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July 17, 2019 9:46am


INVESTOR SPOTLIGHT: Louisville Sports Commission

Founded In 1999 by community and hospitality leaders to increase Louisville’s ability to attract and host in-bound sporting events.

Number of Employees: Eight

Describe what your organization does in two sentences.
Our primary mission is to attract, create and host sporting events and activities that enhance the local economy. In addition, we leverage our assets in the sports events market to support community efforts in talent attraction and retention and health and wellness.

Who do you serve?
Our primary business-to-business clients are national governing bodies of sports and other sports events rights holders. We serve these clients by hosting their events in Louisville and by helping create great experiences for the tens of thousands of athletes who travel to our community, along with their families, support team and fans. Indirectly, we serve the local hospitality industry by attracting thousands of visitors to Louisville. Our business-to-consumer clients are local, regional and nationally based businesses and individuals who participate in the eight events that we own and operate: Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame fueled by the Kentucky Lottery, Live in Lou Cross Country Classic, Louisville Corporate Games presented by Humana, Louisville pure tap® 5K, Norton Sports Health 10K, Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, Howard Schnellenberger Award and Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam®.

One fact you may not know about my organization is:
The Louisville Sports Commission created and operates Louisville Active, a movement to foster a culture of active lifestyles in our community as a pathway to better health for our citizens. One of the four tenets of Louisville Active is to create more opportunities to be active, especially for disadvantaged youth. In addition to the Fall Runathon and Louisville Corporate Games, Louisville Active initiatives include Playing it Forward, a program where the LSC and our partners collect sports equipment that area youth have outgrown and distribute the equipment to youth who cannot afford it; and Kids Finish First presented by KentuckyOne, a six-week program that helps instill the habit of exercise where youth walk, jog or run 13.1 miles – the distance of a half marathon – during a six-week period.

What sets your business apart from others in the way you attract and retain talent?
The LSC annually attracts thousands of student-athletes and other competitors to our community who are job-ready for professional careers outside of sports. Along with the University of Louisville, Bellarmine and Spalding Universities and Louisville Tourism, we have hosted 24 NCAA national championships and 17,000 student-athletes during the past 12 years – more than any city in America. These college-educated individuals are highly motivated with extremely desirable skills and personal attributes that are in demand by business leaders. Through innovative thinking and programming, in partnership with Greater Louisville Inc. we are working to connect these high achievers to local businesses.

What do you like about being an investor in Greater Louisville Inc.?
As a GLI investor, we make connections with the local business community that help us stretch our thinking and determine creative ways to leverage our assets to support community initiatives such as improving health and wellness and GLI’s talent attraction and retention efforts.

How does your organization engage in the community?
As an organization with lofty goals and a small staff, we have embraced the partnership model as a means for success. To attract and host sporting events, along with Louisville Tourism, we partner with state and local government, our local universities, facility operators and many other organizations to deliver exceptional experiences for participants. As we look to foster a culture of active lifestyles, we have partnered with a wide range of local non-profit and other health and wellness organizations to help advance our Louisville Active initiatives.

How can people engage with your organization?
Organizations and individuals can support LSC through donations of time, talent and treasure. Donations of time and talent range from board service to volunteer activities at our events. Financial support comes in three ways: philanthropic donations from companies, foundations and individuals that support our mission; corporate sponsors that want to align with our owned and operated and hosted events; and companies and individuals who participate in our healthy lifestyle activities.