Sports marketing highlighted during inaugural Jax Sports Night at the link


Sports have always been something unique that seems to bring people together, and that was the goal behind Jax Sports Night at the link in Nocatee on March 6.

The night centered around sports marketing opportunities in the area with panels and networking for those looking for insight into that world of business.

Several of the marquee and well-known sports organizations were represented as part of the panels, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Gator Bowl Sports, Jacksonville Icemen and NASCAR throughout the night.

One of the things mentioned throughout is the diverse field that is the sports world and all the ways to get involved depending on what paths best suit a person’s personality and goals.

According to Katie Cox, vice president of marketing, membership and community relations with Gator Bowl Sports, there are so many people that still think they just host the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl each year, but it goes so much deeper than that.

“We don’t just work all year to plan one game, but we do get asked that a lot,” Cox said. “We are also host of Florida and Florida State baseball, which is coming March 26 in the baseball park downtown. We also try to engage any chance we get to build our members, because we are membership based, and as a nonprofit, we would not be anything without our members.”

Being a nonprofit has helped Gator Bowl Sports to never lose sight of their approach, which is to strive to help its community through the events that it points on and the initiatives it partners with.

“One of the ways we also look to get involved is with the local chamber of commerce,” Cox said. “We use sports to help connect with people and to help bring them together, and we even have Gator Bowl Charities, which is ongoing all year for those who are looking to make a difference in the sports world.”

Gator Bowl Sports is just one example of the array of pathways someone can take no matter what interest they find themselves connected with, because there are many avenues to explore.

A focus of the night also included a panel solely constructed to promote women in positions of power within the sports marketing world to provide their perspectives.

One of those featured women was Kara Terwilliger, who is managing director of national partnerships with NASCAR.

Terwilliger shared a story to those in attendance of how through her role with NASCAR she was able to help build a relationship with the organization’s partner Advent Health, and it led to the creation of five new nursing home facilities at Daytona International Speedway prior to the Daytona 500 in February.

“Now that it has been implemented, the goal is to make it an initiative that can be had from track to track,” Terwilliger said.

According to Terwilliger, she expressed how much of an accomplishment it is knowing the work that went in behind the scenes to make an initiative like that become a reality.

Asia Gholston, vice president of marking with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was also on hand and shared a couple of proud moments she and her team had last season and it included a marketing campaign they started called “Duval Designs,” which was a call to all local artists to help pitch ideas for the team’s local gameday posters.

“It was really important to us to highlight the artist and showcase their work, and a lot of them ended up seeing an increase in business and followers after that,” Gholston said. “It’s always good for a company as big as the Jags to be able to hand over our platform to support the local artists and give back in that sense.”

The night was the first Jax Sports Night of its kind hosted by the link.