On Sunday – weather permitting – the NFL crowned a new champion.
Seventy-plus miles away in eastern Pennsylvania, we’re going to name Lehigh Valley International Airport and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau as winners, too.
LVIA and the Pocono tourism agency took an assertive approach in trying to glean business from the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J. Although the NFL title game was held in a different market, the venue was the closest to our region in the nearly 50 years that the game has been played.
That’s why LVIA gets kudos. The airport, which has had financial issues of late, aggressively marketed itself as an option for travelers to the game – both commercial flyers and those arriving via smaller, private aircraft.
Last summer, LVIA officials attended a National Business Aviation Association conference to learn about opportunities related to the Super Bowl, and they also spoke with the Federal Aviation Association.
Also last year, LVIA officials approached the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee about potential opportunities.
And last month in New Orleans at another NBAA conference, the LIVA manned a booth to market the airport as a Super Bowl alternative to the New York metro airports.
All excellent initiatives.
The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, meanwhile, was well prepared for any spillover business from Super Bowl week. In fact, the agency identified several potential areas of business from the big game being played just 80 minutes away in north Jersey.
One tactic was taking advantage of the Poconos’ special connection to the New York metro area. In the past quarter-century, many New York/New Jersey residents have moved to the Poconos. And for more than a century, New York metro residents have vacationed in the Poconos.
The Poconos was hoping that many of those New York City-area residents would get away during Super Bowl weekend to avoid the traffic and congestion. To that end, the agency promoted Super Bowl packages and special offers at Pocono destinations.
Again, very resourceful.
So, give both the Pocono tourism agency and LVIA an “A” for an excellent game plan leading up to the Super Bowl. These days, every opportunity must be pounced on and pursued.