May 09, 2011 – The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) set another attendance record at its annual conference, which attracts representatives from the sport, tourism and recreation sectors. Sport Events Congress 2011 was held last week at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa with 375 delegates in attendance. CSTA also marked a 50% increase in sponsorship support for the Congress.
“Year over year increases in Congress attendance, investment by sponsors and membership growth are key indicators that suggest that sport tourism continues to flourish in communities across Canada,” said Rick Traer, CSTA CEO. “Over the next four years, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games will generate an unprecedented level of awareness of the many benefits associated with sport hosting.”
Over 30 events rights holders/sports organizations participated in Sport Events Exchange, the events marketplace that remains the #1 ranked element of the Congress. Delegates were also treated to an off-site social function at the new Multi-Sport Centre in Gatineau where participants viewed sport demos and toured this new facility that is poised to host a number of events in 2011 and beyond. Another Congress highlight was the fifth annual PRESTIGE Awards luncheon, hosted by CTV sports personality, Rod Black.
The record crowd appreciated the variety of session topics, training workshops and dynamic group of keynote speakers that included Andrea Shaw, former Vice-President of Sponsorship Sales and Marketing for the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee who shared her insights into the importance of corporate partnerships.
Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, also reflected on the success of the 2010 Games and referenced the potential opportunities associated with future major events to be hosted in Canada in coming years. Ian Troop, CEO of the Toronto 2015 Pan / Parapan American Games, followed up with a presentation highlighting how the PanAms and Parapan Ams will affect Toronto and neighbouring communities from both a sport and cultural perspective.
Other influential sport business leaders to address the Congress included: Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association; Bob O’Doherty, Senior VP Games and Venues, Toronto 2015; Greg Stremlaw, CEO, Canadian Curling Association; Rick Janes, Commissioner & CEO, Canadian Professional Golf Tour; Jackie Stell-Buckingham, Director of Events, Skate Canada; and Don Schumacher, Executive Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions in the USA. A special sport marketing stream, presented by TrojanOne and led by Mark Harrison, President, rounded out the most successful Sport Events Congress to date.
Copies of the SEC 2011 presentations are now available on CSTA’s website (www.canadiansporttourism.com). More information concerning SEC 2012, already confirmed for April 18-20, 2012 in Richmond, BC, will be announced in the coming weeks as CSTA prepares to host the Congress for the first time in western Canada.