Two Erie Sports Commission (ESC) staff members have been promoted, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Emily Biddle has been promoted to Marketing and Communications Director, and Ben Huggler has been promoted to Event Services Director.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work we have done as a team, and it’s due in large part to the great work that Emily and Ben have done,” said Mark Jeanneret, executive director of the Erie Sports Commission. “In their new elevated roles, I expect that sports tourism in the Erie region will only continue to grow.”
Biddle has been a member of the ESC team since July 2014, when she was hired as the organization’s first communications manager. She is responsible for leading the organization’s marketing and promotions strategies, as well as public relations, branding, communications and internship program. Biddle’s efforts were vital to the organization twice being named the National Sports Commission of the Year by Sports ETA (formerly NASC) in 2014 and 2016, and twice receiving the same organization’s award for Destination Marketing Campaign of the Year (2016, 2018).
Biddle has a Master of Science degree in sports leadership from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Erie Metro Chapter of the PA Sports Hall of Fame and Cultures, Festivals, Arts and Events of Erie (CAFE).
Huggler joined the ESC team as event services manager in July 2018, leading the organization’s efforts to bid on and secure new events to be hosted in the region. He has played a vital role in successfully adding 21 new events to the ESC calendar during his first full year in the role. In addition to securing events, Huggler oversees support for returning ESC-hosted events, including managing sponsorship grants, facility procurement, volunteers and event hospitality. Huggler also leads the ESC’s Facility Matching Funds Program and Sports Tourism Awards.
Huggler has a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation management and tourism from Slippery Rock University. With a strong background in producing worldwide touring events, he has demonstrated expertise attracting and supporting events to his hometown of Erie.
In 2019, the ESC hosted and supported 74 events with an estimated $19 million economic impact to Erie County, all-time high numbers for the organization.
Both Biddle and Huggler are currently obtaining credits to earn Certified Sport Event Executive (CSEE) certification through Sports ETA.
The Erie Sports Commission is committed to promoting the Erie region as a prime destination for sports and recreation. The major goals of the ESC are to attract, create, support, and host sporting and recreational events that have a positive economic impact on the region, and assist in maximizing the potential of all regional sports facilities and venues. The ESC strives to enhance the image of Erie by showcasing the community, promote wellness through healthy lifestyles, and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages.