Hail Mary: Football Coaches Enlisted to Save Economy

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL--

It may be a Hail Mary play. The state is turning to football to help save the economy. Visit Florida is enlisting the state’s top college football coaches to recruit visitors to boost tourism.

If the job market was a football game, then the state is down by more than a few, with its back against the goal line. The great recession is threatening another sack, but Florida is drawing up a trick play.

“As coach of the Gators, coach of the Knights, coach of the Noles.”

Visit Florida, the state’s tourism agency, has enlisted coaches from Florida’s top college football schools to save the economy by recruiting visitors.

“We’d like to call on all our fans to come together and support our state.”

Right now three Florida schools are ranked in the top 25. The tourism agency hopes to capitalize on their success.

“It’s really bringing together the diversity of the Florida vacation product with the passion of college football.”

College football is big business in Florida. Every year fans spend billions of dollars on game apparel, food and hotels. Out-of state fans give the state the biggest boost.

“Every 85 visitors to the state creates one Florida jobs. FSU’s Doak Campbell Stadium holds 85-thousand fans, so in theory, if every one of these seat was filled with an out of state fan, a thousand jobs would be created every home game.”

But good luck getting these Seminole fans to give up their seats.

“I don’t think so. No, we’ve had them too long.”

But they are open to inviting their friends and Visit Florida has teamed with Southwest Airlines to help with travel expenses. They’re offering a 25 dollar flight discount and promotions specific to each college football town.

And Visit Florida is keeping score. The promotion ends December 5th. The team that has sent the most invites wins, and a fan who helped invited visitors to the winning teams games will win an 11 day tour of the state’s top college football towns. To send invites or view the Score board. UF is ahead right now… go to www.visitflorida.com/share/


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