Maui Invitational

  • Event Operations
  • Event Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Content Marketing
  • Sponsorship Sales
  • Ticket Sales
  • Hospitality
Maui Invitational

Maui Invitational leads as top holiday basketball tournament

The Maui Invitational is the premier early-season college basketball tournament held annually during Thanksgiving week. Each year, the Maui Invitational attracts the top programs, best-known coaches and most outstanding players to compete in an exciting atmosphere at the Lahaina Civic Center near the beautiful beaches of Maui. KemperLesnik owns, operates, promotes and markets the premier college basketball event each year.


  • Negotiate the long-term TV rights with ESPN
  • Sell and activate all national sponsorships
  • Generate 54.3+ billion media impressions through PR and marketing
  • Sold-out tickets and travel packages
  • $208 million valuation for tournament-specific media

Their Challenge

Although Maui Invitational is one of the longest running and respected pre-season college basketball tournaments, competition from new team showcases add mounting pressure on keeping the event on top for fans, teams and sponsors. Each year presents new opportunities to keep the tournament exciting, new and fresh.

Our Solution

New online strategies and on-campus engagements create a year-round discussion for the Maui Invitational. The campaign has helped to keep the annual event top of mind during football and basketball season and has helped extend mainland opportunities for sponsors.

Media Impressions
Economic Impact
Hawaii visitor spending
Media Value


Each year, the college basketball world waits in anticipation for the Maui Invitational. Bringing the best teams in the NCAA to an ESPN audience who revels in the coaches wearing aloha shirts and play that typically serves as a litmus test for the year’s NCAA championship run.


“This tournament has been awesome... It’s my fourth trip here as a coach. Everything has been first class from the time you arrive. The atmosphere here is unreal. I wish we could bottle it up. We really appreciate being here. Indiana really appreciates being here.”

Tom Crean, former head coach
Indiana University