Barry Deach, championship director for the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, says some local businesses are already seeing the economic benefits of having a major sporting event in their backyard.
He explains that, in 2013, when the United States Golf Association approved the Lancaster Country Club for the site of the July 9-12 tournament, officials challenged him to “grow” the event from the ground up and “create a swell of community support.”
“They wanted me to take a serious look at businesses in the area and use them in every possible way that I could,” Deach says. “So I’ve been dealing with a lot of excellent vendors who are now working diligently on our marketing, our technology, our site planning and so on. We’ve developed some great relationships in the area.”
Deach enthusiastically lists a few of them, including Infantree design group in downtown Lancaster; Industrial Resolution, a Lancaster technology company; Pabin Collective, a Lancaster marketing firm; Moxie, a design and marketing firm in York; Perfect Pots, a commercial gardener in Strasburg; and ELA Sports, an engineering and architectural landscaping firm in Lititz.
“They’ve all been fantastic,” he says. “I think you just have more luck and send a stronger message when you’re embedded in the community and working with local companies.”
Deach also is quick to point out that the USGA has had “great support” from other corporate partners who started working on the event long before he came to town in January 2014:
“The High Companies, Fulton Bank, Lancaster General Hospital, Susquehanna Bank, Clark Associates — they’ve all been key ambassadors who really stepped up in the beginning to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to support this championship in a big way.’ And that helped to bring other local businesses into the fold. They understand the impact that it’s going to have right here in their community.”
Beyond economic benefits
It’s an impressive impact: $25 million to $30 million in direct and indirect spending, according to Deach. But the long-term benefit of having the Women’s Open “broadcast out to the world” is even greater, he says.
“It’s going to be on TV for 18 hours over four days, in over 100 countries, with the name ‘Lancaster’ being mentioned over and over,” he says. “Plus people will see the name online and in all the media coverage, thanks to the 300-plus members of the media who will be there. It’ll also be reported for months afterward. You can’t buy that kind of exposure.”