THINKPIECE: Nothing spurs good PR for a community like the excitement of a championship sports team

PR pros have a keen sense of the value of a championship sports team to a community. Exciting and enormous windows of opportunity open.

PR pros have a keen sense of the value of a championship sports team to a community. Exciting and enormous windows of opportunity open.

PR pros have a keen sense of the value of a championship sports

team to a community. Exciting and enormous windows of opportunity

open.



Nothing unifies a community like sports. Socioeconomic and other

differences melt away. A winning team lifts the morale and energy level

of every segment of the population.



San Antonians are the latest fans to feel like kings of the world as the

Spurs are the city’s only major league sports team and this is its first

title. The city has turned into one giant pep rally. Banners, signs and

car flags are ubiquitous. The synergy is mind boggling. From boardroom

to to playground, everyone has been talking about one thing - the

Spurs.



Economic impacts can be calculated on paper, but how do you assign a

value to other considerations, like media exposure and skyrocketing

community morale? Economists like to refer to such factors as a classic

’externality’ - a benefit to people who are neither buyers nor sellers.

A sports team is like a park or a museum in this regard, improving the

quality of life and enhancing economic development potential.



Media exposure is quantifiable, though you’d better stick a fresh roll

of paper in the adding machine. In addition to the US and Canada, the

NBA Finals were broadcast around the world in 199 countries in 40

languages.



Newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, cable, satellite and the Internet

enabled people to follow the games. The spotlight wasn’t limited to the

Spurs. Favorable messages were spread about a culturally-rich and

diverse city, featuring the Alamo and much more. This is welcome

exposure. San Antonio ranks as the nation’s 38th TV market, smallest

among the NBA’s 29 teams, and a world championship spreads the word as

no other means could.



Sustained media coverage produces powerful results: enticing families to

vacation in San Antonio. Motivating convention planners to schedule

meetings there. Prompting young professionals to consider job offers in

the area. Making out-of-town businesses more likely to purchase from San

Antonio suppliers.



It’s been a glorious ride. The Spurs have put the spotlight on San

Antonio and lassoed more positive PR than any high-budget campaign ever

could.



Perhaps their triumph can now inspire achievement in other arenas.

Community spirit is like that of a sports team: when harnessed, it

unleashes extraordinary powers. This is a time for new possibilities in

the Alamo City. Confidence abounds - if we can do this, we can do

anything.



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