Sports Marketing Key Component of Wicomico County’s $43 Million Tourism Surge

In a September 30 press release, Wicomico County announced that county tourism initiatives have added $43.1 million to the economy, largely due to sports marketing and athletic events.  From the press release:

Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt and the Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism announce that Tourism initiatives brought a total of 34 events to Wicomico County and infused $43.1 million into the local and state economy in FY14, an 11% increase over the previous fiscal year. Of this amount, the direct impact was $27 million.  …

County Executive Pollitt stated, “…Tourism is an essential component of our economic development strategy and continuing to grow it remains one of my top priorities.”  …

Sports’ marketing is the largest segment of the County’s book of tourism business. Twenty-five sports events were held last year generating just over $32 million in economic activity.  …

Gary Mackes, Director of the Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism said, “We’re really pleased with the County’s trajectory and the generous support received from our elected officials and the efforts of the Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism staff, the Tourism Board, and stakeholders.”

The press release described the County’s aggressive use of its Wicomico Youth and Civic Center to attract non-sports events and the formation of the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Sports Alliance (MAASA) between the County and Ocean City to further expand regional sports marketing efforts. The press release noted favorable reactions to these initiatives from state legislators:

Delegate Norman Conway said, “The economic and tax benefits derived from Wicomico’s tourism initiatives are impressive. These benefits merit State investment in the Youth and Civic Center and Henry Parker Athletic Complex to allow the County to grow its market share.”  …

Senator Jim Mathias said, “Our sports facilities, accommodations and attractions are second to none. Ocean City and Wicomico are to be commended for forming the first partnership like this in the nation.”

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