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Data Points: Human Capital

Most of the destinations we work with would be considered small or mid-market in size. A lot of “one person shows” trying to do everything tourism with limited resources and very few staff members. As our team was culling through all the data we have on nearly 400 sports tourism focused organizations that have gone through the (free) Sports Tourism Index™ process, we asked the question…..


What is the correlation between human capital (aka staff) and success?


Here are a few data points that shine light on this question. Note that this data is built around the number of staff members within your tourism entity (no matter the structure) that is specifically dedicated to the sports market. Check out the below chart, then we can reflect on the data.


Okay, some key takeaways here…..

  • Value Add – When an organization goes from zero (0) dedicated sports staff to one (1) there is a tremendous amount of added value. The big one is that the number of events hosted per year goes up 4-fold. The renewal percentage of those events also goes up 21%. The bottom line? A dedicated sports tourism/development staff member versus having that person deal with multiple markets pays for itself.

  • Future Bookings – The correlation between number of staff and events contracted for the next two years doesn't necessarily mean more sports staff is better. When you compare two (2) full-time sports staff versus three (3) or more, there isn’t a jump in the added human capital investment (the data actually shows diminishing marginal returns in this area). The number of events hosted between two (2) and three (3) dedicated staff is relatively flat.

  • Bid Win Rate – When bidding on events in an active RFP process, the data says that going from one (1) to two (2) sports dedicated staff members provides a small increase in the success of bid-in events. It is a small increase, however an important one to note here.

  • Renewals – The biggest takeaway from this data is in the percentage of events that are renewed versus turning into lost business. Organizations with three (3) or more sports staff have a substantially higher renewal percentage than those with less. Basically, the more dedicated sports staff, the higher rate of event renewal. This is likely tied to the ability of the sports organization to service those events beyond just booking them on the front end.


Those that know us know that we lean on the data. You should too.


Follow the data. Make intentional decisions. Play the long game for victory.

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