March 2, 2009
LAS VEGAS, NV - In conjunction with the 2009 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships in Las Vegas, the WCC and Zappos.com announced today the donation of over 5,200 new and gently used pairs of shoes to international non-profit organization Soles4Souls.
The WCC teamed up with Zappos.com and Soles4Souls, through a shared passion for social mobility, to challenge each West Coast Conference campus to collect the most shoes from December to the end of the conference basketball season. Thanks to the efforts of the student-athlete advisory committee and marketing department on each campus, the shoe collection effort exceeded the conference goal of 5,000 shoes.
"I would like to congratulate our eight institutions, their student-athletes and campus communities for this remarkable accomplishment," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "To see the conference work together and exceed our aggressive goal in this shoe drive is a true testament to the WCC's mission driven commitment to giving back to the Las Vegas community."
Loyola Marymount was crowned the conference shoe collection winner as its students collectively donated 1,500 pairs. Gonzaga came in second with 1,183 pairs, followed by Pepperdine with 1,014. For their efforts, the Loyola Marymount student fan group will receive a free party at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas prior to its men's basketball team's first round game on Friday, March 6th at the WCC Basketball Championships.
The gently used shoes will be distributed through Soles4Souls to individuals in need internationally. New shoes, donated by Soles4Souls and Zappos.com, will be distributed to at-risk youth from the Clark County School District and the After School All-Star program in Las Vegas during the WCC Women's Basketball Championship Final on Monday, March 9.
"Zappos.com is very excited about our partnership with the West Coast Conference, the upcoming basketball championships, and specifically being able to help local youth in Las Vegas with this donation," said Aaron Magness, Director of Business Development at Zappos.com. The Las Vegas-based company also donated more than 500 pairs of shoes to the shoe collection efforts.
West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's crew, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership - only two conference have been together longer - and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.
Established in 1999, Zappos.com has quickly become a leader in online apparel and footwear sales by striving to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. In 2008, the company's gross merchandise sales exceeded $1 billion. Zappos.com currently stocks millions of products from over 1000 clothing and shoe brands. Zappos.com was recognized in 2009 by FORTUNE MAGAZINE as one of the "100 BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR", debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer to FORTUNE's 2009 list. More information about the company's customer service philosophy, unique company culture, and job openings can be found at http://about.zappos.com. More information about the "Zappos Insights" business membership program can be found at http://www.zapposinsights.com.
IMG College is the leader in developing integrated licensing, marketing, and multi-media opportunities for the nation's top collegiate brands across local, regional, and national platforms. IMG College partners include the NCAA and its 88 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and some of the most prestigious universities in the country. IMG College is a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG. For more information, please visit www.imgcollege.com.
Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization based out of Alabama that was created by Wayne Elsey as a response to the 2004 tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. Now, after having coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Soles4Souls has already successfully donated over one million pairs of shoes to those hurting both domestically and internationally.