The Wildwoods, NJ – November 15, 2021 – The Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority (GWTIDA) announced that the Spirit Brands Cheerleading Competitions, held annually at the Wildwoods Convention Center since 2003, have been named among the 2020-2021 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism by Sports Destination Management.
The award recognizes events throughout the country that showed courage in face of the unknown, resilience in times of uncertainty, and optimism that things would, someday, turn around after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spirit Brands worked closely with the Wildwoods Convention Center to bring back the cheerleading championships to the Convention Center, and the competitions were the reopening event in March 2021, when the venue re-opened after being closed for almost a year following the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 10 events were held in relation to Spirit Brands Cheerleading Competitions in a span of two months, from March through May 2021. The two organizations implemented health and safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable event experience; including enhanced sanitizing protocols, hand sanitizing stations positioned throughout the facility, spectator limits, mandated masking requirements and temperature checks for everyone who entered the facility.
The March 2020 cheerleading competition was the last event to be held at the Convention Center before the pandemic forced the venue to close and cancel events for the rest of the year. Coincidentally, the March 2021 event was the first held to reopen the facility once the shutdown was lifted.
“We are pleased to have the Spirit Brands Cheerleading Competitions, a staple of youth sporting events in the Wildwoods, awarded a 2020-2021 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism Award,” said John Siciliano, Executive Director/CFO of GWTIDA. “We are grateful to Spirit Brands owner and producer Glenn Kingsbury, his staff and the entire Wildwoods Convention Center team for all of their hard work and dedication to present these award-winning cheerleading events each year; and especially for Spirit Brands’ contribution to the economic growth of the Wildwoods,” he continued.
Held annually at the Wildwoods Convention Center, Spirit Brands Cheerleading Competitions feature teams competing on a 54’ by 42’ spring floor and performing incredible stunts in hopes of winning the judges’ votes. All performances are choreographed to music and sound effects. In 2021, the competitions contributed about $300,000 to the Wildwoods economy, and brought about 5,000 spectators to the resort destination, booking over 500 room nights at local hotels/motels during the off-peak season. Athletes and their families shopped in the stores throughout the island and dined at local restaurants and eateries.
“I am truly honored to receive this recognition from Sports Destination Management. I have been running cheer events in the Wildwoods Convention Center since 2003 and the Wildwoods have become my home base,” said Glenn Kingsbury, owner of Spirit Brands. “The facility is top notch but the people I work with at the Convention Center are what helps make all the events a success. In the last 17 years, Spirit Brands has brough more than $200 million to the economy of the Wildwoods, and we’re excited to continue that growth in the years to come,” he continued.
When it comes to youth sports events, no destination has a more action-packed line-up of youth sports competitions than the Wildwoods, NJ. Youth sport competitions take place in the Wildwoods year-round, growing in diversity and number year after year.
Located on the world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk directly overlooking the beach and Atlantic Ocean, the flexible indoor venue space of the Wildwoods Convention Center lends itself to hosting all types of youth sporting events and youth competitions year-round and in any type of weather. This modern, 260,000-square-foot facility offers one of the most spacious, innovative and inviting locations for indoor sporting events ranging from youth wrestling, and basketball tournaments, to gymnastics, band and cheerleading competitions, to volleyball, floor hockey and futsal soccer tournaments.
The adjacent beach and ocean expand the venue’s offerings in a way that no other venue can – during the summer the wide, beaches are transformed into soccer, lacrosse, beach baseball and Frisbee tournament fields, as well as hosting track and field competitions. The Cape Express Beach Soccer Tournament held in June is one of the largest co-ed beach soccer tournaments in the country, with close to 20,000 participants playing on over 100-soccer fields laid out on the beach.
The Wildwoods beaches are also home to one of its most iconic youth sporting events, the National Marbles Tournament. Champion marble shooters from across the county gather on the beach at Ringer Stadium to compete for the title of ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of Marbles. Held annually in June, the National Marbles Tournament consists of over 1,200 games played during the course of the event.
The Wildwoods are also home to an array of sporting facilities where one can maintain a fun-filled fitness lifestyle, including the North Wildwood Recreational Facility, the Wildwood Crest Recreation Center and the Byrne Community Center. These facilities are equipped with a wide range of competition spaces, as well as workout and practice options including gymnasiums, fitness rooms, basketball courts, tennis courts, fitness classes, shuffleboard courts, a roller hockey rink and much more – perfect for resident young athletes and visitors looking to stay fit in between major competitions and tournaments.
With over 8,000 hotel/motel rooms and 3,0000 vacation rentals available at attractive off-season rates, plenty of great restaurants, a nearly three-mile boardwalk with hundreds of eateries shops, rides and attractions, and more than 150 free island-wide events and festivals annually, the Wildwoods are the perfect location for hosting and attending any event, any time of year.
For additional information about the Wildwoods, visit www.WildwoodsNJ.com or call 800-992-9732.