NTX Magazine Volume 2 - Page 30

Feature Story Sports Sporting the Globe International players, global teams raise North Texas’ brand worldwide W hen the Dallas Mavericks played in Berlin last October, they sold out 14,500 seats in less than 10 minutes. Three days later in Barcelona, Spain, they sold out more than 16,000 seats, again, in minutes. Sarah Melton, the franchise’s director of basketball communications, knew the games would sell out, but not in that time frame. “As soon as they released the tickets, they were gone,” said Melton. Sure, the Mavericks were on Dirk Nowitzki’s home turf and the team was fresh off its 2011 NBA Championship. But the speedy sellout illustrates the long reach and significant role that sports have in branding North Texas. Indeed, what Texan hasn’t traveled abroad to be asked about the Dallas Cowboys or the Texas Rangers? “Sports buys you marketing and brand awareness that advertising budgets would not be able to afford otherwise,” said Tara Green, chief revenue officer for American Airlines Center, home to the Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Green, who also served as vice president and chief operating officer of the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee said, “Communities bring in major sports events like the Super Bowl or the Breeder’s Cup because of economic impact and media exposure. The Super Bowl in 2011 28 NTX Magazine was a marketing tool for North Texas. It generated $60 million in media value around the world. You can’t buy advertising like that.” Additionally, sports are “one of those elements that make a community well-rounded,” said Green, who previously spent 11 years as vice president of sports marketing at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. “After 9/11, we saw that sports travel numbers continued to rise when business travel numbers fell off. People weren’t traveling for business but were traveling for kids’ sports activities or college teams to have some sense of normalcy or Dirk Nowitzki American Airlines Center in Dallas www.ntc-dfw.org