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March Madness® Inspires Travel Experiences

Marriott International Enhances March Madness® Experience for Sports Fans and Travelers Across America and Introduces New Marriott Bonvoy Moments

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott International is gearing up for game day in its third year as the Official Hotel Partner across all 90 NCAA® championships. The is a multi-year partnership with Marriott International, NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports. As Spring signals the start of March Madness®, fans will prepare to travel to this year's Men's Final Four® championship in Minneapolis from April 6-8 and the Women's Final Four® championship in Tampa from April 5-7. Across the country, Marriott International hotels will welcome students, alumni, families and fans as they cheer on their favorite teams throughout the tournament.

Marriott International offers loyalty members elevated sports, food, music and entertainment experiences through Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Members have the opportunity to use their points to bid on exclusive Moments at the Men's and Women's Final Four® games, including the Ultimate Men's Final Four Weekend Experience in Minneapolis and the Ultimate Women's Final Four Weekend Experience in Tampa.  One package is available for each Men's Final Four and Women's Final Four including tickets, VIP access and overnight accommodations.  

"We are passionate about the spirit of community and comradery felt by so many when traditional boundaries are broken through sports. This resonates with our hotels, as we too place a strong focus on serving all guests around the world," said Steve Heitzner, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Marriott International, Americas. "March Madness® and NCAA® represent more than a collegiate competition and we feel honored to be the meeting place for so many fans, students, alumni and athletes to continue the celebration after that final buzzer rings."

"This is always one of the most exciting months for our collegiate athletes and their fans who travel near and far to watch our NCAA tournament games," said Ellen Lucey, NCAA director of championships and alliances. "We are excited to have Marriott International as our corporate partner as Marriott supports our student-athletes and their achievements. The synergies between our brands are strong, which allow us to create memorable experiences for our colleges and universities and our fans."

As fans travel from Louisville, Washington, DC, Anaheim and Kansas City to Minneapolis, Marriott International hotels look forward to being the home base for the many emotional moments experienced during March Madness®. In addition to the games, here are a few reasons why hosting cities are some of the top places to visit this Spring.

Louisville, KY isn't just home of the Kentucky Derby's Churchill Downs, but it also has an incredible art scene, booming with charming local shops. Those who stay at the Aloft Louisville Downtown, a modern hotel with retro-inspired interiors, can explore the best of the city. Those musically inclined can stroll down to Fourth Street Live! and enjoy live music by new and seasoned artists.

Anaheim, CA appeals to travelers of all ages and those planning to visit Disneyland® Resort and beyond. Anaheim Marriott is located in the city's resort district offering the perfect location to explore. Guests can also head to the beach to try surfing or sailing and enjoy that California sunshine.

Washington, DC welcomes visitors to explore its many vibrant neighborhoods.  Experience the District through the eyes of a local and go beyond the traditional sites on The National Mall. The luxurious JW Marriott Washington, DC on the famed Pennsylvania Avenue is located near the Capital One Arena, making it a prime home base for gameday travelers.

Kansas City, MO is a hotspot for some of the best barbecue, has a prominent jazz heritage, and fountains galore – there are more than 200 fountains throughout the city. Between the Sweet Sixteen® and Elite Eight® games, fans can hunt down as many fountains as they can or hit up some barbecue hotspots including the famed Joe's Kansas City Barbecue, born out of a gas station. Sports fans can rest their heads after the big game at The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center.

Tampa, FL is hosting the Women's Final Four® games, and is a city to watch over the next couple of years. The city boasts many new areas to explore like Sparkman Wharf which uses shipping containers for shops and restaurants, the new Tampa Riverwalk, a 2 mile stretch - brought more to life within the last year, including Armature Works, an upscale European food hall, as well as Water Street which is close to the championship games. Part of the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old Historic Federal Courthouse has been transformed into Le Méridien Tampa in the arts and entertainment district of downtown.  

Minneapolis, MN is not only an unexpected foodie haven but it is also the host of the Men's Final Four® championship. This year, in partnership with Marriott International, Buick will bring its fan favorite "Grab A Buick" fleet of vehicles to the Twin Cities in record numbers, providing fans free transportation during the Final Four® Festivities. The "Grab A Buick"  will shuttle fans around and allow them to experience the new Buick lineup while exploring all that the Twin Cities has to offer. "Grab A Buick" hubs will be set up at more than 10 Marriott International hotels, the Mall of America and local hot spots around the city to enhance the fan experience. Travelers can check the Final Four App for additional details. After the excitement of the Final Four® games, sports fans can rest easy at the W Minneapolis – The Foshay, which merges Art Deco decadence with modern urban chic and take in 360-degree views of the city from the 30th floor observation deck.

Explore travel destinations, activities, and experiences at Marriott.com.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company now offers one travel program, Marriott Bonvoy , replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®(SPG). For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a diverse association of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities that prioritize academics, well-being and fairness to create greater opportunities for nearly half a million student-athletes each year. The NCAA provides a pathway to higher education and beyond for student-athletes pursuing academic goals and competing in NCAA sports. More than 54,000 student-athletes experience the pinnacle of intercollegiate athletics by competing in NCAA championships each year. Visit ncaa.org and ncaa.com for more details about the Association and the corporate partnerships that support the NCAA and its student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola as official corporate champions and the following elite companies as official corporate partners: Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Geico, Google Cloud, Infiniti, Intel, Lowe's, Marriott International, Nabisco, Pizza Hut, Reese's, Unilever and Wendy's.

 

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