SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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September 2018 34 www.sportseventsmagazine.com the Indians, Browns and Cavaliers. Meredith Painter, director of Marketing and Communications for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, believes the community's ability to come together to support major sporting events is "unparal- leled" when compared to other large cities. "Our local media is also very supportive of events that the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts," she said. "The fact that we have the support of the general public for wrestling events works to our benefit." This year, Cleveland set the single-day attendance record for the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held March 15 – 17 at the Quicken Loans Arena, with 19,776 fans pouring through the turnstiles to watch the grappling. The city also set the total attendance record for the champion- ship with 113,743 in attendance. According to Painter, ESPN set a viewership record with nearly 8 million people tuning in to watch. The total national earned media audience was 17,329,452 people and the publicity value was $297,550, including all major local media outlets and national cov- erage. The event provided $15 million in economic impact to Northeast Ohio. The city also hosted the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in March at the Cleveland Public Auditorium. Nearly 7,500 spectators viewed the four sessions, the total national earned media audience was 21,697,659 and the publicity value was $502,348, including all major local media outlets. This event provided $1 million in economic impact to Northeast Ohio, Painter said. The USA Wrestling UWW Cadet & U23 World Team Trial Qualifier was held June 1 – 3 at Stiles Field House on the campus of the University of Akron, drawing 1,300 specta- tors and 1,200 athletes over the course of three days. The total national earned media audience was 965,121 and the publicity value was $63,370. This event provided $1 million in economic impact to Northeast Ohio, Painter said. "We actively market for these events based on the event size and scope," she said. "For example, for the USA Wrestling UWW Cadet & U23 World Team Trial Qualifier, we focused on social media mar- keting in terms of Facebook and Instagram promoted posts, as well as grassroots efforts with flyers at local businesses and wrestling gyms. However, for the NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, we pitched earned media to discuss the impact of the event. We paid for print marketing in the downtown area, such as large-format ban- ners on the Quicken Loans Arena, kiosks throughout Cleveland and pole banners. Additionally, we did a digital spend on social media, purchased radio ads and worked with local businesses to put table tents and window clings in 100 locations." While the Midwest may be a wrestling hotbed, Virginia Beach, Va., lands its share of big-time grappling events, too. Virginia Beach Sports Marketing hosts three major wrestling events annually: the Virginia Challenge National Holiday Duals (1,500 athletes), the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) High School Nationals (4,210 athletes), and the NHSCA National Duals (5,200 athletes). Currently, the events are held in a 150,000-square-foot column-free expo hall at the Virginia Beach Convention Center with an option to move into the Virginia Beach Sports Center in 2021. Charli Sharp, director of public relations for Visit Virginia Beach, said, "Sporting and event planners are searching for desti- nations that can offer attendees experiences beyond fields and stadiums, and Virginia Beach offers just that. Our column-free expo hall at the Virginia Beach Convention Center and the highly anticipated 285,000-square-foot Sports Center, 35 miles of beaches, and array of activities and attractions make Virginia Beach an ideal destination for wrestling events." Sharp said the city's wrestling events typically show significant year-over-year growth. "Virginia Beach has a very active wrestling community that provides local support for event planners, as well as sports-friendly hospitality partners that pro- vide accommodations, attractions, restau- rants and off-mat activities," she said. Results in these cities and others demon- strate that amateur wrestling packs 'em in and pumps up economic and social vitality in the areas where they are held. n t SPORT Report National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) wrestling event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center 2018 Big 12 Wrestling Championships in Tulsa, OK Visit Virginia Beach Tulsa Sports Commission

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