We as residents are all aware of the dynamic sports venues that exist in our beautiful community, starting with Ellenton Ice and Sports complex, IMG Academy, Premier Sports Campus, Pirate City and Andersen Race Park. We all know the value that these complexes bring to our area because they are consistently showcased by the media.
What we don't talk or hear about often are the world-class athletes who train at these facilities, and how beneficial it is for our community that these athletes train here.
The value for our community takes place when the athletes take center stage in their particular sport and the Bradenton Area is mentioned as their training location via television, radio, or even on-line. This type of awareness creates marketplace impressions for our community, not only domestically, but around the world as well. These priceless impressions are generated whenever dedicated, passionate athletes choose our community because of our state-of-the-art sports venues, climate, geographic location and the culture of our community.
The most recent example of world-class athletes who took center stage was at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex continues to produce Olympic figure skaters, beginning with Filicia Zhang and Nathan Batholomay, who represented the United States, Stacey Kemp and David King represented Great Britain, and Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers represented Canada.
All six athletes chose our beautiful community to train because of the facilities, coaches and unique amenities we have to offer in our area. Because of their hard work and commitment to their sport, our area was mentioned on worldwide broadcasts over a six week period, resulting in the marketplace making inquiries about our destination, curious as to why the Bradenton Area is appealing to these world-class athletes. Hopefully the consumer interest will draw them to our area for a visit in the near future.
Why are marketplace impressions important to our community?
As the destination marketing organization for Manatee County, and since we are actually an export business by marketing a product around the globe in hopes that prospective visitors buy our product by vacationing in our beautiful community, marketplace impression helps our brand gain market share which in turn helps us compete against other desti
nation brands in the marketplace.
I truly believe that we live and work in a community where residents are overall humble, friendly and talented.
We need to seek out the unique talents in our community, and showcase those talents in the marketplace so that the Bradenton Area becomes more of a known destination around the globe. Focusing on this will continue to help us increase our market share that will ultimately continue to benefit the economic base in our community.
Let's continue to build upon our relationships, partner when it makes good business sense, and showcase our success stories to prospective visitors, business owners and residents.
The aforementioned can only make us better ambassadors for the community that we love.
Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, can be reached at Elliott.Falcione@BACVB.com or 941-729-9177 ext. 222.