CHARLOTTE, N.C.Raycom Sports announced today that Mellow Mushroom will be the exclusive Official Presenting Sponsor for 2016 ACC Network Football. The agreement gives Mellow Mushroom full season ACC Network Football category exclusivity and broad consumer visibility via multiple touchpoints including extensive broadcast television exposure, as well as digital and social platform exposure. Per company policy, terms were not disclosed.

This is the first large scale multi-market advertising and marketing campaign for Mellow Mushroom, reaching approximately 90 million TV households covering over 100 DMA’s. A series of humorous commercials have been created with Charlotte-based advertising agency BooneOakley. These spots will be rotated in the ACC Network telecasts throughout the season, along with many other Mellow Mushroom in-telecast elements. The first commercial in the series may be viewed online here: https://youtu.be/HE_-M4B4Vck

“Who doesn’t love Mellow Mushroom?!?” said Raycom Sports Chief Executive Officer Hunter Nickell. “Mellow Mushroom is a sensational brand with roots in the ACC footprint. We are proud and grateful to have Mellow Mushroom as the first ever Presenting Sponsor of ACC Football from Raycom Sports.”

“We’re thrilled to be part of ACC Football this fall,” said Annica Kreider, Vice President of Brand Development for Mellow Mushroom. “Our guests are very passionate about college football and we know they will love getting to watch the ACC Network game each week at their favorite Mellow or in the comfort of their own home.  We’re also excited to introduce our brand to millions of potential new guests through the exposure we’ll receive as part of the sponsorship.”

Mellow Mushroom (http://www.mellowmushroom.com) was founded in 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia. This franchise, operated under Home-Grown Industries of Georgia, Inc., is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For over 40 years, Mellow Mushroom has been serving up fresh, stone-baked pizzas to order in an eclectic, art-filled, and family-friendly environment. Each Mellow is locally owned and operated and provides a unique feel focused around great customer service and high-quality food.

More information on Mellow Mushroom is available on Facebook at http://facebook.com/mellowmushroom, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MellowMushroom, and on Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/mellowmushroom.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom holds the ACC digital and syndicated television rights of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027. In a partnership with the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, AL, owns or operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.

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2016-Press-Photo

Platinum Selling Group’s Song “Feel Invincible” Will Open ACC Network Telecasts

Charlotte, N.C. – Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum selling recording group Skillet will open ACC Network telecasts of ACC football this season. Skillet’s hit single “Feel Invincible” is featured on their just-released 10th studio album Unleashed.  “Feel Invincible” will be the soundtrack for the opening video montage to lead into each week’s syndicated game. This is the second time that Skillet and the ACC Network have teamed up. The single “Monster” from Skillet was used for the ACC Network opener for the 2009 football season.

Skillet has cemented its place as one of the 21st century’s most successful rock bands. Selling more than 11 million units worldwide, the Wisconsin quartet have received two GRAMMY® Award nominations and won a Billboard Music Award for the platinum-certified Awake. Their double-platinum single “Monster” is “the eighth most-streamed rock song of 2015” with a total of 57 million plays (and counting) on Spotify and would earn the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.” 2013’s Rise bowed at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and received resounding and eclectic acclaim from the likes of USA Today, New York Times, Revolver Loudwire and more.

Skillet is part of a star-studded list of performers that have been featured in Raycom football and basketball telecasts over the years includes Jason Aldean, KISS, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Daughtry, Sugarland, tobyMAC, Gavin DeGraw, Alison Krauss, Chris Brown, Lil’ Mama, T-Pain, David Cook, and Ricky Skaggs.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current syndicated television rightsholder of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027.

In a partnership with ESPN and the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, AL, owns and operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.

 

Spotlights Clemson Heisman Hopeful Deshaun Watson, former Auburn Tight End Philip Lutzenkirchen and former Kentucky Quarterback Jared Lorenzen 

Charlotte, N.C. – Raycom Sports’ multi-Emmy Award-winning summer television series, “Havoline Football Saturdays,” continues its 13th season this weekend with Episode 4. The series, with six one-hour episodes, is hosted by Tim Brando and syndicated in over 100 markets throughout the country.

This week’s show features Clemson All-American Deshaun Watson. The junior quarterback led the Tigers to the national championship game last season. Visit with the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy as he prepares for the upcoming season.

Then learn about former Auburn standout Philip Lutzenkirchen. One of the best tight ends in school history, he helped the Tigers to the 2010 BCS National Championship. However, he lost his life in a drunk driving accident in June of 2014. See how his legacy lives on through the Lutzie 43 Foundation, as his family and friends work to share his life as both an inspirational and cautionary tale. 

And catch up with former Kentucky star Jared Lorenzen. An All-SEC quarterback for the Wildcats, Lorenzen went on to play professionally in the NFL and Arena Football. Known as the “hefty lefty,” he talks about his time in Lexington and his pro career, as well as his long battle with his weight.

For a complete listing of local affiliates and airtimes, please visit www.FootballSaturdays.com.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current syndicated television rightsholder of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027.

In a partnership with ESPN and the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, Alabama, owns or operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.

 

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Emmy Award-Winning Havoline Football Saturdays
 Episode 3 Airs This Weekend

Spotlights Legendary Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer, South Carolina Running Back Marcus Lattimore and Road Trip to Boston for College Football at Fenway

                Charlotte, N.C. – Raycom Sports’ multi-Emmy Award-winning summer television series, “Havoline Football Saturdays,” continues its 13th season this weekend with Episode 3.  The series, with six one-hour episodes, is hosted by Tim Brando and syndicated in over 100 markets throughout the country.

                This week’s show features Tim traveling to Blacksburg, Va. to visit with Virginia Tech’s former head coach Frank Beamer. Look back on the incredible life and career of the future Hall of Famer that started on a farm in the small town of Fancy Gap, Virginia.

Then spend time with former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore. He was named National Freshman of the Year after a stellar first season for the Gamecocks. But his career was derailed after suffering two ligament tears in his knee, which forced him to retire after being drafted in the NFL. See how he is making a difference now by coordinating a youth leadership academy through his foundation. 

And Tommy Kane takes fans on a Road Trip to Boston for the Boston College-Notre Dame football game. See how historic Fenway Park is transformed into a college football stadium for the Shamrock Series.

For a complete listing of local affiliates and airtimes, please visit www.FootballSaturdays.com.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current syndicated television rightsholder of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027.

In a partnership with ESPN and the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, Alabama, owns or operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.

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Emmy Award-Winning Havoline Football Saturdays Episode 2 Airs This Weekend

Spotlights Carolina Panther Luke Kuechly, Running Back Legends Thomas Jones from Virginia and Stephen Davis from Auburn, and Tennessee Quarterback Josh Dobbs

Charlotte, N.C. – Raycom Sports’ multi-Emmy Award-winning summer television series, “Havoline Football Saturdays,” continues its 13th season this weekend with Episode 2.  The series, with six one-hour episodes, is hosted by Tim Brando and syndicated in over 100 markets throughout the country.

This week’s show features NFL All-Pro Linebacker Luke Kuechly. When not causing havoc on the field for the Carolina Panthers, the former Boston College standout looks for more peaceful surroundings. Escape to the mountains of North Carolina as Kuechly relaxes on a fishing trip.

Head to Hollywood to catch up with former Virginia All-American running back Thomas Jones. After a stellar college and NFL career, he has begun a new chapter in his life; acting. Hear from Jones as he looks to find success in this challenging new profession.

Spend time with one of Auburn’s all-time greats, running back Stephen Davis. After college, he became an All-Pro in the NFL, including helping the Carolina Panthers to their first Super Bowl appearance. Join Davis in his hometown of Spartanburg, S.C. as he talks about the challenges he overcame to make it to the NFL.

Then head to Knoxville to meet Tennessee senior quarterback Josh Dobbs, who has led the Vols to two straight bowl games and was MVP of the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl. Hear how the Aerospace Engineering major is applying physics to the Vols’ passing game.

For a complete listing of local affiliates and airtimes, please visit www.FootballSaturdays.com.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current syndicated television rightsholder of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027.

In a partnership with ESPN and the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, Alabama, owns or operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.

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ACC Network Announces Talent for 2016 Football

Tom Werme and Stan Norfleet Join Team
for 2016 ACC Football Season
     

                Charlotte, N.C. – Raycom Sports today announced the ACC Network broadcast team for the 2016 ACC football season. Veteran announcer Tom Werme will handle play-by-play duties, teaming up with Dave Archer, who begins his seventh season as analyst for ACC telecasts. Roddy Jones begins his second season with the ACC Network team as sideline reporter. In addition, Stan Norfleet will join Katie Witham and Tommy Bowden in the studio for the ACC Blitz powered by Ram Trucks.

Tom Werme begins his first year as the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC Network Football package. The 20-year broadcast veteran has already worked for the ACC Network as host of the ACC Blitz, the ACC Tournament and announcing basketball and football games since 2008. Tom also appears on the ACC Digital Network, ESPN platforms, FOX Sports South and the Big Ten Network as a play-by-play announcer for a variety of sports, including basketball and football. Werme’s experience includes working for TV affiliates in Boston, Providence, Harrisburg (PA) and Springfield (MA), and also for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Dave Archer was part of Raycom’s SEC broadcasts for seven seasons before joining the ACC Network team in 2010. Since 2003 he has also served as a radio analyst for the Atlanta Falcons. An eight-year veteran of the NFL, he played quarterback for the Falcons, Redskins, Chargers and Eagles. He also played 5 years in the CFL and one in the WLAF, where he won a World Bowl championship and was the game MVP. Archer played collegiately at Iowa State and was inducted into the ISU Hall of Fame in 2005.

Roddy Jones begins his second year as sideline reporter. Prior to that, he served as analyst for Georgia Tech football radio broadcasts and working on ACC baseball broadcasts on ESPN3. He entered broadcasting after a distinguished career at Georgia Tech. As a Yellow Jackets Running Back, Jones set career records in Yards Per Attempt and Games Started and finished in the Top-15 in rushing yards. Roddy was also named to the Academic All-ACC team three times while earning both his undergraduate degree and MBA at Tech. He also spent two years as a member of the Georgia Tech Baseball team.

Katie Witham begins her second season as host of the ACC Blitz powered by Ram Trucks. The Emmy and Telly award winning on-air talent has been in broadcasting since 2005, working as an anchor, sideline reporter, analyst and host for FOX Sports South and Fox Sports 1, the Cleveland Indians, Columbus Crew, Fox SportsTime Ohio, Big Ten Network, and MLS.  Katie is a graduate of Capital University, where she was co-captain of the soccer team and won all-conference athletic and academic honors. She also coached collegiate soccer and high school softball.

Tommy Bowden is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, posting a 72-45 record as the head coach for Clemson University in almost ten seasons. The Tigers were bowl eligible every year he coached at Death Valley. Prior to Clemson, Tommy led Tulane University to an 18-4 record over two seasons and earned Conference USA Coach of the Year honors. His 1998 Tulane squad went 12–0 and achieved a Top-10 final ranking in both polls. Bowden is a graduate of West Virginia University, where he played wide receiver.

Stan Norfleet joins Katie and Tommy on the ACC Blitz for his first full season after guest appearances last year. He was a lettermen linebacker at the University of Virginia, earning a Bachelor’s degree in African-American Studies/History, as well as Texas Southern University, where he was a graduate student with a Speech Communications focus. In addition to scouting for the Washington Redskins, Stan spent nearly a decade in business development in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and the University of Kentucky. He was a fixture for UK’s football and men’s basketball coverage in Lexington, before working on-air in Dallas. He returned home to Charlotte in 2014, where he has been an on-air personality for 610AM for two years.

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom is the current syndicated television rightsholder of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027. 

In a partnership with ESPN and the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media, located in Montgomery, Alabama, owns and operates 62 television stations covering over 14 percent of the United States across 20 states.  

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Bill Lancaster Joins Raycom Sports as Vice President of Sales

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Raycom Sports today announced that Bill Lancaster has been named Vice President of Sales. He joins Raycom from First Coast News/TEGNA Media in Jacksonville, Fla., where he served as Vice President-Station Manager and Director of Sales since 2014. Lancaster will start on June 20th and work from Raycom’s Charlotte headquarters.

“We are very excited to have Bill joining us.” said Hunter Nickell, CEO of Raycom Sports. “His knowledge and experience, along with his ACC roots, put him in great position to lead our veteran sales team.”

Lancaster was with Gannett for over 20 years, starting as account executive at WFMY in Greensboro, N.C. before moving to WUSA in Washington, D.C. He moved back to Greensboro in 1997 as local sales manager and then national sales manager at WFMY before being named vice president of sales in 2011.

Prior to joining Gannett, Lancaster was an account executive for two Mann Media radio stations in High Point, N.C. He began his broadcast career as associate producer for Billy Packer’s College Basketball Show.

Lancaster is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a B.A. in political science.

About Raycom Sports

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom holds the ACC digital and syndicated television rights of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027. In a partnership with the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media is an employee-owned company, one of the nation’s largest privately-owned broadcasters, and owns and/or provides services for 62 television stations in 42 markets and 20 states. Raycom Media owns or provides services for stations covering over 14% of U.S. television households and employs over 4,600 individuals in full and part-time positions.

 

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ACC Network Football Broadcast Schedule Announced
for First Three Weekends of Season

Debut of New Head Coach and Defending ACC Champions Highlight Early Schedule

Charlotte, N.C. – The first three games of the ACC Network’s 2016 ACC football season were announced today by Raycom Sports. The season kicks off with the debut of Virginia Tech’s new head coach Justin Fuente, followed by defending ACC Champion Clemson. Georgia Tech takes on Vanderbilt in an ACC-SEC clash in the third week. Coverage starts at noon each Saturday with the ACC Blitz.

ACC Network Football Broadcast Schedule (Through Week 3)

Saturday, Sept. 3
Liberty @ Virginia Tech                               

Saturday, Sept. 10
Troy @ Clemson

Saturday, Sept. 17
Vanderbilt @ Georgia Tech

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom holds the ACC digital and syndicated television rights of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2027. In a partnership with the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media is an employee-owned company, is one of the nation’s largest privately owned broadcasters and owns and/or provides services for 62 television stations in 42 markets and 20 states. Raycom Media owns or provides services for stations covering over 14% of U.S. television households and employs over 4,600 individuals in full and part-time positions.

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Hunter Nickell Named Chief Executive Officer of Raycom Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hunter Nickell has been named Chief Executive Officer for Raycom Sports, it was announced today. Nickell is an accomplished leader in sports media, digital platforms, event sponsorship and content development. Nickell has been a guiding force throughout his career, including Sports South, FOX Sports, SPEED, IMG College and Mulberry Street Media Company, LLC.

Hunter Nickell“Hunter brings a wealth of experience to Raycom Sports.” said Paul McTear, President and CEO of Raycom Media. McTear continued, “We just couldn’t pass on the opportunity to have a leader with his experience take the helm of our very successful team at Raycom Sports. We look forward to his insights and leadership over the coming years.”

Pat LaPlatney, COO of Raycom Media added, “We have known Hunter for many years. Having worked with him during various partnerships via Raycom Sports. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise not only in sports media but digital platforms, content development and revenue streams.”

Nickell stated, “This is a wonderful opportunity to join an established leader in sports media with Raycom Sports. I look forward to being a part of the team that takes us into the future of sports broadcasting, sports on digital and content development.”

While at IMG College, Nickell and his team oversaw partnership management in multimedia, digital platforms, licensing, ticketing and seating that generated over $400 million in revenue. While President of SPEED the team grew revenue to $300 million and distribution to over 80 million homes. In addition to launching SPEED on Demand, SPEED.com and SPEED 2, a digital streamed video product. While at FOX Sports Net he and his team launched digital brand extensions, multi RSN agreement with the Southeastern Conference, and a national deal with FOX Sports Net, Raycom Sports and the Atlantic Coast Conference to launch ACC Sunday Night Hoops for men’s basketball.

Nickell attended Denison University in Granville, OH, was president of the student body, played hockey and lacrosse while graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. He is a member of the National Motorsports Appeal Panel and the marketing council for USA Hockey. He and his wife Kim live in Davidson, NC.

About Raycom Sports

Charlotte-based Raycom Sports is a leading independent sports sales & marketing, syndication, event management and production firm. Raycom holds the ACC digital and syndicated television rights of ACC men’s basketball and football telecasts through 2023. In a partnership with the ACC, Raycom operates the ACC Network, which distributes ACC content through live television broadcasting, original programming via digital technologies, historical archives, mobile applications, social media, ACC Championship events and the official ACC website.

Raycom Sports’ parent company Raycom Media is an employee-owned company, is one of the nation’s largest privately owned broadcasters and owns and/or provides services for 62 television stations in 42 markets and 20 states. Raycom Media owns or provides services for stations covering over 14% of U.S. television households and employs over 4,600 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom Media owns PureCars (digital ad platform for automotive), Raycom Sports, Tupelo-Honey Productions (a NY-based production company), RTM Productions (a Franklin, TN-based automotive programming production and marketing solutions company), WebStream Sports (an Indianapolis-based, live event production company) and Broadview Media (a post-production/digital signage company based in Montgomery, AL). Raycom Media is headquartered in Montgomery, AL.

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http://theacc.co/ACSMA16Francis

Skeeter1

LEWISVILLE, NC – Tim Brant, longtime Raycom football and basketball play-by-play announcer, and Ken Haines, the former President and CEO of Raycom, are the recipients of this year’s Marvin ‘Skeeter’ Francis Award. The Francis Award recognizes individuals for distinguished service to, or coverage of, the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Haines joined Raycom during its founding and since 1982 was involved in all facets of the company’s operation, specializing in product acquisition and contract negotiations with colleges, athletic conferences and television networks. Prior to overseeing the daily management of Raycom, he was the athletic liaison, chief public affairs officer and spokesperson to the president at Virginia Tech. Haines has established multiple public radio stations, the Virginia Tech radio network, and worked in television news. He retired from Raycom at the end of 2015.

Haines has a B.A. degree from Dakota Wesleyan University, an M.S. from Troy State, graduate work at the University of Wyoming and an advance graduate degree from Virginia Tech. He was named an Opperman Distinguished Lecturer and alumnus of year at Dakota Wesleyan in 1998, outstanding TV Sports Executive by the All American Football Foundation in 1999, the fourth-most powerful person in the ACC by the Orlando Sentinel in 2009, received the ACC Commissioner’s Cup in 2013 and was a National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Golden Anniversary Honoree in 2015.

Haines resides in Charlotte with his wife, Stephanie. They have one daughter, Avery, who also resides in Charlotte.

Brant, who will retire from Raycom after the 2016 New York Life ACC Tournament, has handled play-by-play duties for both Raycom Sports ACC Football and ACC Basketball telecasts and has spent nearly 30 years covering sports for Raycom, CBS and ABC Sports. He retired in 2015 as Vice President and Sports Director for ABC 7 / WJLA-TV in Washington DC. The multi-faceted Brant has served many roles, including sideline reporter, analyst and play-by-play announcer. He is a veteran of two Olympics broadcasts and for more than a decade was the morning co-host for ABC-owned WMAL Radio in Washington, DC.

During his broadcasting career, he was named college football’s top analyst by numerous publications, including by USA Today in 1986. Brant teamed with Keith Jackson as the voice of the PlayStation video game NCAA Gamebreaker for 989 Sports. He has been honored as the Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the Touchdown Club of Washington, the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University of Maryland in 2002, Distinguished Professional Achievement by the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism in 2002, and in 1999, he was inducted into the St. John’s College High School Hall of Fame.

A star linebacker and defensive captain at Maryland, he was with the Washington Redskins in their 1973 camp, before he suffered a career-ending knee injury. Brant and his wife Janet reside in Potomac, MD. They have four children and three grandchildren.

The Award is named after Marvin ‘Skeeter’ Francis, who served as the longtime sports information director at Wake Forest and the first administrator of the ACC’s media services division. It will be presented during the ACC Tournament semifinals on March 11 in Washington, DC.