Sports marketing is an important platform for HTA in supporting the state's tourism industry. Sports events attract fans and foster desire among audiences worldwide to visit Hawaii through TV, print and online media exposure while giving residents opportunities to see world-class athletes compete in the Islands.
The main objectives guiding HTA’s sports marketing strategy are:
- Support Hawaii's tourism industry, and the businesses and residents who rely on its success.
- Make effective use of state taxpayer funds in marketing sports on Hawaii's behalf.
- Expand awareness of Hawaii’s appeal in the U.S. and key markets internationally.
- Drive travel demand by showcasing Hawaii’s culture and natural beauty through media.
- Generate increased visitor traffic during off-peak travel periods.
- Strengthen Hawaii's standing as a setting to host U.S. and international sports competitions.
- Promote the Hawaii Convention Center’s sports courts to attract U.S. and international events.
In January 2018, HTA announced that a four-year extension was reached with the PGA Tour to continue supporting three championship golf tournaments in the Hawaiian Islands through 2022 – the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui, Sony Open in Hawaii on Oahu, and Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the island of Hawaii.
In March 2018, the Los Angeles Clippers and HTA announced that the NBA basketball team would return to Hawaii for a second-consecutive year for its fall training camp to begin preparations for the 2018-19 season.
These partnerships are in addition to many other HTA-supported Hawaii sports events, including the LPGA’s LOTTE Championship, IRONMAN World Championship triathlon, XTERRA World Championship, Maui Jim Invitational, Hawaii Open, Hawaii Bowl, Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic and Duke’s OceanFest.