Loudoun Businesses Capital-ize on Sports Spotlight

Brian Tinsman
Digital Properties Manager

 

While the Washington Capitals hockey team celebrates a Stanley Cup championship, businesses in Loudoun County also have reason to rejoice.

It all started with a decision by Lovettsville Mayor Robert Zoldos to propose a change to the town name to “Capitalsville.” After the Lovettsville Town Council unanimously voted to approve the ceremonial measure on a temporary basis, the news went viral.

He explained his logic to the NHL Network:

“I’ve been a Caps fan all my life. The town was first named in 1836 and we we thought it was a time for a change, so let’s do something different,” he joked. “It’s a great way to show our support for our home team.”

Few institutions bind society together quite like sports. In order to leverage that attention, businesses, government agencies and other entities spend big money to be associated with a team.

Globally, sports sponsorship deals are expected to surpass $65 billion in 2018, with professional sports teams in the U.S. taking the largest share at $22.3 billion.

Other than the nominal cost of a few signs, Lovettsville—a town of approximately 2,300 residents—garnered international media attention. Zoldos pitched the idea to Capitals executives, who responded by sending the team mascot and spirit squad to the sign unveiling. At a time when the Caps were in limelight, Lovettsville also shined:

“In the Washington area, we haven’t had a lot of championship teams, or teams going for a championship in a long time,” Zoldos told the NHL Network. “We’re thrilled to be able to be part of that and throw our whole town, including its name, behind the Caps.

“We’re looking forward to holding a watch party on our town green, on a big movie screen where we show movies on the green during the summer. We have a whole bunch of things they can do. The other thing we’re going to do is put up a sign that says, ‘Welcome to Capitalsville’ where they can come here and take their picture with the Capitalsville sign.”

The effort paid off.

“Capitalsville” was tweeted hundreds of times after May 23, with scores of fans visiting the iconic sign for pictures and good luck:

Thousands of fans showed up for the viewing party, with crowd estimates (2,500) easily exceeding the population of the town:

All of this was a boon for local businesses that were ready for the rush when the elected leaders flipped the switch.

“We have a lot of restaurants that are ready for this. They’re having some specials that are going to be made for Caps fans,” Zoldos said. “We’re looking to pack the whole place.”

Mission accomplished.

Priceless media attention. Increased tourism. Future opportunities.

Like most marketing efforts, the full economic impact of the “Capitalsville” experiment could take years to realize. However, the immediate, positive feedback proves that creative marketing pays off.

Instead of being a suburban bystander for a city’s win, Lovettsville figured out how to put Loudoun and its businesses in the spotlight. That’s #LoudounPossible.

 

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