2016 Game Changers: John Poole

John Poole, Kissimmee Sports Commission
John Poole Director of Sports Marketing and Development, Kissimmee Sports Commission A native of England who’s made his mark in Central Florida, John Poole has made a splash in sports tourism because he thinks big. When the Prince Harry-led Invictus Games announced it was coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Poole led the charge to ensure Experience Kissimmee would be the sole tourism partner at the international event in May. Capping off a big summer, he sealed a three-year deal with West Ham United Football Club to place Experience Kissimmee branding prominently at the English Premier League club’s new stadium—conveniently within walking distance of Europe’s largest shopping mall. Both events are part of a larger strategy to promote the DMO globally through sports. The work is paying off: The city’s room nights have increased by 40,000 since Kissimmee Sports Commission launched in 2015. “I’m looking at exposure,” says Poole. “How can we generate awareness and elevate our brand?”   The 2016 Game Changers are sponsored by Sports Pittsburgh. Sports Pittsburgh game changers rightsholders