FSF Hosts Industry Partners at Executive Round Table
FSF Executive Roundtable – Friday, March 23, 2018 – Dunlap Champions Club, Tallahassee
The FSF hosted 15 sports industry partners at an Executive Roundtable luncheon and discussion about the past, present and future of the State of Florida’s $57.3 billion sports industry. The purpose of the Executive Roundtable was to have open dialogue with the FSF’s sports industry partners, to support the sports commissions with grant funding for local events, research and facts, as defined in the organization’s mission, and to recognize the wonderful jobs done by all.
Sports Industry Partner Attendees
Consuelo Sanchez, Pasco County Sports Tourism
Corry Locke, Ocala/Marion County CVB
Jason Aughey, Tampa Bay Sports Commission
Matt Dunn, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches
Carol Hudson, Broward County Sports
Jeff Mielke, Lee County Sports Development
Ray Palmer, Pensacola Sports Association
Marc Zimmerman, Polk County Sports Marketing
George Linley, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Amanda Heidecker, Tallahassee Sports Council
Connor Grady, Tallahassee Sports Council
Richard Sanders, Panama City Beach CVB
Joleen Cacciatorre-Miller, Gainesville Sports Commission
Tim Ramsberger, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
Sarah Kirchberg, St. Pete/Clearwater Sports and Events
Alden Rosner, Columbia County Sports Commission
Tom Bartosek, Space Coast Tourism
Angela Suggs, Nick Gandy, Charlotte Cowen, Michelle Roque, Leeza Lucas, Karissa Pendleton, OJ Hill, Jackie Hightower, Marvin Green, Jr.
All 26 attendees introduced themselves and answered a few “ice breaker,” questions about themselves. Following a lively exchange during the introductions, the group entered in discussion about the past, present and future of the Florida Sports Industry and their challenges and successes.
- Several counties have multiple municipalities that can sometimes be challenging.
- How sports commissions can increase hotel room nights.
- How different areas of the state focus on different levels of events, more grassroots sporting events, not professional level events, like in the state’s major markets.
- How communities can find a niche when nearby tourism behemoths.
- Various ways each community faces the ongoing battle of telling its story.
- The importance of continually educating communities with little awareness of the sports organization’s activities.
- The concern of aging venues. What needs to be done over the next 10-15 years to stay competitive.
- The creation of a local PR plan to tell your story to local and state elected officials.
- How to repurpose sports facilities when a major tenant leaves for another community
- Growth of emerging sports and how to tap into those markets.
- More competition for sports tourism around the country, whether it be a new community deciding to get into sports or an existing community building a new facility.
- Offer statistical data to show how events do as far as out of state visitors and economic impact fare when not in Florida and when in Florida.
- How sports facilities are being built. In the future, bed tax revenue could be shifted to other projects in the community. That’s why engagement with local officials is key for sports tourism. Educate the local leaders about sports facilities and how sports tourism brings visitors and economic impact to Florida each year.
Areas where the FSF may be able to assist its industry partners in the future include;
- Assisting sports commissions with branding
- How to be better advocates at local and State levels during non-legislative session and get in front of potential issues
- How to attract more local event sponsors
- Commitments from the Sports Commissions to promote specialty license tags at local level and sponsored events.
As the Executive Roundtable came to a close, cards were handed out for ideas to be left in a suggestion box as attendees were leaving for the upcoming FSF Summit, in May, and that those who couldn’t participate are encouraged to do so as well.