BlueFire Transforms Baltimore Arena for 2022 CIAA Basketball Tournament

Updated: May 4

CIAA Tournament 2022: Event Signage Client Spotlight

CIAA: A Legacy of Excellence and Recognition

Established in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was the first African American athletic conference and remains one of the most recognized conferences in Division II sports over a century later. The annual NCAA basketball event is the most widely attended of any Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the country.

A History of Collaboration with BlueFire

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the CIAA had been a mainstay in hosting the basketball tournament in Charlotte, but the past two years in Baltimore, Maryland. BlueFire has proudly worked with the CIAA since 2015.

In years past, BlueFire has produced printed materials for the CIAA basketball tournament, including printed marketing materials, tournament programs, and signage for each venue and tournament activities. The event was hosted in Charlotte for 15 years before moving the annual conference to Baltimore beginning in 2021. Breon Hagans, Associate Commissioner for Championships & Brand Management at CIAA, reached out to us to find ways to transform the arena with the necessary event signage and graphics for their annual CIAA Basketball Tournament, now held at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.

College Basketball Tournament Space Transformed by Event Signage and Graphics Leader

Typical products our team has created and installed for the CIAA have included banners, backdrops, court graphics, floor graphics, and basketball goal wraps. Hagans wanted the BlueFire team to provide more interior branding to prepare the Royal Farms Arena for the CIAA tournament in their new host city. Knowing that BlueFire has a production facility in Maryland, we were their first choice to transform the arena's interior in time for the tournament on February 22nd - 26th, 2022.

The 2022 tournament was the CIAA's 2nd year hosted in Baltimore and the first tournament since the league reached a multi-year agreement to be shown live on ESPN for the championship games.

The Right Solutions for the Job

Upon arrival at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, the BlueFire team immediately started installing the extensive signage materials we produced after weeks of preparation and collaboration with Hagen's team. As a result, our team was able to transform the arena in just one day in preparation for the event.

We installed vinyl graphics for the center court, goal wraps, arena walls, floors, windows, backdrops, signage, certificates, and programs for the event. After the games had concluded on Saturday, the graphics were safely and swiftly removed that night.

A Successful Event and Satisfied Clients

The CIAA's 2nd tournament in Baltimore was a huge success. Hagans said that the CIAA would love to work with BlueFire again for future tournaments. BlueFire values our relationship with the CIAA and looks forward to continuing its support of this annual tournament in the years to come!

BlueFire is blessed to support the signage needs of events across the east coast with its manufacturing and installation capabilities in Charlotte, NC, Washington, DC, and Waldorf, MD. The CIAA Tournament is an excellent example of how we support the needs of our clients in multiple marketplaces in the United States.

Contact the team at BlueFire to inquire about how we can support the transformation of a venue for your upcoming trade show, conference, meeting, or sports event. Give us a call at (704) 655-1465 or email us at

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