International powerlifting event honored with national economic impact award

International Powerlifting World Championships earns 2023 Champion of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism award from Sports Destination Management

Media Contact:

Ally Dorrough, APR • Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events
[email protected] •
1-800-745-SAND • 251-968-9327 (direct) • 334-391-7745 (cell)

GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH, ALA. – Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. This year’s winners are responsible for contributing a more-than-welcome boost of over $932 million to the national economy over the past year.

Among the winners in the Sports Tourism Heroes category was the 2022 International Powerlifting (IPL) World Championships, produced in cooperation with Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events, the city of Orange Beach and the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) Alabama Chapter. More than 300 elite athletes from across the globe competed at the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf in October 2022 as this major event shifted from its original location in Russia upon the onset of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It was a no-brainer to help facilitate this event alongside the USPA Alabama Chapter, which holds a number of successful powerlifting events along Alabama’s Beaches,” said Michelle Russ, STS, vice president of sales, sports and events for GSOB Sports & Events. “October was an excellent time to fill a need period outside of the peak summer season, which benefitted our tourism-based businesses.”

Russ noted the championship produced 1,107 room nights and $598,994 in economic impact, and the sports and event tourism organization hopes to host similar events in the future.

“The nominations we saw were incredible,” said Scott Swoger, Sports Destination Management publisher. “What really struck us was the variety of events. We had everything from professional golf championships to esports to Little League – and everything in between. It is absolutely clear that there is a demand for quality sports events at every level, and that event owners and destinations are answering that call.”

All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the November/December 2023 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article, with full details on the winners listed below, can also be found online. For information on upcoming athletic events along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit, or call 1-800-745-SAND.

50th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships
Orlando, Florida

Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships
Destination Partner: Collier County Visitors Bureau

2023 NCAA Women’s Final Four
Destination Partner: Dallas Sports Commission

2023 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Destination Partner: Tulsa Sports Commission

Balling on the Beach
Destination Partner: Visit Lauderdale

North American Sand Soccer Championships
Destination Partner: City of Virginia Beach

2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series™
Destination Partner: Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance

LIV Golf Tulsa at Cedar Ridge
Destination Partner: Cedar Ridge Country Club

2023 USA Gymnastics Championships
Destination Partner: Tulsa Sports Commission

Frosty Faustings XV
Destination Partner: DuPage Sports Commission

Boys ECNL Florida National Event and Girls ECNL Florida Regional League National Event
Destination Partners: Greater Orlando Sports Commission and Orlando North Seminole County Sports

57th AAU Junior Olympic Games
Destination Partner: Catch Des Moines

The 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota
Destination Partner: Visit Knoxville Sports Commission

2023 National Senior Games presented by Humana
Destination Partner: SportsPITTSBURGH

U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships
Destination Partner: Visit Baton Rouge

ECNL Boys National Playoff
Destination Partners: North Carolina Fusion & Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau

2023 Venice Equestrian Tour
Destination Partner: Fox Lea Farm, Inc

US Youth Soccer 2023 Eastern Regional Championships
Destination Partners: Visit Loudoun/Loudoun Sports Tourism

US Youth Soccer Eastern President’s Cup
Destination Partner: Valley Forge Sports, Events & Tourism Authority

2023 Hoop Group Atlantic City Jam Fest
Destination Partner: Atlantic City Sports Commission

TSSAA Spring Fling
Destination Partner: Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau

TSSAA Girls' and Boys' High School Basketball State Championships
Destination Partner: Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau

IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania Happy Valley
Destination Partner: Happy Valley Sports and Entertainment Alliance

2023 NCAA Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey Championship Allentown Regional
Destination Partners: PPL Center & Discover Lehigh Valley

Queen City Classic
Destination Partner: Visit Clarksville TN

Cooperstown All Star Village 2023 Season
Destination Partner: Ostego County Tourism

United State Fastpitch Association World Series
Destination Partner: Visit Panama City Beach

The 2023 Grand Slam World Series of Baseball 
Destination Partner: Visit Panama City Beach

Nike EYBL Peach Jam
Destination Partner: North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Tourism

New Year's BaseballFest and New Year's SoftballFest
Destination Partner: Visit Panama City Beach

NSE/FC Alliance Club Soccer Series
Destination Partner: Rocky Top Sports World

American Cornhole League (ACL) World Championships
Destination Partner: The City of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department

2023 Mississippi Bombers Southeast Summer Invite
Destination Partner: Visit Oxford

2022 OSSAA State Football Championships
Destination Partners: University of Central Oklahoma & Visit Edmond

2023 SEC Women's Basketball Tournament
Destination Partner: VisitGreenvilleSC

State Title Belt Tournament
Destination Partner: City of Edmond, Visit Edmond

Strike King Bassmaster High School Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors
Destination Partner: Visit Anderson

Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon & 5K
Destination Partner: Savannah Sports Council

2023 USTA National Championships
Destination Partner: Visit Springfield, IL

Ron Jon Beach ‘n Boards Fest
Destination Partner: Space Coast Office of Tourism

2023 WSWA Freestyle & Greco Roman State Championship 
Destination Partner: Snohomish County Sports Commission

National Collegiate Wrestling Championships 2023
Destination Partner: Discover Puerto Rico

Valentine's Classic Volleyball Tournament
Destination Partner: Foley Sports Tourism

2022 International Powerlifting (IPL) World Championships
Destination Partner: Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events

2023 Frontier League All-Star Game
Destination Partner: Chicago Southland Visitors & Convention Bureau



Caption: Sports Destination Management named the 2022 International Powerlifting (IPL) World Championships and destination partner Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events among its 2023 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism – Sports Tourism Heroes category.
Credit: Sports Destination Management

About Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events:

Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events is a partnership among Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism (GSOBT), the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, Gulf State Park and the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In 2007, the organization became a department within GSOBT. In this role, the GSOB Sports & Events – along with assistance from both cities – works to bring quality athletic and leisure events to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. To learn more about sports and events along Alabama’s 32 miles of white-sand beaches, please visit

About Sports Destination Management:

Sports Destination Management is written for the largest audience of sports event managers and tournament directors in the sports tourism market and maintains a focus on the important issues surrounding event location decisions and event management. 

With content from experts and thought leaders, SDM provides in-depth coverage of sports event planning and execution through incisive and relevant articles as well as insightful, real-world case studies showcasing best practices and successful event production. 

In addition to the publication, SDM offers extensive digital resources through and the e-newsletter, SDM Blitz, both providing decision support tools for organizers to ensure successful events at all levels of play.

About Due North Media:

For over 20 years, Due North Media has embraced the definition of growth by evolving from a traditional publishing company to a dynamic marketing organization utilizing best practices that ensure engagement.

The company’s desire to look at things from all sides, combined with its thirst for knowledge allows it to embrace the ever-changing world of content creation, marketing technology and consumer engagement. While the company is at the forefront of innovation, it also takes great strides to remember its roots, ensuring the message reaches the desired audience in ways they consume media.  
Whether serving clients in the business-to-business sector, delivering e-commerce solutions for merchants in a direct-to-consumer environment, or working with organizations trying to engage buyers, Due North realizes that its end goal should not be just about numbers. It should be about creating a dialogue and interaction that leads to a fulfilling relationship. Due North invites reader to work with its staff to develop marketing strategies that go beyond the click to deliver the conversation.

Founded in 2001, Due North Media has helped marketers obtain their goals while adapting to new generations of media consumption. It has been its mission to serve clients and employees with integrity and humility, and a continuing quest for the achievement of excellence.

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