NCAA men’s basketball coaches come together for third annual Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge

What would bring top caliber coaches like Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Mark Gottfried, Tubby Smith, Tom Crean, Brad Stevens, Matt Painter, Bob Huggins and Ron Hunter together off the court?

The answer is the third annual Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge, launched yesterday allows fans to vote amongst 48 coaches from the nation’s top NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs over an eight-week period. On Mar. 11, the winning coach’s designated charity will be announced as the recipient of $100,000.

To support the Challenge, ESPN debuts the first of four integrated content pieces tonight during the Tennessee versus Kentucky game (7 ET, ESPN). Each piece offers a humorous take on how great coaches still can struggle with things like fundraising — selling cookies, hosting a car wash, running a marathon and playing a round of golf together.

ESPN CreativeWorks senior director Ashley Smith spoke with Front Row about the concept behind the pieces:

How did you come up with the concept of “great at coaching, not so great at fundraising?”
The concept was developed in collaboration with ESPN CreativeWorks and the Infiniti agencies (OMD/Chiat) — both entities were eager to explore a humorous tone to showcase the collaboration with Infiniti, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Coaches Charity Challenge. The juxtaposition of coaches “not so good at fundraising” felt right for the ESPN brand, as well as Infiniti.

What were your goals with the spots this year in support of the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge?
The goals for the spots are to entertain our viewers, inform them about the promotion and drive them to vote for their favorite coach on

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