NYS partners with sporting communities and organizations to consult on strategy and marketing, conduct research and feasibility studies, and help create and operate events and programs - and in the process support the realization of sports tourism growth potential.
Our approach to these opportunities is an integrated strategy built on four essential pillars of contemporary recreation: Competition, Education, Wellness and Business. This forms the foundation of what we call Youth Sports Generation 4.0 - the evolution toward Big Life Sports.
While our experience includes a wide range of sports-related projects, most of our current work is focused on the research and development of youth sports events and venues that bring real innovation to the industry and strive to incorporate the principles of Big Life Sports. We invite you to browse through this sampling of work to see how we might help you.
All-Star Ballpark Heaven, Dyersville, Iowa
According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, there are more than 44 million children ages 7-17 who participate in organized youth sports programs, many of them in multiple sports. This number has increased 34% since 1997, and growth is expected to continue regardless of any future economic uncertainties.
This point was echoed by Don Schumacher, director of the National Association of Sports Commissions, when he said, “Sports tourism is nearly a recession-proof industry…and for the athletes’ [families], those tournaments become mini vacations.”
Chicago-based Go The Distance Baseball purchased the iconic Field of Dreams movie site in rural Dyersville, Iowa with ambitions to create America's premiere week-long youth baseball and softball tournament venue. Dubbed All-Star Ballpark Heaven, the fields and on-site athlete clubhouses will be major league quality and designed to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience for players, coaches and trailing family members with competition, pageantry, fun, and values-infused activities. The initiative also includes the Field of Dreams site itself as a popular tourist destination.
In addition to providing strategic counsel and customer experience management advice, NYS conducted two important surveys among key target groups to inform feasibility analysis, product development, marketing strategy, and local stakeholder relations.
We anticipate the literal fulfillment in great numbers of the movie's most famous line, "If you build it, they will come."
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Hawaii
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is the world’s premier professional surfing competition and the tour championship-deciding event of the year. It is also a high-profile sporting contest for Hawaii’s tourism industry, and especially for Oahu’s famed North Shore.
The question addressed by this study conducted through BYU-Hawaii marketing students and commissioned by Vans was, “How much is the Triple Crown of Surfing worth to Hawaii?” This was explored from two perspectives. First was a traditional economic impact study that estimated net direct/indirect spending generated from Triple Crown contestants, sponsors, spectators and media. Second, but equally important, is the contribution the Triple Crown makes to Hawaii’s image and tourism brand.
The answer in both cases was "a lot." We estimated direct spending attributed to the Triple Crown at $11 million, and total direct and indirect spending at $21 million. And the event clearly reinforces Hawaii's status as the surfing capital of the world.
The research data was used extensively by Vans and local surf promoters to raise the event's impact profile among tourism leaders and government officials. In short, "surf's up!"
Sports Tournament Venues, Rockford, Illinois
Visitors coming to Rockford, Illinois, to participate in or watch various sports events account for more than $15 million in local tourism spending and over 25% of hotel room nights. It's big business for Rockford as that money winds its way through the local economy and households. Rockford has long been viewed as a leading destination for youth sports tournaments in soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, wrestling and other sports, and the park district's top-quality Sportscore One, Sportscore Two and indoor Sports Factory venues play a big role.
But in recent years other communities across the country have invested many millions of dollars to add newer and bigger venues that threatened Rockford's long-standing leadership role. While serving as the CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, David Preece focused and strengthened the agency's sports sales and marketing effort while working with the park district, city, consulting firms, financial planners and entrepreneurs to initiate work on a sports venue expansion effort. This included feasibility research, site and facilities exploration and preliminary design, and identifying public and private financing options. This process clarified several key opportunities, particularly the need for larger indoor court and soccer facilities, and upgrading Sportscore Two's outdoor soccer with artificial turf and lights.
The park district and visitors bureau kept advancing this effort after Preece's departure from RACVB to start NEXTyouthsports, and David continued working on various aspects of the initiative in his new entrepreneurial role. The park district and RAVCB ultimately evolved the project into the Reclaiming First initiative that updated market conditions, laid out detailed upgrade and expansion plans, and specified new funding sources.