(Columbia, SC) — WNBA Rookie of the Year, University of South Carolina alum and former Lady Gamecock Aliyah Boston and Experience Columbia SC announced a partnership to inspire travel to the Columbia region today. The announcement took place during a press conference at Colonial Life Arena just before Boston’s former team played Vanderbilt.
Over the next year, Boston will share her experiences exploring Columbia, including some of her favorite spots and activities during her time at the University of South Carolina, as well as new-to-her spots since joining the WNBA.
“With the success of our local ambassador program and recent NIL partnerships with University of South Carolina student athletes, Experience Columbia SC is looking to further expand our partnerships to share what makes the Columbia region so special to visitors and residents. Our partnership with Aliyah came out of a mutual love for this community and wanting to share it with others. We couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with her and share the region with new audiences both regionally and nationally,” said Kelly Barbrey, vice president of marketing and communications for Experience Columbia SC.
“God knew his plans for me and because of that Columbia holds a very special place in my heart,” Boston said. “This community embraced me from my first day when I arrived as a freshman and will always feel like home. I’m excited and proud to partner with Experience Columbia SC and be a part of sharing this beautiful, vibrant and diverse city with visitors.”
Boston will join the Experience Columbia SC team for special appearances in the coming year to promote and share her love of the Columbia region with key audiences, as well as a marketing, PR and social campaign to promote travel to the region. From the community’s historic districts and rich culture to its renowned culinary scene, Boston is eager to share the many and diverse experiences that make the region a must-visit destination.
“Aliyah is beloved in Columbia, and her genuine love of Columbia makes this a perfect and natural partnership. Her charisma, authenticity and love for community engagement also align with our brand. Our partnership is poised to make a positive and long-lasting impact on our region’s tourism industry,” said Bill Ellen, president and CEO of Experience Columbia SC.
During her time in Columbia at the University of South Carolina, Boston received numerous accolades. Since graduating, she has continued to receive WNBA recognitions, including 2023 Rookie of the Year.