Nebraska, especially Omaha will be in the spotlight this weekend for the 2018 NCAA Midwest Regional Men’s Basketball Championship at the CenturyLink Center.
Jeff Beals is an executive vice president for NAI NP Dodge in Omaha and when it comes to publicity, this is the big league. Beals says, “You can’t cheaply buy this type of exposure and publicity. Literally we will have thousands and thousands of mentions in print, broadcast and social media and hundreds of millions of impressions. So essentially it reminds people that Omaha is a player. It is on the map. People can at least subconsciously notice we are rubbing elbows with Atlanta, L.A. and Boston.”
At the end of large events like this Beals says it is common for a local visitors bureau to commission a study to figure out how many times the city was mentioned and how many people heard or saw it. You can then equate what that would equal in terms of paid media.
The Sweet 16 will also have a huge economic benefit to the city. Beals says, “Last year Kansas City had the Midwest Regional and their Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated a $10 million impact. Along with the dollar impact there is an impact on the lodging industry. Memphis held the South Regional last year and thought they had 12,000 room nights. Omaha has a lot of hotels and it will be nice to fill them up.”
Beals says the third element is how entertainment is a value to the city. He says Omaha needs to increase its population rate and this event will attract a large crowd. This may prompt more young professionals to decide to call the metro home.