major sponsors.

The Women’s Basketball Tournament and Miss CIAA contest are both sponsored by Food Lion. Food Lion has also been the Official Supermarket Partner of the CIAA for over 22 years.

The Food Lion CIAA Teen Summit, an event for high school juniors and seniors, is also sponsored by Food Lion. This is a free admission event hosted by Girl Talk Foundation, Inc. on February 23 from 5-9 p.m/ at the Charlotte Convention Center.

It is safe to say that Food Lion, headquartered in Salisbury, NC, and the CIAA Tournament, which has been held in Charlotte, NC for the past 10 years, have a strong and close relationship.

Toyota and Coca-Cola Zero will also be sponsoring events at this year's CIAA tournament.

Toyota has the CIAA Toyota Fan Fest which is held on February 23-25 from 5-10 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. This event is a mixture of activities meant for fans. Celebrity appearances and concerts by national recording artists also take place at the Fan Fest.

The Empowerment Town Hall Forum is sponsored by Coca-Cola Zero. The purpose of this Coke sponsored event is to address and discuss pertinent issues facing the communities Coke serves. This takes place on Feb. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center.

According to russellathletic.com, Russell Athletic do not sponsor events during the CIAA, but they are the official uniform and practice gear supplier for the conference’s 12 schools.

For more information, visit www.ciaatournament.org or theciaa.com.

~ April Salvador is a senior multimedia journalism major at N.C. A&T State University

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