If you are a regular reader of the Monday Huddle Up or a partner of ours, you know that we are a very data driven organization. We lean on various forms of data to point us in the right direction on any project we touch. This work is usually focused on strategic planning or facility feasibility. In any case, benchmarking data can lead us to the most optimal outcomes.
We recently asked our data team to put together a brief report on where different types of facilities are geographically located across the United States. Using our Sports Tourism Index™ platform, Kevin on our team produced a heat map of over 6,000 sports venues plotted throughout the country. Below is that map. The larger the circle, the more venues there are in that community.
We then asked the team to go a step further. We asked to see the same heat map but only for indoor track facilities. That map is below.
So what does all this data tell us? A couple things…..
Not surprisingly, a majority of sports tourism focused venues are in the Southeast and the Midwest, as that is where a higher concentration of tourism focused entities reside. There are fewer tourism focused organizations in states with larger geographic footprints than there are in the Southeast and Midwest. Think Utah, Montana, New Mexico, and the like. Large areas, fewer destinations within them, thus less venues to inventory.
Focusing on indoor track facilities, it became quite obvious that the Western part of the country is lacking this type of venue. The recent success of the Podium in Spokane (WA) should be of no surprise to anyone. The data supports the concept of top shelf indoor tracks out West. If we were to predict the future, we would bet on more of these types of facilities to be explored in the West and Southwest in the future.
We can use our database to provide similar information for any type of venue, for any region, or any state. Similarly, we can use the Index data to analyze the bid win rate (or batting average) for any organization, what is the average sports budget for a certain type of tourism agency in a specific region, or even what is the correlation between staff size and events hosted. Data can answer nearly any question someone would want to ask. We just have to ask it.
Okay, no data is perfect. 6,000 venues isn’t the entire universe of sports facilities in our country. However, as far as sports tourism destinations are concerned, our platform has the deepest trove of analytical data in the industry. So yes, there are more venues out there that are not on our platform, but you have to work with the data you have. So long as the data can be proven to be statistically significant (remember that class?), you can extrapolate it across a larger population.
No matter the situation or industry. Lean on the data to make intentional and educated decisions. As the famous fictional character Gordon Gecko once said, “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”