In 2007 destination marketing organizations saw an opportunity to improve the situation for each individual entity by working together for the greater good.
The plan was simple: Leverage the successful state campaign to elevate the brand for tournament sports and draw national events to the state, and then let events from all over fall in love with the prolific sports offerings of the mitten state. that means lakes, trails, rivers, fields, courts, ice rinks, and much more! Michigan is a destination for top competition, offering unique surroundings event participants can explore! Starting with just seven destinations over a decade ago, Pure Michigan Sports has grown into a thriving collaborative entity that brings together 14 different in-state destinations to work together to draw sports tournaments and events to the Great Lakes State.
In partnership with Travel Michigan, the Pure Michigan Sports initiative utilizes the strength and recognition of the award-winning Pure Michigan brand in an effort to attract sports events of all shapes and sizes to Michigan. Sports have a rich history in the State of Michigan. From hosting world-renowned events like the Ryder Cup and the Super Bowl to youth activities generating lifetime memories, Michigan has a wide variety of destinations from which to select for your next event.
Partners of the Pure Michigan Sports initiative include organizations representing the following destinations: Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Livingston County, Mt. Pleasant, Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Holland and Muskegon. The Greater Lansing Sports Authority is proud to take the lead on the initiative and serve as fiduciary in the organization’s efforts. GLSA executive director Mike Price, CSEE, CTA understands the strength of collaboration and sees all upside for Pure Michigan Sports. "Each of the partners in Pure Michigan Sports has a passion for not only their community, but for the state as a whole. We have a great understanding of our community's strengths, and that of others so if a certain group has a need, if one of us isn't a fit, there will be another Michigan community where the event fits perfectly," said Price. "The collaboration benefits each of its parts and I'm proud to see it growing stronger each year."
At a recent global symposium at the 2019 conference for the National Association of Sports Commissions, Price met with delegates from China who were directed to the Pure Michigan Sports initiative as a ‘Best Practices’ group in the US for drawing sports tourism. Conversations born out of that meeting have opened doors to working with China to further develop sports tourism efforts and possibly the creation of a sports-driven sister cities program.
The Pure Michigan Sports continues to grow its influence at the national level, showcasing Michigan as a top destination for athletic tournaments and events. With woods, water, big cities, small towns and four great seasons, Michigan has great venues and experienced professionals to make any sports event a true success. For more information about Pure Michigan Sports, visit www.puremichigansports.org.