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Volume 22 No. 7
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Sports tourism a worthy category to consider for SBAs in 2019

SBJ team, thank you for your 20-plus years in delivering great content to the sports business industry. SBJ is a primary source for our team in navigating the industry on an ongoing basis.

I’m reaching out to you today on the breadth of your awards program. I’d like to suggest that the awards cover a bit more ground in 2019 and beyond, specifically offering commendations for those in the sports tourism space.

The relevance of our industry and decade-over-decade growth of sports tourism has fueled much of the sports market’s success the past 25 years. This includes the sports tourism industry’s role in promoting, supporting and funding many of the professional sports elements reported on by SBJ. The key players in our industry host (and pay for) most all of the mega events on the annual sports calendar, often assist in funding physical facilities, and provide game-day support for a high percentage of events hosted in our country every year.

Members of our industry support their market’s teams as well as SBJ itself (through advertising and registrations at SBJ events) with marketing dollars on an ongoing basis. So much so that SBJ itself launched a quarterly sports tourism segment in the journal.

SBJ also publishes a large college edition each year, outlining the growth of the educational space in sports management. Many of these schools turn out more than ticket sales trainees — they provide a strong support system of new talent into the sports tourism industry. CVBs and sports commissions across the country hire hundreds of these young graduates each year, which provides a career pipeline for new graduates from these programs. Again, our industry is feeding the system day in and day out.

At the end of the day, the sports tourism industry supports SBJ and its sister publications in a very real way every day. While we don’t need a laundry list of awards built to recognize big names for business reasons, it would be nice for SBJ to recognize at least one “major contributor” from our space for the good work our people do every day.

What is ironic in this request is that in the SBJ Awards issue (May 28-June 3), there was a well-penned guest article by Mark Harrison on the growth and importance of sports tourism. I’m a man that believes everything happens for a reason, including timing. The fact that Mr. Harrison’s article ran in the same issue that didn’t recognize anyone specifically in the sports tourism space was a message. That message prompted me to take a few moments to craft this note to you (thanks Mark!). 

Thank you for your time and consideration in this request. Keep up the good work, and keep the relevant content coming.

Jon Schmieder
Founder and CEO,
Huddle Up Group LLC