Spanning the Globe

November 11, 2008

Georgetown athletics enjoys sponsorship relationships with a number of significant partners. In addition to ticket sales, logo royalties, television rights, tournament participation, and philanthropy, these corporate sponsorships are vital to keeping Georgetown athletics competitive. The University is proud to claim such leading national and international corporations among its principal athletic sponsors as Coca Cola, Verizon, Geico, Chevy Chase Bank, and Georgetown Hospital.

Recently, I had a special opportunity to be part of a presentation that took our marketing and promotions affiliations to a new level. A delegation from city of Madrid arrived on campus and, in the dignified surroundings of Riggs Library, joined with the University to announce the establishment of a marketing relationship with Georgetown and the Department of Athletics. It is likely the first-ever such relationship in higher education between an American university and one of the leading cities of the world.



Dean Ernst welcomes Miguel Angel Villanueva and the Madrid delegation to Riggs

As the program unfolded, Ricardo Ernst, Professor and Deputy Dean of the McDonough School of Business, welcomed our new overseas supporters. Dean Ernst, an avid runner and marathoner, is one of the University's superstar faculty members. A published author and recognized leader in converging academic research and global operations management, his curriculum vitae gives weight to Georgetown's calling as one of a handful of preeminent international universities.

Georgetown's connections to Spain are well-established. Start with Spaniard Ignatius Loyola, S.J., the founder of the religious order that founded Georgetown in 1789. The former President of Spain, José María Aznar, has taught and conducted seminars on the Hilltop. Crown Prince Felipe de Borbon earned a master's degree in international relations at Georgetown. In addition, through its office of international studies, Georgetown offers 120 different programs in 39 countries. Eight of those opportunities are in the country of Spain. There are three such academic programs in Madrid alone. Further evidence of this natural partnership took place last April, when the Georgetown Alumni Association held its most prestigious alumni affair, the annual John Carroll Awards weekend, in the city of Madrid. Hundreds of Hoyas spent five days or more in this historic municipality, enjoying the wonderful cultural and entertainment activities of this European capital.


The Madrid delegation, led by Miguel Angel Villanueva, delegate of the Economy and Employment for the City Council, spoke with enthusiasm about the opportunity for his city and Georgetown to enter a partnership. Through its sponsorship, Madrid intends to educate Hoya fans, students and basketball fans throughout the U.S. about the world-wide reach of Espanol and the power of language and communication in a shrinking global community. Spanish is the second most prevalent language used in international commerce and diplomacy. Further, the United States has the world's fifth-largest Spanish-speaking population. Mr. Villanueva also shared a multimedia show, entitled "Now Madrid," which sets forth the case for the city as a destination for students and visitors to immerse themselves in the language and culture of the foremost Spanish speaking city in the world.

Dean Ricardo Ernst

Madrid's "ambassador for tourism," Miguel Angel Villanueva


Madrid is no stranger to sport. An early contender to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, the city is home to multiple world-class athletic teams and events including: Masters Madrid, sponsored by the Association of Tennis Professionals; the 30-year old Madrid Marathon; futbol teams Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, who are among the leading soccer teams in Europe and therefore the world; and the professional basketball counterpart of Real Madrid, one of the oldest and most dominant basketball programs on the European continent.

While unusual, the sponsorship by Madrid this year of one of the outstanding programs in college basketball makes good sense for a city that is thinking globally. A visible association with Georgetown, past collegiate home of some of the world's greatest basketball players, can only contribute to the city's image and international renown." Let's face it. Internationally, even more so than in the continental States, Georgetown is a cultural icon. And its historic and current success on the basketball court is a big part of this. For a Spanish-speaking city in Europe, what better portal exists to reach U.S. markets of the young and educated, the affluent and future affluent, than through the culture of basketball, a sport that is enthusiastically supported in Madrid as well?



Director of Athletics Bernard Muir presented Delegate Villanueva a Hoya basketball jersey

. . . a basketball as well

Assistant AD for External Affairs Dan O'Neil with the delegation leader





PJM - View From The Hilltop



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