ESC Sports Tourism Awards
Since 2015, the Erie Sports Commission has hosted a celebration to honor the previous years' accomplishments and collectively thank all of the great partners who make our events possible. Six awards are presented, in addition to a review of the activities of the ESC, often presented by community partners. The Sports Tourism Awards were not hosted in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned virtually in 2022.
The Impact Award is presented to the event which generates a significant economic impact on the Erie region, as well as creates a positive impact on our community through media exposure and community benefit.
Past Winners: Lake Erie National Cheer and Dance Championships (2021), PA USBC Open Championships (2019 - pictured right, Brett Rearick of PA USBC accepting from Mark Jeanneret and John Oliver), VNEA PA State 8-Ball Tournament (2018, 2017), Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational (2016), Erie Admirals Elite Challenge Cup (2015), PA State Bowling Tournament (2014)
Volunteer of the Year Award
The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to the individual or group of individuals who committed an extraordinary amount of time and effort to ensure the success of a signature event.
Past Winners: Mark Harrington for Rambler Wrestling Club's Battle on the Bay (2021), Lauren and Josh Eckendorf for The Edinboro Triathlon (2019 - pictured right, accepting from Mark Jeanneret and Ben Huggler) Ray Kraus and Carlo Fachetti for Erie Frost Softball Battle of Lake Erie (2018), LeAnn Johnson for OVR Volleyball Series (2017), John Leisering for PA Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (2016 - pictured, right, Leisering with Ron Sertz), Don Pollard for PA Junior Wrestling (2015), Brian Streeter for The Biggest Loser RunWalk (2014), Mary Kaye Pazder and Emily Biddle for The Biggest Loser RunWalk (2013)
New Event of the Year
The New Event of the Year Award is presented to the group or individual who hosted the most outstanding first-time event in Erie that generated economic impact, publicity, and excitement in the region. This award was first introduced in 2015.
Past Winners: Formula DRIFT: BORDERLANDS (2021), Mid Atlantic Broomball Tournament (2019 - pictured, right, Tyler McGuigan and Dan Yost accepting from Mark Jeanneret and Kevin O'Sullivan of Presque Isle Downs & Casino), Ice Breaker Tournament, presented by LECOM, Flyboard National Tour (2017), VNEA World Junior Pool Championships (2016), Erie Poker Run (2015)
Event Series of the Year
The Event Series of the Year Award is presented to the group or individual who has made an impact on the Erie sports scene by hosting multiple events in one year that drive tourism and create economic impact. This award was first introduced in 2015.
Past Winners: Lax Bash (2021), Champion Cheer Central (2019, 2018, 2017 - pictured, right, co-owners Kim Soder and Heather Petz with Mark Jeanneret and Brian Gorman of Waldameer Park and Water World), Keystone Hoops Group Shoot the Rock Series (2016), Champion Cheer Central (2015)
Local Event of the Year
The Local Event of the Year Award is presented to the person or group who has made an impact on the Erie sports scene by creating an event locally that drives tourism, creates economic impact, and positive influence on the Erie Community.
Past Winners: Sarah Backstrom Memorial Tournament (2021), Erie Frost Softball Battle of Lake Erie (2019 - pictured, right, Brian Sanders and Pat Rougeux with Mark Jeanneret and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper) Lake Erie Cyclefest (2018), Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational (2017), Barber Beast on the Bay (2016), Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational (2015), VNEA PA State 8-Ball Tournament (2014)
National Event of the Year
The National Event of the Year Award is presented to an event that had a significant impact on the Erie region, drawing large participation numbers, creating noteworthy media attention, and generating both social and economic impact for the region.
Past Winners: NCAA National Collegiate Women's Hockey Championships (2021), Rally North America: Rally New England (2019), NCATA National Championships (2018 - pictured, right, Gannon University Athletic Director Lisa Goddard-McGuirk with Gannon Acro Tumbling Head Coach Jacqueline Eshleman, Mark Jeanneret and Erie Downtown Development Corporation CEO John Persinger) VNEA World Junior Pool Championships, 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation World Championships (2016), The Biggest Loser RunWalk (2015), The Color Run (2014)
Ron Sertz Dedication to Erie
Presented in recognition of those annual events which have regularly been awarded by the ESC, and shown a dedication to Erie by consistently growing participation, increasing an already-significant economic impact, and generally producing a high quality event that has had a longstanding, profound impact on Erie sports tourism. Events inducted into this category will no longer be eligible to win ESC awards after the date of induction.
Inductees: VNEA PA State 8-Ball Tournament (2019 - pictured, right, David Warner and Ed Borgia with Mark Jeanneret and Doug and Tina Pershun of Erie Gymnastics Center), Stars and Stripes Gymnastics Invitational (2018), Ron Sertz (2018)