Visit Greenville, NC Announces Launch of New Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission
GREENVILLE, NC- The Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Greenville, NC) announces the launch of the new Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission starting July 1, 2019.
“We are excited to launch the Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission as an active division within Visit Greenville, NC,” stated Andrew Schmidt, President and CEO of Visit Greenville, NC. “Our vision has always been to grow Greenville-Pitt County into a premier sports destination within North Carolina and the Southeast and the creation of a sports commission will help us achieve that goal.”
As a new division of Visit Greenville, NC, the Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission is exclusively charged with increasing economic impact and creating a lasting positive impression of Greenville-Pitt County by providing an environment conducive to superior sports tourism experiences. The Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission will work to achieve this mission by recruiting and hosting a diverse range of sporting events and advocating for the development of future facilities and infrastructure to support the growth of sports tourism in our destination.
The sports tourism industry continues to grow each year, generating $11.4 billion in direct spending in the United States in 2017. Visit Greenville, NC has been able to capitalize on the growth of this tourism market segment with its sports tourism efforts, which in fiscal year 2018 – 2019 included recruiting and hosting 63 sporting events and tournaments, which generated 19,395 hotel room nights, and an estimated economic impact of $13,624,274 million to the local Greenville-Pitt County economy. These sporting events included several statewide, regional, and national tournaments, such as the US Tennis Association North Carolina 65 and Over State Championship, the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X Baseball Tournament, the USA Rugby Club 11s National Quarter Finals, and more.
The new Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission will have two full time staff members: Gray Williams, CSEE, who will serve as Executive Director, and Paul Sheehan, MBA, MS, who will serve as the Director of Sports Development.
“We are thrilled to grow our sports tourism efforts within our community,” said Gray Williams, Executive Director of the Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission. “Adding the new Sports Commission to our destination portfolio and working with our advisory board and partners will increase opportunities to recruit larger events, and help us gain national recognition as a sports tourism destination.”
Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission Advisory Board Members will include:
Kellen Altman, ECU Athletics; Ron Butler, Pitt County Schools; Evan Johnson, Town of Winterville; Dana Lopez, ECU Campus Recreation & Wellness; Dr. Robert McCarthy, USA Lacrosse-NC Chapter; Dustin Mills, Taft Development Group/ CVA Board Liaison; Don Octigan, City of Greenville Recreation & Parks
A full launch of the Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission, along with the development of new branding and sports tourism marketing campaigns, will take
place in the coming months.
Stay connected at: visitgreenvillenc.com/sports, Facebook: @PlayGreenvilleNCSports, Twitter: @PlayGVLNCSports, Instagram: @PlayGVLNCSports, and by using the new #playgreenvillencsports to tag your photos from sporting events in Greenville-Pitt County to be featured on the Greenville-Pitt County Sports Commission’s social media platforms!
Gray Williams, CSEE Paul Sheehan, MBA, MS
Executive Director Director of Sports Development