Sponsler Hired by Fergus Falls for Sports Marketing
14 Sep, 2015
The Fergus Falls (MN) Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) added Sports Marketing as a strategic focus last spring. The addition of Sports Marketing Manager, Whitney Sponsler in May, plus a sports summit held last week and new dedicated marketing tools are all geared toward helping our local youth sports organizations grow – with a focus on hosting more tournaments in Fergus Falls.
“Youth sports is a growing travel market and we have fantastic sports facilities – indoors and outdoors,” said Tom Larson, board member for the CVB and general manager of the Best Western Hotel. “This dedicated investment in our local school and club sports successes should play out as an economic win for the entire community.”
“The addition of Whitney to our staff has been received positively by our sports community,” said Jean Bowman, executive director of the Fergus Falls CVB. Among other things, she has inventoried our sports facilities, met with stakeholders – including athletic directors, coaches and youth tournament directors.
A sports summit late this summer drew more than 20 members of the Fergus Falls sports community. “Feedback was fantastic. People appreciated the initiative and dedicated focus to helping local sports stay strong. Needs were identified including player recruitment, help finding trained referees, coordinating facility calendars, identifying possible teams for tournament play and more,” said Bowman. Next up for the new programming will be finalizing marketing materials, identifying specific tournament opportunities and assisting the various sports with tournament team recruitment.
“The new Google sports calendar (which is incorporated into the Daily Journal web site) will be a resource for sports and businesses alike,” said Larson. “We sometimes get tournaments booked without the organizers realizing a large conference is in town during the same dates; that makes hotel rooms scarce. In fact we encourage anyone booking a group event to check with the CVB for general hotel availability.”
Sponsler is a recent graduate of NDSU with experience there as a marketing staffer for the NDSU Athletic Department as well as having worked in marketing for a fitness center in Australia. She is a native of Thompson, ND and has her BS in Business Administration from NDSU.