April 2023: World University Games Update

Welcome to our April eNews Update focused on the latest activities of, and preparations for, the 2029 FISU World University Games in North Carolina USA. 

NC USA Bid Keeps on Winning!

The 278-page bid book submitted by the North Carolina Bid Committee (NCBC) to the International University Sports Federation (FISU) for the World University Games, has won a Hermes Creative Platinum Award, the highest award in the Hermes Creative Awards international design competition among creative professionals. The Hermes Creative Awards are a global award program where judges determine the “creative industry’s best publications, branding collateral, websites, videos, and advertising, marketing, and communication programs.” The North Carolina USA Bid Book captured the top prize in the Pro-Bono Publications Design category.

The Bid Book, written by Hill Carrow, the NCBC Chair & CEO, was designed by Hummingbird Creative Group of Cary, the same design firm that created the North Carolina USA Bid logo, bid collateral and promotional materials, and much more. Hummingbird, was a major sponsor of the North Carolina USA Bid, and continues to support the World University Games project as the Bid Committee transitions to the Local Organizing Committee to begin planning, developing, organizing, and executing the 2029 FISU Games. The Hermes Creative Award is the second top award won by the NC USA Bid Book as the book also captured a Platinum Award previously in the MarCom International Marketing Competition.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our design team who worked so hard on this exciting project,” said Wendy Coulter, CEO of Hummingbird Creative Group. “Having won two similar awards for our work on the bid website, this actually makes for a total of 4 first-place, top-tier design awards for our company’s work on the North Carolina Bid Campaign. Of course, the most important award of all was landing the Games, and we look forward to the best possible FISU World University Games right here in our hometown of Cary and the surrounding region in 2029!”

NC Venues Keep on Getting Better

New Batting Cage area in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park

One of the great strengths of North Carolina’s Bid for the World University Games was the fact that a full 6.5 years ahead of the Games, North Carolina already has all the sports competition and training facilities, as well as the housing and dining facilities, required to successfully stage the Games. That’s really good news for the more than 10,000 participants in the 2029 World University Games, but even better news is that the numerous constituents now involved in helping host the Games in North Carolina are working to make many of the existing venues even better.

For example, major improvements that are almost across the finish line, and that were not even underway when FISU top brass conducted their final site visit to NC in September 2022, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the venue for the WUG Baseball Finals, include extensive enhancements to the player areas, as well as staff offices. WUG leadership was able to tour the improvements with the venue architect, Tom Tingle of DLR Group, last week. Since the majority of the improvements are considered “back of house”, the fans may not get a chance to notice many of the changes (though the new indoor batting cages do have viewing windows along the sidewalks on Blackwell Street); however, the athletes will definitely notice as the approximately $10 million in upgrades for players, umpires, trainers, and other team support staff are very significant.

In a similar vein, but with more fan experience improvements, at yesterday’s quarterly meeting of the Cary Chamber’s Sports Alliance, Ted Reese, Tournament Director for the Atlantic Tire Championships, laid out the numerous planned improvements that will be coming to Cary Tennis Park, the Tennis competition venue for the 2029 FISU Games. New locker rooms for athletes, an expanded clubhouse for guests, and added seating capacity for spectators are all in the plan. In addition, there is a possibility that additional courts will be added to the 32 already on site.

Meanwhile, the Raleigh Convention Center, currently proposed to host the World University Games Fencing, Judo, and Table Tennis competitions, as well as serve as the Main Press Center and Main Broadcast Center for the Games, recently displayed renderings of the RCC’s planned expansion that would roughly double the footprint of the 500,000 square foot facility. Not to be outdone, PNC Arena, host venue for Basketball in the Games, has its own renderings showing major expansion of, and enhancements to, the arena staff, VIP hospitality, and fan experience areas at the venue. The short of all this venue activity is that North Carolina is not resting on its laurels from having landed the 2029 World University Games in January. While what we have to offer athletes, coaches, officials, media, and fans for the Games is already really, really good, our Team North Carolina USA is diligently working on improving the very good, to ensure it is very great, and the 2029 FISU World University Games leave all who experience it with extremely positive memories.

News Briefs

Just within the last two weeks, Cary Tennis Park hosted the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Tennis Championships, the ACC Women’s Tennis Championships, and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tennis Championships. This fall Cary Tennis Park will host two major university tennis national championships: the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Women’s All-American Championships and the Collegiate Club Tennis National Championships.

Kacper Stokowski, a competitor in the 2019 World University Games in Naples, who is a featured athlete in our North Carolina USA World University Games Bid Video (which can be viewed on our 2029 Games website home page at www.ncusa2029wug.com) was just named the NC State Men’s Swimming Team’s MVP for the 2022-2023 season. Another top NC State Athlete who appears in that video, Lulu Black, a member of the two-time National Champion Cross Country Team and a former World University Games Intern, has joined the Durham Sports Commission as its newest full-time staff member.

Earlier this month, the 2029 World University Games Team did a presentation to the Heart of Cary Association (HoCA), a long-standing local community group that works to support Downtown Cary. The HoCA’s mission is to inform, engage, support, and empower merchants, organizations, and residents of Downtown Cary. The presentation focused on the extensive presence the 2029 Games will have in and around Cary, and how Downtown Cary can best position itself to take advantage of the big event. Thanks so much to HoCA leaders, Doc Thorne and Scott Korbin for the invitation.

Support the Games

You can support the Games in a number of ways: corporate contribution, individual contribution, or volunteering. We encourage you to visit our website at www.ncusa2029wug.com and join our team.

Sponsor Thank You’s

We cannot thank our sponsors enough for their strong belief in, and generous support of, North Carolina’s bid for the World University Games. We encourage you to patronize their businesses and give them your own personal thanks when you do.

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