2018 Game Changers: Ashley Harper Cottrell, Maryland Sports

Ashley Harper Cottrell

Ashley Harper Cottrell, CSEE is project manager and Maryland Sports, and creative and web manager at Maryland Stadium Authority. As a 2018 Connect Sports Game Changer, she discusses her passion for sports tourism.

What I Do: I manage the creative (print and digital) and web/interactive segments for Maryland Sports, Maryland Stadium Authority and Maryland Sports’ TEAM Maryland initiative, as well as bid development and event recruitment/retention. I also contribute on a regular basis to the direction and vision of Maryland Sports.

How I Got Here: Before my last semester in college, my mom saw the announcement in the newspaper about Maryland Sports being created. When I read what the mission was, I put my finger on the fine print and said, “That’s what I want to do with my life.” I emailed Terry Hasseltine to ask for an internship, was picked out of 400-plus others he interviewed to work with him. I started as an intern in January 2009 with one “simple” task: develop and launch our office’s website. After that, I just kept moving forward. Why I am a Game Changer: The impact I make on the Maryland Sports Commission team is one of leadership within the sports tourism industry and one that is garnering more respect from my peers nationally. In addition, my areas of responsibility have grown significantly and I am a significant cog in our daily, monthly and yearly execution of our duties. Lastly, if Terry were to be hit by a bus, I am knowledgeable and able to execute 97 percent of the activities Maryland Sports participates in. I serve on various committees in the sports tourism industry and am a thought leader on the women’s sports tourism side of the sector. SportsPittsburgh

Greatest Career Accomplishment: A few weeks after graduating from college, I penned the 2018 and 2022 Baltimore/Maryland FIFA World Cup submission.

Impressive Stats: My team and I touch more than 300 events annually and generate in excess of $200 million in direct spending for Maryland’s economy annually. We are growing that number on an annual basis by 7.5 percent. To date, we have a 90 percent victory rate on bids I have produced for Maryland Sports.

What I Am Working on Now: We are planning on making the 2019 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship a spectacular event that will be unrivaled elsewhere in the country. We intend to infuse the event, the sport and the energy surrounding a NCAA national championship into the community around Johns Hopkins and throughout the city and state.