- Category: Sports
- Created on 18 February 2012
- Written by Glenda “China” Scott
- Hits: 1713
When former sports marketing professional Lowell Moore looked globally for opportunities to expose his “What a Fan” RV, surprisingly there were no conventions specifically dedicated to sports fans.
Yes, there were sports merchandise shows, sports memorabilia shows, and many industry related shows and conventions all over the country. But Lowell found nothing dedicated precisely to the passion and interest of the sports FAN.
In 2013 Lowell Moore founded the “What A Fan Sports Conference” to celebrate the massive number of sports fans and their contributions, love and support to the sports industry. Whether football, basketball, baseball, racing, soccer, or hockey, the fans are as important to the sports industry as the teams and players they cheer for.
Lowell knew he was embarking upon a historic undertaking to produce a new conference with no historical data. But it was a risk that had to be taken. Selecting the city of Orlando was by far the best possible choice as fans from around the world all like to travel to the Mouse House. The famous I-Drive strip is one of the most visited destinations on Earth, and Labor Day Weekend is a slow time for hotels which offered great rates for the attendees.
“Sponsorship was my biggest worry, said Lowell. I knew the challenge I faced. What gave me a ray of hope was that the What A Fan Organization itself had a 15 year history that we could share with potential sponsors and a website with lots of examples of our history. I worked on Miller-Coors for two years to get their involvement. When they agreed to be our first title sponsor I knew I could utilize their commitment to get other sponsors. Ferrari Maserati was the next to come onboard. Then I wanted Walmart. I went after them with everything in me. They thought the project was too good to be true and kept looking for ways to say No. But in the end, they were a blessing by bringing Pepsi Company and Frito Lay to the table with them.”
A great deal of skepticism was experienced from fans all around the country. They didn't understand what the conference motives were and many of them sat on the fence. But Lowell also knew he had a core group of super fans around the country that would come just to satisfy their curiosity. Getting a representative from every major city and sport would speak volume for the conference and that's exactly what was accomplished.
The 1st annual convention was a success!!! It was held at the beautiful Rosen Center Hotel and Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. “Although we could have done it in a smaller venue, it was important to show the level of what my vision is long term” says Lowell.
Seven awards were presented at the conference. The very talented band, BEEB$ and Her Money Makers, performed throughout the night keeping the fans entertained during the ceremony. Former professional athletes agreed to salute the sports fans as these fans once cheered them on and helped grow the industry to provide income to owners and players across the board.
The Cheers For Charity Community Service Award was presented to The Hoggettes who represented the Washington Redskins. The Hoggettes have raised more than $100 million dollars over a 30 year history for charity. The award was presented by Reggie Branch, former running back for the Washington Redskins.
The American Sports Icon Award was awarded to Mr. Dick Vitale. Dickie V is a sports legend. He is an amazing person who stepped up and showed his support for “What A Fan” fourteen years ago and was the first celebrity to give “What a Fan” a personal interview. His background in coaching and commentating, along with his impact on basketball and the fundraising for the Jimmy V Foundation, are all legendary. Dickie V is what this award represents.
The Group Fan Award was awarded to Derek Fournier with “What The Buc & The Buc Wild Boys” who showed up to represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and brought three generations of family members and a large number of supporters to the conference. The award was presented by both Walter Briggs, former quarterback for the New York Jets; and Ron Dixon, former wide receiver for the New York Giants.
The NBA What a Fan Award was presented to Dennis “The Fat Guy” Salvagio who represented the Orlando Magic. The award was presented by Scotty B, the NBA’s only entertainment jockey, and 13 year emcee and DJ for the Orlando Magic.
The MLB What a Fan Award went to Thomas “Hatman” Lange who represented the St. Louis Cardinals. The award was presented by Rickie Weeks, Sr, owner of the Orlando Monarchs.
The NFL What a Fan Award went to Lionel “Da Pope” Alphonso representing the New Orleans Saints. The award was presented by both Henry Lawrence, two-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl champion and offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders; and Daunte Culpepper, three-time Pro Bowler and former quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Ultimate Sports Fan Award went to the Pittsburgh “Steel Man” representing all Pittsburgh professional sports organizations. The award was presented by What A Fan Sports Conference founder Lowell Moore.
The 1st annual What A Fan Sports Conference was a historic event. Being the first award show to recognize sports fans, and to have former celebrity sports figures presenting the awards, was a tremendous achievement. The conference developed a great group of well-connected sports fans that have seen a 15 year vision become reality. The 150 fans who were nominated for 2013 are now part of the history of this event. As the conference moves forward, the five year plan is packed with a larger media impact and great exposure for sports fans across the globe!!!
Don’t miss out on the next annual conference. For more information on attending or participating in the 2014 What A Fan Sports Conference please log onto www.whatafan.com. ·