The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) has promoted Nick Povalitis to Director of Sports Development. Povalitis will work to secure professional and amateur sporting events and tournaments that will generate economic development for the Rockford region.
“I’m excited to help shape the narrative of sports tourism, both locally and on a national scale,” said Povalitis. “Some of this narrative is already happening in Rockford through our Bring-Your- Game-2-Rockford (BYG2RKFD) campaign—we continue to intertwine tourism outreach with local successes, and it resonates. However, there is always room to improve. The industry is so competitive that it takes deliberate, long-term relationship building and storytelling to stand out. Both of those activities are really important and help build a strong portfolio of events for 2018.”
Povalitis joined RACVB in 2012, serving as sports sales manager.
“Creativity, resilience and patience are big parts of my career development. Working with quality people at each step are the most important part because they led me to this point. I was fortunate to end up in sports tourism in 2012, and have since had the flexibility to grow. I really appreciate this role as another opportunity to get better, but also to continue to gain lifelong friends within the industry,” Povalitis said.
In his new role, Povalitis will also serve as a member of the organization’s leadership team and is responsible for generating sales results within existing sports markets while developing new, growth market segments such as ultimate, rugby and lacrosse. “There are other sports events we would like to win the rights to host,” he added.
Povalitis will research and develop new sports segments, needed facilities and potential partnerships that would position the region for success in the sports tourism marketplace.
Povalitis also hopes to build a strong foundation for supporting local events. "Externally, we’d like to design more partnerships with event owners and sports media to help grow the RACVB brand. There is a lot to unpack there, but proactivity is what we’d like to see.”
Povalitis will work with RACVB’s sales, marketing and servicing teams to develop RACVB’s annual sports sales, marketing and servicing plans including the development of strategic brand content and media outreach/pitching efforts. He will also oversee RACVB’s sports brand ambassador program and will work to further advance sports tourism events like the Fred VanVleet Summer Camp, FVV Fan Fest and Sport Stories symposium.
“For the last five years Nick has done a great job working alongside his colleagues to raise our region’s status as a sports tourism destination. He possesses the experience, interpersonal skills and drive necessary to work effectively with sports decision-makers,” said John Groh, RACVB president and CEO.
After five years in a route management role with G&K Services, Povalitis was ready to return to the sports business industry. “I had already worked in athletic public relations earlier in my career. In Spring 2012, I reached out on a whim to John to introduce myself. Things picked up about six weeks later when a sales manager position opened up. My official first day at RACVB was June 18, 2012, and I’ve been a huge proponent of the tourism industry ever since!”
“Nick has great rapport with local tourism hospitality leaders and that helps ensure tournaments and events are successful from conception to completion,” said Groh. “I have confidence in his ability to build our brand and results as he transitions into this new role as director of sports development.”
Povalitis also looks forward to creating a positive impact in the region. “I thoroughly enjoy that we’re all telling positive stories about our communities. That is something we can all relate to. When you put creative, motivated and positive people together, something special happens … Together with my colleagues, I want to share our stories and achieve the long-term goal of bringing record numbers of visitors to the region due, in part to, sports tourism.”