FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 19, 2022
OVERLAND PARK, KS – Today, Visit Overland Park, Overland Park’s official destination marketing organization announced the launch of their anticipated sports tourism strategy with the hiring of industry veteran Eric Olson. Olson has significant sports tourism experience having served most recently as Principal for the sports tourism consultancy, the Huddle Up Group, as well as Director of Championships for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
In his new role as Vice President of Sports Tourism and Events, he will be responsible for leading the organization’s new sports tourism strategy leveraging the community’s impressive array of sports facilities driving increased overnight visitor spending and economic impact in Overland Park.
“Eric is an experienced and proven leader in the sports tourism world and will have an immediate positive impact on Overland Park’s efforts to attract sporting events that drive measurable overnight visitation and economic impact,” said Warren Wilkinson, President of Visit Overland Park. “The addition of Eric to our leadership team is a strong message to the sports tourism marketplace that Overland Park is back in the market and will be a competitive force across the sports tourism landscape. We are very fortunate to have selected a senior executive with considerable industry experience and knowledge to lead our sports tourism strategy.”
According to a State of the Industry Report commissioned by the Sports Events & Tourism Association, the U.S. sports tourism industry experienced direct spending of $39.7 Billion dollars in 2021 – and is expected to continue to grow post-pandemic. The potential for sports tourism economic impact in Overland Park and how the city is positioned with state-of-the-art facilities are only a few of many factors at play in the decision to launch an official sports tourism strategy for VisitOP.
"I am thrilled to be able to return to Overland Park and leverage my deep understanding, knowledge and experience in the sports tourism industry for my hometown.” said Olson. “The opportunity to serve in a leadership position in the community that I call home is a privilege and honor that I will work tirelessly towards. I look forward to working with the VisitOP team and Overland Park stakeholders to launch the official sports tourism strategy and pursue Overland Park’s significant potential for economic impact driven by sports.”
About Visit Overland Park:
Visit Overland Park is a 501c6 Destination Marketing Organization that also serves as the official marketing organization for the city of Overland Park, Kansas. The organization is responsible for promoting the community as a vibrant and inviting place to visit and as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of visitation, Visit Overland Park strengthens the community’s economic future and provides more opportunities for the residents of Overland Park. The organization is primarily funded through transient guest tax of hotels and short-term rentals. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all Overland Park residents through the economic and community benefits of tourism. For more information, visit VisitOP.com