In response to the growing demand for information regarding sports events and sports-related meetings in the state of Maine, the Maine Sports Commission was created in February 2012.
The leadership for the Maine Sports Commission includes representatives of seven of the eight tourism regions; the Maine Office of Tourism; representatives from the Bangor and Portland Convention & Visitors Bureaus; and representatives from the sports, education and tourism industries. Rob Coppola is currently the Strategic Director for the Commission.
The seven tourism regions participating in the Commission are the Maine Beaches; the Greater Portland and Casco Bay Region; the Mid-Coast Region; Western Maine’s Lakes and Mountains; Aroostook County; the Kennebec and Moose River Valleys; and The Maine Highlands, which includes Bangor.
Each of the seven regions will contribute $10,000 per year to the Maine Sports Commission and the Maine Office of Tourism has agreed to match that with $70,000 per year in resources. Both the private and public sides have made a three-year commitment.
The commission is registered with the state as a 501(c)(6), a non-profit business organization.
The Maine Sports Commission aims to promote Maine as a four-season destination for sports events and sports-related meetings and to increase the economic impact of the state by attracting new events or by expanding existing sports-related events.
The Maine Sports Commission promotes Maine sports locally and nationally; works to attract professional, collegiate, amateur and youth sporting events to the State of Maine; and aims to retain and facilitate existing sporting activities and organizations in the state. Through these efforts, the Maine Sports Commission is helping the state realize the positive economic impact and social benefits of sports.
The Maine Sports Commission's primary goal is to strengthen efforts to attract national and regional sporting events, with hopes of increasing Maine's share of the $7 billion industry.
Maine Sports Commission Board
Maine Sports Commission members are representatives of seven of the eight tourism regions; Carolann Ouellette, Director of the Maine Office of Tourism; representatives from the Bangor and Portland Convention & Visitors Bureaus; and representatives from the sports, education and tourism industries.
- Carolann Ouellette: Director, Maine Office of Tourism
- Michael Eisensmith: Director of Regional Planning at Northern Maine Development Commission, Aroostook County Regional Representative
- Russell Walters: President at Northern Outdoors, Kennebec & Moose River Valleys Regional Representative, Member of the Maine Sports Commission Executive Committee
- William Biberstein: Associate Athletic Director at University of Maine Orono, Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau Representative
- Peter Cairns: General Manager at Ramada Inn-Saco, The Maine Beaches Region Representative
- Eleanor Vadenais: Executive Director at Wells Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Industry Representative
- Kerrie Tripp: Executive Director at Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Maine Highlands Region Representative
- Phil Savignano: Senior Tourism Officer at the Maine Office of Tourism, Maine Office of Tourism Representative
- Jo Williams: Associate Professor of Sports Marketing at University of Southern Maine, Sports Industry Representative, Member of Maine Sports Commission Executive Committee
- Lee Speronis: Director and Assistant Professor, School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management at Husson University, Educational Sector Representative
- Elissa English: Director of Sales at Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau, Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau Representative.
- Rob Coppola: Strategic Director, Maine Sports Commission. The strategic director’s primary responsibilities are the development of marketing strategy and materials, research and development of new sporting events and direct collaboration with Maine's eight tourism regions.