Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2020 and 2021 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism Presented by Traveling Teams. This year’s winners are responsible for contributing more than $400 million to the national economy over the past two years.
“The nominations we saw were incredible,” said Publisher Scott Swoger. “What really struck us was the fact that each event nominated represented a step forward from the pandemic. In many cases, event owners were working under new, and often stringent, guidelines imposed by local authorities. The fact that they persevered in order to offer their events is inspiring.”
This issue of the magazine honors events put on in 2020 (often against incredible odds and in the face of tremendous opposition from authorities), as well as those taking place in 2021. The economic impact to the communities represents a much-needed influx, which was reflected in spectator fees, hotel room usage, restaurant business and shopping in local stores.
Awards were presented not only according to market size but according to the year those events took place. A new category, Sports Tourism Heroes, was added this year to honor those whose events overcame challenges beyond the pandemic.
Full event details can be found in a special feature published in the November/December 2021 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article with full details on the winners listed below can also be found online.
2020 Large Market Champions
- Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour (Destination Partner: Austin Sports Commission)
2020 Mid Market Champions
- USA BMX Grand Nationals (Destination Partner: Tulsa Sports Commission)
- 2020 USA BMX Gold Cup Championships Northeast (Destination Partner: Akron BMX & Akron/Summit CVB)
- 2020 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifier (Destination Partner: Snohomish County Sports Commission)
- 2020 Camping World Maui Invitational (Destination Partner: Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission)
- Big 12 Wrestling Championships (Destination Partner: Tulsa Sports Commission)
- Lax Bash Gem City Lacrosse (Destination Partner: Erie Sports Commission)
- 47th Annual Kansas Shrine Bowl (Destination Partners: Visit Topeka, Hummer Sports Park U.S.D. 501, Arab Shrine, Shawnee County Emergency Management, Parrish Hotels)
- 2020 ACO World Championship of Cornhole (Destination Partner: Experience Columbia SC Sports)
2020 Small Market Champions
- Amateur Baseball Championships (Destination Partner: Bullpen Tournaments)
- 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Erie (Destination Partner: Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands and City of Sandusky)
- US Open of Grass Volleyball Waupaca Boatride Tournament (Destination Partner: Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau)
- Coastal Academy Cup (Destination Partner: Snap Soccer & Foley Sports Tourism)
- Kohl’s Kicking National Elite & Invitational Scholarship Camps (Destination Partner: Rocky Top Sports World)
- NC LaxFest (Destination Partner: Visit Goldsboro)
- Swamp Nationals Softball Tournament (Destination Partner: City of Broussard)
- 2020 ISSA Midwest USA Championships (Destination Partner: Twin Cities Gateway)
- Bounders Beach Bash (Destination Partner: Foley Sports Tourism & The Bama Bounders)
- Secret City Half Marathon & 5K (Destination Partner: Explore Oak Ridge)
- Twin City Marathon (Destination Partner: Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau)
2021 Large Market Champions
- 48th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships (Destination Partner: Visit Orlando)
- 55th AAU Junior Olympic Games (Destination Partner: Harris County Houston Sports Authority)
- 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (Destination Partner: San Antonio Sports)
2021 Mid Market Champions
- World Equestrian Center Winter Spectacular (Destination Partner: Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau)
- Elite Club National League (ECNL) (Destination Partner: Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau)
- Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships Powered by Margaritaville (Destination Partner: Collier County Convention and Visitors Bureau)
- MLK Kickoff Challenge & Showcase (Destination Partner: Discover Lancaster)
- 2021 Perfect Game Fall National Championship Protected by G-Form (Destination Partner: City of Surprise - Sports & Tourism)
- Spirit Brands Cheerleading and Dance Championships (Destination Partner: Wildwood Convention Center)
- 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Men’s World Championship (Destination Partner: Visit Frisco)
- TBF High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship (Destination Partner: Visit Anderson)
- NXL Mid Atlantic Major (Destination Partner: Valley Forge Sports)
- USA Hockey 2021 Chipotle Youth Hockey National Championships (Youth Tier II 16U) (DestinationPartner: West Michigan Sports Commission)
- 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships (Destination Partner: City of Surprise - Sports & Tourism)
- USCAA Small College World Series (Destination Partner: City of DuBois and Visit Clearfield County)
- North American Spirit Tournament Sponsored by Spirit Brands (Destination Partner: The Wildwoods Convention Center)
2021 Small Market Champions
- Amateur Baseball Championships (Destination Partner: Bullpen Tournaments)
- 2021 Grand Slam World Series of Baseball (Destination Partner: Visit Panama City Beach)
- Crossroads of America College Showcase (Destination Partner: Indiana Fire Juniors)
- Edmond Soccer Club Beat the Heat (Destination Partner: Visit Edmond)
- Jimmy Johnson’s Atlantic City “Quest for the Ring” Championship Fishing Week(Destination Partner: Atlantic City Sports Commission)
- Premier Girls Fastpitch Super Select Championship (Destination Partner: City of Columbia)
- DBB Inc. (Dixie Boys Baseball) 65th World Series (Destination Partner: Discover Monroe-West Monroe)
- UCO Endeavor Games (Destination Partner: Visit Edmond)
- Bombers Southeast Summer Invite (Destination Partner: Visit Oxford)
- 2021 Little League Softball World Series® (Destination Partners: Play Greenville NC Sports, City of Greenville NC, Greenville Little League)
Sports Tourism Heroes
- GFNY Florida Sebring (Destination Partner: Visit Sebring)
Heroic: Due to COVID 19, the GFNY event organizers were stuck in Italy for most of 2020 and planned the event from overseas.
- 2020 MHSAA Swim State Championship/2020 North-Half State Swim Championship (Destination Partner: Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau)
Heroic: Despite hosting this event during the pandemic, there was a 5 percent growth over 2019.
- Coastal Half Marathon & 5K (Destination Partner: Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events)
Heroic: The event was successfully held less than three months after Hurricane Sally
- 2021 Kayak Open Disc Golf Tournament (Destination Partner: Snohomish County Sports Commission)
Heroic: The venue was a golf course that is now being converted to a disc golf course, thanks to the popularity of the sport in the area.
About Sports Destination Management
Sports Destination Managementis written for the largest audience of sports event managers and tournament directors in the sports tourism market and maintains a focus on the important issues surrounding event location decisions and event management. With content from experts and thought leaders, SDM provides in-depth coverage of sports event planning and execution through incisive and relevant articles as well as insightful, real-world case studies showcasing best practices and successful event production.
In addition to the publication, SDM offers extensive digital resources through www.sportsdestinations.comand the e-newsletter SDM Blitz, both providing decision support tools for organizers to ensure successful events at all levels of play.
About Due North Media
Celebrating its 20th year in business, Due North Media, a division of Due North Consulting, Inc., is a niche business-to-business publisher providing media services to executives within specialized vertical markets impacting economic development including corporate site selection, business development, market-to-market events and sports tourism via publications, digital media, qualified list marketing and custom publishing.
Founded in 2001, Due North Consulting, Inc. has helped niche marketers obtain their goals for a decade and a half. The principals of the company have over 40 years of business-to-business advertising and marketing experience. It has been their mission to serve readers, clients and employees with integrity, humility and a continuing quest for the achievement of excellence.