The Ardmore Tourism Authority approved its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes funds to expand its marketing techniques into other areas.
Heading into the 2017-18 year, the ATA plans to expand into another development channel by attracting sports tournaments to the area.
“We will have an increased emphasis on sports,” said Tyler Young,  Vice President of Operations and assistant secretary for the ATA. “There are all sorts of niche sports popping up, like pickle ball, so that’s an area we could potentially look at. We want to emphasize the baseball fields on the east side of town and increase our number of baseball tournament attendees.”
The budget was approved during the regular monthly meeting Thursday morning and includes $25,000 to be spent on advertising and marketing, $8,000 for travel to trade shows, $5,000 for creating brochures and $16,000 to be spent on advertising for the convention center.
The Authority hopes to attract baseball and rodeo related sports to the area in the upcoming year and plans to do so by strategically advertising in sports magazines and online.
“(Our marketing will) be pretty diverse,” Young said. “We’re doing more marketing online, but print still has its place, especially in the tourism industry.”
The ATA plans to focus on online marketing, not just to attract more sporting events to the area, but also to attract more people to Ardmore in general. This year the Authority will spend $3,500 marketing the city via Facebook and Instagram. They have also dedicated $1,800 dollars to make sure that Ardmore has a trip itinerary on the Roadtrippers website and app.
The Authority played it safe with estimates towards the collection of hotel tax revenues this year.
“We have been conservative in our estimates with hotel tax revenues by keeping it flat,” CEO Mita Bates said.
“Last year we did come in over budget, but we will always take a conservative approach and be pleasantly surprised if revenues turn out to be higher,” Young added,
The ATA is also focusing heavily on marketing the convention center. Plans to redesign the website received funding with the passage of the budget. The cost of the redesign is estimated at $8,000, but Young said the new website should  be easier to navigate as well as more functional.
In addition to the budget, board members also appointed Young as Vice-President of Operations and Assistant Secretary — a title Young now holds at the Chamber of Commerce, the Ardmore Development Authority and ATA.