Michael Story has been calling Hawaii home since 1993. After graduating from Washington State University with his undergraduate degree in sports management, Mike made the move to the islands and began working in the Hawaii sports events industry. Eventually he moved to the mainland to take on a position in the Arizona State University (ASU) Athletics Department. Mike then decided to attend Oregon State University (OSU), where he received his MBA.
With his background and expertise in sports, Mike returned to Hawaii to take on a new role at the HTA, filling a newly created position as sports manager. Today, Mike manages 19 sporting events each year and projects an increased economic impact of $150 million in the upcoming year through HTA-supported sport events.
During his nine years at the HTA, Mike’s role expanded to brand manager for Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand. Oceania has become one of the fastest growing developing markets for Hawaii. In 2013, the region reported 29.3 percent growth in visitor arrivals and a 2.3 percent increase in expenditures, making it the second largest international market. With additional access and supplemental marketing efforts, the HTA anticipates an 8.5 percent year-over-year growth in arrivals from Oceania in 2014.
With his sports marketing expertise, Mike works with Hawaii Tourism Oceania and other marketing contractors to identify niche sporting opportunities to best showcase the Hawaiian Islands, such as rugby, a globally popular sport. The HTA hopes to brand Hawaii as a central location for teams throughout the Pan-Pacific region to meet for rugby tournaments.
In addition to managing the sports and Oceania markets, Mike also manages the HTA’s Signature Events, which provide unique and enriching experiences and provide high level exposure for the Hawaiian Islands. Inclusive of sporting events, major festivals and native Hawaiian festivals, this year’s Signature Events include Koloa Plantation Days, Hawaii International Film Festival, Honolulu Festival, Pan Pacific Festival, Maui Film Festival and Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. For more information on HTA’s Signature Events, click here.