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Free Prize Inside

One of our favorite people in the world is Seth Godin. Seth has one of the brightest marketing minds in the world and is a best-selling author and is in high demand as a speaker on topics relating to business. One of his best works is a book called Free Prize Inside which shares innovative strategies on how to disrupt the marketplace with creative marketing tactics. It’s a brilliant (and easy) must read for anyone that touches marketing in your organization (which is pretty much everyone right?).

As many of you know, three years ago we launched a new benchmarking tool for sports tourism destinations, the Sports Tourism Index. The Index has been a great asset for us to evaluate the current status of a destination’s sports marketing efforts and then to measure how they stack up against their competitive set. Over the past year, we have been in development of an additional feature for the Index called Scout. Scout is a business development match making program that works with the Index to generate partnerships between event rights holders and potential host destinations (be they CVBs, DMOs, or sports commissions). We launched Scout on January 5th of this year and it has really taken off in just its first few formative weeks.

Given the success of the Index and now Scout, our team at HUG was thinking about how we can enhance the platform even more. How can we make it even better than it already is? By leaning back on Seth Godin’s book, what is the “Free Prize Inside” for our Sports Tourism Index + Scout platform? Well, we think we came up with a good answer to that question.

Our DNA at HUG is to try every day to make the sports tourism industry a better place to do business. If our little tribe can contribute positively to the industry, over time our partners will do better, we will build great relationship bridges, our company will thrive, and the industry as a whole will prosper. A rising tide raises all boats. So how can we use our platform to raise that tide at a time when the industry needs more stability? We add a free prize.

This past week we announced the creation of a free sports tourism conference focused entirely on business-to-business matchmaking. The virtual conference, HUDDLE UP 2021, will take place May 4-5 and will include 16 hours of presentations from event owners to potential host destination partners. No keynote speeches, no professional development sessions, just business.

So you say, “You guys are not in the conference business, so why launch such an endeavor?” Simple. Our partners asked us to. They need to keep transacting business no matter what the current state of affairs are in the travel industry. Cities need to stay in front of event owners, and rights holders need to keep open communication with the destinations. They asked us to provide that platform, we listened, and so HUDDLE UP 2021 was created.

While we were trying to create this “Free Prize” for our partners on the Sports Tourism Index platform, we of course knew that these are unprecedented financial times for our entire industry. Could we try and monetize an event like this? Sure, we could have, but that wouldn’t be a free prize and it certainly wouldn’t help raise the tide.

Registration for HUDDLE UP 2021 is live now. To sign up for the Sports Tourism Index, visit Those who are signed up for the Index, even for the Free Access version, will be emailed information about HUDDLE UP 2021 and how they can get involved.

Seek to create a free prize for your stakeholders this week.

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