El Paso, Texas.: Erie Sports Commission was honored yesterday by Sports ETA, the trade association for the sports events and tourism industry, for the Event Marketing Campaign of the Year (Population: Under 500,000) for its work on Lake Erie Cyclefest sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and AHN Saint Vincent Hospital. The award was presented by John David, President and CEO of Sports ETA, at the association’s annual 4S & Rights Holder Summit.
The prestigious award is given to a destination member with the most outstanding comprehensive marketing campaign for a single event hosted by its organization between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.
Referred to as Erie County, Pennsylvania’s largest all-cycling weekend for all cycling lovers, Lake Erie Cyclefest is an annual event that benefits local Erie nonprofits. In 2022, the event grew from four to six rides, all taking place July 28-31, and added a sixth nonprofit partner. In addition to raising awareness and participation in cycling in Erie County, the event’s aim is to raise money for its nonprofit partners.
A comprehensive and aggressive marketing plan was activated April 1, 2022, with a goal to generate public interest and attain 700 total event registrations (an increase from 625 in 2021). As a result of the Erie Sports Commission’s marketing plan, a total of 908 registrations were received, a 45% increase, along with nine individual instances of earned media coverage, an 80% increase.
“Sports ETA congratulates the Erie Sports Commission for recognition of the Event Marketing Campaign of the Year,” said David. “The campaign for Lake Erie Cyclefest made a significant impact with increased participation, media awareness, and charitable giving and is a model for other destinations.”
“It is a great honor to receive another award from our peers,” Erie Sports Commission Executive Director Mark Jeanneret said. “Chris Rosato (Events and Marketing Manager) developed and executed a thorough plan flawlessly that helped our great ride partners enjoy a successful weekend.”
Lake Erie Cyclefest is a four-day weekend event that features rides throughout Erie County operated by Asbury Woods, Because You Care Inc., Bike Erie, Erie Downtown Partnership, Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association and Presque Isle Partnership.
This is the second time this year that the Erie Sports Commission has received national recognition. In May, Sports ETA named the Erie Sports Commission its 2023 Sports Commission of the Year in the under 500,000 population category.