Intersport Announces Creation of Arizona Tip-Off

Intersport Announces Creation of Arizona Tip-Off

June 15, 2023

GLENDALE, Ariz. (June 15, 2023) – Intersport today announced the debut of the Arizona Tip-Off, an early season college basketball tournament scheduled for Nov. 17-19. DePaul, South Carolina, Grand Canyon and San Francisco make up the inaugural four-team Cactus Division, while Northern Arizona, Purdue Fort Wayne, South Dakota and VMI will compete in the Desert Division.

The launch of the Arizona Tip-Off gives The Valley a college basketball presence in the season’s highly anticipated opening month and its exciting conclusion in early April. The Arizona Tip-Off will take place at Desert Diamond Arena, which is located just across the street from State Farm Stadium, which will serve as the host venue for the 2024 Final Four.

All eight teams participating in the Arizona Tip-Off will be in action on Nov. 17 for their respective opening-round games, which are as follows:

Cactus Division: DePaul vs. South Carolina; Grand Canyon vs. San Francisco

Desert Division: South Dakota vs. VMI; Northern Arizona vs. Purdue Fort Wayne

The championship and third-place game in the Desert Division will be played Nov. 18, while the championship and third-place game in the Cactus Division will be held Nov. 19. All Cactus Division games will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network. Tip times for all games, in addition to distribution plans for Desert Division games, will be announced at a later date.

Travel packages for fans looking to join their favorite team in the Grand Canyon State for the inaugural Arizona Tip-Off are on sale now at Fans can also register to receive regular event updates and additional tournament and ticket news by visiting Ticket-only packages, based on availability, will be available in the fall.

Locally, the tournament will be hosted by the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, which each year brings major sporting events and welcomes thousands of visitors to the state. However, when it comes to college basketball, few early season tournaments are regular staples of the western United States. Of the 25 regularly contested multi-team events during the 2022-23 season, only six took place outside the Eastern and Central Time Zones, none of which were in the Mountain Time Zone.

“Bringing a premium early season experience to Glendale, alongside incredible partners at the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission, will make the Arizona Tip-Off a very attractive opportunity for teams, and we’re excited to begin this relationship,” said Mark Starsiak, vice president of basketball at Intersport and the event director for the Tip-Off. “Glendale and the Greater Phoenix area are known not only for being a basketball-centric region, but for hosting major sporting events. We’re confident that, in a short time, the Arizona Tip-Off will make its way onto the short list of elite early season multi-team events.”

“We eagerly anticipate becoming the host of a multi-day event that welcomes teams and fans from every corner of the country to our state,” said Nikki Balich, Executive Director of the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission. “This not only boosts our tourism industry but also strategically places us in the national spotlight during an important time of year. Our partnership with Intersport, which is celebrated for its ability to manage large-scale events to the highest standards, fills us with tremendous confidence. We predict this event will become a fundamental and respected fixture in Arizona’s sports calendar.”

The launch of the Arizona Tip-Off will continue to bolster Intersport’s roster of early season events that has seen considerable growth in the last five years. After launching the Fort Myers Tip-Off in 2018, its first early season college basketball tournament, the Chicago-based agency has announced plans to host at least seven events throughout the course of the 2023-24 non-conference college basketball season, including the Cactus and Desert divisions of the Arizona Tip-Off (Nov. 17-19), the Beach and Palms divisions of the Fort Myers Tip-Off (Nov. 20-22), the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off (Nov. 23-25), the CBS Sports Classic (Dec. 16) and the Ohio State-West Virginia neutral site contest in Cleveland (Dec. 30), with additional event announcements to come throughout the summer.

For more information on the Arizona Tip-Off, please visit the event website at or on Twitter and Instagram at @Arizona_TipOff.

About Intersport

Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Customer Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Sports Properties, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps their clients to create ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.