Sports Tourism Visit Orlando

Scoring Points with Visitors

How the Orlando Magic use global marketing to grow their fan base, and bring attention to our destination.

Q&A with Charlie Freeman, President of Business Operations, Orlando Magic

Traveling may be a violation in the rules of basketball, but it’s a win for growing Orlando’s profile as a sports destination. The globetrotting Orlando Magic use their platform to tell Orlando’s story and invite fans to discover the area’s array of world-class athletic venues. We recently spoke with Charlie Freeman about those initiatives — and the latest on the Magic’s emerging entertainment district in downtown Orlando.

How do the Magic demonstrate leadership in sports-tourism marketing?

We travel around the world talking about sports, the Magic and Orlando as a whole. We’ve also tapped into the global brand of the NBA, which has established a presence in 215 countries and built one of the world’s largest social media communities. Our goal is to capture that fan base and tap into their interest in traveling to Orlando for an NBA game.

How does sports play into Orlando’s identity as a destination?

Orlando’s tourism industry saw the vision for creating venues that attract world-class events. Now, with our beautiful facilities, we can be an entry point for visitors who perhaps have never been in an NBA arena. This is a tremendous asset as we look to grow the game around the world. When Orlando hosted the NBA All-Star game in 2012, we had a $100 million economic impact. These are excellent opportunities for visitors to see what Orlando has to offer.

How has Visit Orlando been part of growing global awareness of Orlando’s sports assets?

Visit Orlando has played an integral role in bringing attention to Orlando’s sports brands and telling our community’s story. Their efforts help us with everything from merchandising and ticket sales to growing our social following. When the Magic traveled to play in Mexico City and London recently, Visit Orlando was right by our side, engaging with key tour operators to generate even more exposure for our city. Their commitment, along with our local leaders, players and staff, are helping us forge Orlando’s identity as a leading sports destination.

How is work progressing on the Orlando Magic’s Entertainment Complex?

At this stage, momentum is building quickly. We’re finalizing the design, we’ve hired a commercial partner to help us procure office tenants, and we’re seeking retail tenants. Once the design phase is completed, we will have a better idea of the construction commencement and timeline.

What do you envision the complex providing for visitors to Orlando?

In addition to our corporate headquarters, the design includes Class A office space, multifamily residences, a first-class hotel with meeting and event space, and plenty of dining options with a vibrant central events plaza. The development will have a major focus on technology and sustainability, helping it stand out from other sports entertainment districts in the country.

George Aguel
President and CEO of Visit Orlando

Sports have a remarkable ability to unite and inspire people from all walks of life. The Orlando Magic have done an excellent job tapping into that spirit among basketball’s global fan base, and these efforts have only enriched Orlando’s already well-loved brand.

As Charlie Freeman points out in his Q&A, when we create top-notch venues, events and entertainment experiences, it’s a win for our economy. It also wields a significant impact by showing visitors a new side of Orlando — which broadens our destination’s overall appeal.

When the Magic team up with Visit Orlando on their road trips to key international markets such as the UK, Brazil and Mexico, together we engage with tour operators and other travel professionals to bring further exposure to our destination. It’s all part of Visit Orlando’s efforts to keep visitors coming back in record numbers.

Whether you’re here for a professional sporting event or one of our many large-scale amateur athletic competitions, Orlando offers something for everyone. We truly are America’s best destination for combining recreation and family entertainment — and with our steadily increasing portfolio of unique attractions and exciting venues, there’s no shortage of magic to go around.

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About the author

Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is the only officially recognized sales and marketing organization for the Orlando and Orange County area. Their focus is promoting Orlando as one of America's great vacation and meeting destinations and providing comprehensive, unbiased information to all travelers.

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