The Sports Events & Tourism Association has announced the winners of its annual awards, given in categories that include organizations of the year, marketing campaigns and locally created events. The awards are typically announced at the organization’s annual symposium, but were revealed after Sports ETA was forced to cancel this year’s event because of the pandemic.

The awards cover a period of time from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019. An independent judging panel made up of leaders in the sports events and tourism industry reviewed each award submission based on a point system determined by the Sports ETA awards committee.

The winners of Sports ETA’s awards for 2019 are:

Sports Commission of the Year

Greater Cleveland Sports Commission – Population over 500,000

Columbus, GA Sports Council – Population under 500,000

Sports Tourism Organization of the Year

Visit Baton Rouge – Population over 500,000

Visit Knoxville Sports Commission – Population under 500,000

Event Marketing Campaign of the Year

Fort Worth Sports Commission – Population over 500,000

Rockford Area CVB – Population under 500,000

Destination Branding & Marketing Campaign of the Year

Experience Florida’s Sports Coast – Population over 500,000

Spokane Sports Commission – Population under 500,000

Locally Created Event of the Year

Palm Beach County Sports Commission – Population over 500,000

Rockford Area CVB – Population under 500,000

Game Changer Award

Patti Smith, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority

Superior Service/Industry Partner of the Year

Dale Neuburger, Burson Cohn & Wolfe Sports Practice – North America

Rockford, Illinois, received two awards, including one for its efforts to host the USA Table Tennis Olympic Trials and another for a campaign that revolved around Fred VanVleet, a Rockford native who helped the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA championship.

“There are so many partners involved with earning the rights to host an international sports event or the trust to produce community events that create lifetime memories,” said Nick Povalitis, vice president of marketing and sports development for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re proud of what we accomplished last year and remain thankful to the BMO Harris Bank Center, the ITTF North America and USA Table Tennis, and Fred VanVleet and his team for their commitment to Rockford.”