Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, August 24, 1999

H A W A I I _ S P O R T S

State will expand
its role in top events

It's hiring a company to market
Hawaii's sports attractions

By Paul Arnett


A meeting that could determine the fate of Hawaii's signature sports events is set for tomorrow at the offices of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

In July, the Hawaii Tourism Authority solicited bids from five local companies to help it enhance 31 existing major events it funded last year for approximately $6.5 million.

The menu of these events includes the Pro Bowl, the Aloha, Oahu and Hula bowls, and the major island-wide PGA Tour and Senior Tour tournaments such as the Hawaiian Open, Senior Skins and the PGA Grand Slam.

What this company will be asked to do is review existing events such as the statewide Aloha Festivals, the Hawaiian International Film Festival and the Kamehameha Celebration.

The winning bidder will also make recommendations for all events responding to the Request for Proposals for CY 2000 events and make sure they are positioned to avoid fluctuations in visitor arrivals and expenditures.

An HTA official said last night that it also wants this private company to be responsible for the event marketing and management of the key sports events.

He added that the company that wins the bid will need to be well-versed in the ways of the media, marketing, event management and innovation.

"For this company, finding new events to help promote Hawaii is as important as helping make the existing events even better," the HTA official said.

There were five companies that put in a bid to handle this one-year contract that won't exceed $500,000. The leading three candidates are believed to be Team Unlimited, headed by former Hawaii Visitors Bureau vice president of marketing Tom Kiely, Successful Events Enhancement and Development (SEED) Hawaii and Ray Stocick, who has managed golf tournaments on Maui.

The HTA is expected to announce the winning bid either tomorrow or next Wednesday.

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