RALEIGH—A North Carolina High School Athletic Association corporate partner has earned a prestigious award.
The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance has been named the Sports Tourism Organization of the Year for 2014 by the National Association of Sports Commissions.
The GRSA is a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau. The award, in the category of destinations with a population of more than 250,000, was announced at the 23rd Annual NASC Symposium recently in Milwaukee, where sports tourism industry professionals gathered.
Given annuallym he award goes to the organization that "has had the most outstanding impact on its local community through sports events, community events and/or economic impact."
The GRSA and its partners hosted and supported an abundance of major sporting events in 2014, including a number of NCHSAA state championships. They also hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament 2nd and 3rd Rounds, NCAA Men's College Cup, Ironman 70.3 Raleigh, the inaugural Rock ‘n' Roll Raleigh Marathon & ½ Marathon, the NCAA Division II Baseball World Series, and major youth events such as the Deep South Classic basketball tournament, CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series and many more. GRSA assisted in booking an estimated 74 events in 2014, accounting for 104,000 hotel room nights booked and $33.5 million in direct visitor spending.
GRSA Executive Director Scott Dupree, Associate Director Tori Collins, and Assistant Director Jason Philbeck were on hand in Milwaukee to accept the award and meet with event rights holders from around the country who represent potential future sports business for Greater Raleigh.
"This is the most prestigious award in our industry, and we are honored and grateful to receive it," said Dupree. "It's a tremendous credit to our GRCVB leadership team, our GRSA Advisory Board, our city and county leaders, and our superb GRSA staff. More than anything, it's a reflection of our many wonderful partners here in Greater Raleigh. I truly believe we have the best sports partners in America, and collectively they make this the best sports market in the nation. Bottom line, this is a great sports town, and all of us at the GRSA consider it a privilege to work here."
The National Association of Sports Commissions is the only trade association serving 650 member organizations made up of sports commissions, convention and visitor bureaus and sports event owners, providing educational, networking, and business development opportunities since 1992.
The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) markets and promotes Raleigh and all of Wake County in order generate and/or retain sports-related business (tournaments, championships, special events and meetings) for the purpose of economic development. The GRSA's 21-member Advisory Board takes a leadership role in helping to chart the future of the sports event industry in Wake County. The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is a division of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.