Great Bend Recreation Commission Director Diann Henderson summed up her report on the Great Bend Sports Complex in a few words.
“It is poised for a strong future,” she said, addressing the Great Bend City Council Monday night. Henderson and City Administrator Howard Partington reviewed the facility’s marketing plan as prepared by the New Boston Creative Group.
The city hired Manhattan-based New Boston in late 2012. The idea was to get suggestions on how to best position the two-year-old complex and lure as many tournaments as possible.
“The Great Bend Sports Complex is an excellent example of community cooperation,” Henderson said. “It seems clear that the City of Great Bend, the Great Bend Recreation Commission, Great Bend Public Schools USD 428, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, the business community and other groups will work together to promote the Great Bend Sports Complex and ensure its success.”
Owned by the city, the complex is managed by the Rec Commission.
What’s more, she said, teams that have used it have commented on its quality. Opened for use in 2012, the complex consists of five ball diamonds.
According to the director, the field specifications meet or exceed the requirements of every sanctioning organization interviewed for this report. This includes college all the way down to youth ball, plus there are highly sought after batting cages and pitching warm-up areas.
“The amenities and modern conveniences the Great Bend Sports Complex provides are very impressive, and surprise people unfamiliar with the facility,” Henderson said. These include the Daktronics scoreboard, temporary fencing, air condition, wireless internet access, shaded seating and abundant parking.
“We did it right,” she said. “These amenities demonstrate to those looking for an excellent facility that Great Bend was serious and did its homework when designing and building the facility. They therefore feel reassured that their softball or baseball experience there will also be excellent.”
Partington said through research and a meeting with those involved, the consultants identified key assets of the Great Bend Sports complex, including such things as aesthetics, location and existing contacts. Next, the company reached out to several different sources to identify how the Great Bend Recreation Commission can develop partnership to raise the profile of the Great Bend Sports Complex.
From here on out, New Boston advised, the city must push the facility’s feature in all marketing efforts. This includes more than the amenities, but also the experience of those involved locally, from staff members to volunteers.
A consistent, long term approach to marketing the Great Bend Sports Complex is important, the report notes. “Plan for now is we will create our own marketing, but this plan is presented for us to follow,” Partington said.
Incorporated will be a website and e-mail marketing, social media, testimonials, tours and signage. They will also contact prospective users of park.