Niche events found their, well, niche at the 2017 NASC Symposium last week in Sacramento, California. What was good news for drone racing, bridge and other events that don’t require a field also proved to be educational for the hundreds of National Association of Sports Commissions members in attendance. We sorted through the facts, figures and strategies shared for these takeaways.
Sure, you have an annual softball tournament. But what about a Drone Racing League event? John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission, and Kris Smith, director of the Detroit Sports Commission, discussed how they’ve brought eyeballs, tourists and dollars to their communities through Red Bull events, bridge and DRL. Smith noted drone racing’s impact extends beyond the organization’s stay. “This lives on forever on YouTube; this lives on forever on [DRL’s] website,” says Smith. “So when you start taking a look at events like this, it is important to look past the true economic impact numbers.” Adding to that, Gibbons recalls the 2014 American Contract Bridge League filled 13,000 hotel room nights and drew none other than Bill Gates. “[That] gives you an idea of the quality of people who could come to your community,” he says.
Open Your Ears
Detroit’s Smith delivered the line of the symposium: “As much as we can get down on millennials… quite honestly, we need to start listening to them.” The quote was in reference to e-sports, but could apply in any circumstance.