Last week, a sales and sports marketing specialist joined Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. John Pucci was hired to fill the vacant position of Manager, Sport Tourism & Event Management within the division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC). The role is responsible for working with community groups and external organizations to secure major sports tournaments and other events, thereby attracting visitors and their spending to the community.
“We’re thrilled to have John on our team,” said Ian McMillan, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, one of three operating divisions of the SSMEDC. “His skills are a perfect fit for this position. We’ve seen considerable success in the sport tourism and special events sector in recent years, and with John now on board, we look forward to continuing this very positive trend.”
John has extensive experience in sales and marketing, including his most recent senior management role with a major Canadian brewer. With respect to the sports industry, he has held the position of General Manager of Hockey Northwestern Ontario, along with roles with the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning National Hockey League clubs. This sales and sports-related experience is ideal for his new position as Manager, Sport Tourism & Event Management with Tourism Sault Ste. Marie.
Attracting and supporting major sports tournaments, meetings and conventions is a main activity of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. For instance, between 2011 and 2014, the SSMEDC division secured 116 events, which drew 22,632 delegates and led to $13.5 million of direct visitor spending into the local economy.
“Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and the SSMEDC have a history of delivering significant positive results for our community, and I’m excited to join their team,” said Pucci, an Honours graduate of the Bachelor of Commerce in Sports Administration program at Laurentian University, along with the Ontario Management Development program at Confederation College. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, partner organizations like City Council and staff, and other groups to continue and build on these successes.”
Recent major sports tournaments bid on or supported by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie include the 2015 Central Regionals Synchronized Skating Championships, 2014 Grand Slam of Curling National, 2014 U-12 Provincial Ringette Championships, 2013 Telus Cup National Midget AAA Championships, 2013 Ontario Basketball Association Provincial Championships, 2012 CARHA Hockey World Cup, 2012 All-Ontario Midget AAA Championships, 2011 Hap Ki Do Canadian Open, and 2011 Ontario Colleges Athletics Association Men’s Basketball Championships.