Myrtle Beach looking to cash in on Big South Conference - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Myrtle Beach looking to cash in on Big South Conference

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The HTC Center at Coastal Carolina is a lively place with thousands of fans excepted to pack the stands over the next several days for the Big South Conference. 

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and visitmyrtlebeach.com are the lead sponsors for the basketball tournament, and leaders are looking to make an impression on guests while they are here. 

At least a $250,000 has been spent in promotions by the group to get people in various locations coming to the tournament excited about attending. 

Nora Battle with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said one of the best things the chamber does is hospitality, adding, "it makes total sense here because we've been trying to grow our sports tourism as a whole so this is a perfect fit."

Battle said getting visitmyrtlebeach.com as a sponsor took months of planning and years of a coordinated effort between the Big South Conference, Coastal Carolina University and the city chamber to complete. 

"We expect a good bit of publicity with six games to be broadcast on ESPN 2 and ESPN3," said Battle, who goes on to add it's a great way to get their name and message out to millions of viewers. 

Bob Cressman is in Myrtle Beach visiting from Pennsylvania; he came out to the conference on Tuesday afternoon to watch a few games.

"We didn't know the tournament was being held here," Cressman said, "and we think it's great."

Cressman said he thinks having the conference in Myrtle Beach will bring even more of a profit over time. "I believe if you've got a few years consecutively it will catch on," he said.

Sharen DuBard from Rock Hill, South Carolina came out to cheer on her Winthrop Eagles. She said having the conference play three hours away is ideal. "I love Myrtle Beach we always love coming to Coastal Carolina and they've done a great job with the tournament its beautiful," she explained. "We are glad to be here."

An influx of millions of dollars is expected by those at the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, to be spent in the Grand Strand, thanks to tournament play. 

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