RACVB – Bring Your Game to Rockford
GrahamSpencer’s 30+ year of service to the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has taken us on many interesting and challenging creative journeys, and our two teams have achieved great success for the Rockford Region together. Along with many other partners such as the City of Rockford, City of Loves Park, Winnebago County, Rockford Park District and more, we helped create and sustain the critically successful visitor industry in the Rockford Region.
One of the more interesting challenges we’ve tackled during our decades-long partnership with RACVB was the creation and execution of a powerful campaign to attract more lucrative amateur sports tournaments to the Rockford Region, where amateurs sports are big business. The campaign, entitled BYG2RKFD (Bring Your Game to Rockford), is reflective of the high standards of a Bureau named National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sports Tourism Organization of the Year in 2015 and again in 2018.
The BYG2RKFD concept defines regional sports facilities as excellent, accessible and affordable – while also shining a bright light on the excellence of the athletes who live here, such as NBA phenomenon and Real, Original Rockfordian Fred Van Vleet. Van Vleet, one of our community’s favorite sons, serves as BYG2RKFD’s first sports ambassador.
At RACVB’s request, we even modified our proprietary Thinkpad concept for to create a Sportspad Journal featuring facilities information and bios about local athletes. The Sportspad is used successfully in direct sales efforts.
Not surprisingly, the campaign has born fruit. In 2017, total hotel nights booked rose 9.8%, driving occupancy up to 74% at a time when the Rockford Region’s peers were experiencing declines. The economic impact of tourism locally exceeds $350 million and supports approximately 3,000 jobs. Tax receipts exceed $5.9 million and have been consistently on the rise.