Sports Tourism Advertising and Recruitment Grant
**Effective July 1, 2023, Sports Tourism Advertising and Recruitment grant applications will be submitted and managed through SCPRT’s Webgrants platform. Grant applicants are encouraged to register in Webgrants prior to July 1, 2023.
Sports tourism is a valuable yet underutilized and underdeveloped segment of the state’s overall tourism industry. Sporting events provide a twofold benefit to the state. In the short term, they provide direct revenues through sales, admissions, or accommodations tax collections. In the long term, they provide greater exposure for South Carolina’s tourism destinations and encourage future leisure travel to the state.
Destinations such as Rock Hill serve as compelling evidence of the positive impact of the development of sports tourism through the successful recruitment of sporting events. Given South Carolina’s widespread Interstate access, increasing airline services, and abundance of man-made and natural venues for sporting events, there is significant potential to further develop this segment of the state’s tourism industry.
The purpose of the Sports Tourism Advertising and Recruitment (STAR) grant program is to provide financial assistance to nonprofit tourism or sports-related organizations, applying through their respective local government, for the recruitment of new sporting events in South Carolina that will generate a significant additional economic impact on local communities through participant and visitor spending and also enhance the quality of life for South Carolina residents.
The STAR grant provides a 1:1 match up to $50,000 per event for common sporting event recruitment costs such as bid fees, event advertising, and equipment rentals directly related to the event. This grant provides a match for actual expenditures if the bid is successful and may not be used to reimburse for in-kind services negotiated between the host destination and the prospective event organization. The STAR grant may not be used for permanent construction costs or personnel services.
Bidding and Hosting Applications
SCPRT will accept applications for both bidding and hosting grants year-round. However, hosting applications may not be submitted earlier than 270 days before or later than 90 days before the event’s start date. Only successful bids qualify for the bidding grants, and those applications must be submitted within 180 days of the signed letter of intent from the Right’s Holder recognizing a partnership between the Right’s Holder/Event Organization and the hosting destination.
Events that generate direct admissions and accommodations tax revenues will be given higher priority during the review process. Applications for sporting events that recur regularly within the state will not be eligible to receive funding.