5. It can pay to host a bee.
Scripps provides a rebate to each host based off the number of schools registered. If there are enough, a CVB’s expenses could be completely paid for. Tack on sponsorships, like Dallas Sports Commission did this year, and it can become a moneymaker. Dallas forged partnerships with 12 sponsors, including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, CareNow Urgent Care and title sponsor Golden Chick.
6. DMOs are buying in.
Discover Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania was the first CVB to sign as a bee partner. While an existing relationship from Hecquet’s days at NASC didn’t hurt, the CVB continues to see its local bee as a branding opportunity. Dallas Sports Commission saw the bee as a legacy project and stepped up when The Dallas Morning News dropped out as Scripps’ partner in 2017. The initiative involved more than 100,000 students in 730 schools across 38 counties. Hecquet says the commission could move from a television studio to a larger venue, where more spectators can watch in person.
7. Changes are coming.
Hecquet says one of the biggest misconceptions about the bee is it stays the same each year. For 2017, it created events and programs tying into its 90th anniversary. Grander ideas are also being considered, such as adding regional competitions like AAU does with its championships, says Hecquet.