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12-10-2013

Clarkson University MBA Students: Bassmaster Tournament Had $1.03M to $3.38M Economic Impact on St. Lawrence County

A group of six Clarkson University MBA students has released its data on how a recent national fishing tournament on the St. Lawrence River affected the St. Lawrence County economy.

Clarkson University international MBA students Xiaotong Liu, left, and Wan Chun Duan, center, talk with vendor Bernie Knowlton, right, while conducting an economic impact survey at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament in Waddington, N.Y.The students reported to the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators that visitors to August's Bassmaster Elite Series tournament in Waddington, N.Y., likely spent $1.03 million to $3.38 million -- 96 percent of that from U.S. visitors and 4 percent from Canadian guests.

"Those of us on the ground planning and executing this Bassmaster event needed to know whether all the time and all the investment would pay off," said Patricia McKeown, executive director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, who arranged for the students to perform the study. "As a result of the Clarkson team's work, we learned that the return to St. Lawrence County was more than 15 times the investment. Those are great numbers!"

A record-setting 34,100 people descended upon the village of Waddington from August 8 to 11, 2013, to cheer on anglers competing in the tournament and attend a free family festival orchestrated by the county chamber.

The students' study estimated that of the $1.03 million to $3.38 million in expenditures by visitors to the tournament about 25.04 percent was spent on non-fishing-related shopping, 24.31 percent on accommodations, 23.02 percent on food and beverages, 17.01 percent on fishing gear, and 11 percent on gas station expenses.

The MBA students reported that the most visitors (11,996) attended on Day 3 of the event (Saturday), with 9,435 on Sunday, 9,030 on Friday and 3,639 on Thursday.

St. Lawrence County officials who helped plan the event wanted to go beyond anecdotal information on how such tournaments spur investment in local hotels, restaurants and stores. So McKeown turned to Clarkson.

"We love to work with Clarkson on these business projects," she said. "The students are eager to have a genuine hands-on experience that is real and true. They always do a terrific job, especially this time!"

The Clarkson student team conducted surveys with 253 visitors to the tournament, who were accompanied by 668 friends and family, providing data for the statistical sampling to determine spending by the 34,100 total visitors. Of these visitors the students calculated that the Americans spent $41.58 each, while the Canadians spent $58.40 each.

The "baseline" economic impact of $1.03 million is a conservative figure that assumes that visitors spent only 70 percent of the calculated expenditures at the tournament and that the economic impact factor (a "multiplier effect," in which a dollar spent by an individual is spent by another individual, etc. etc.) was only 1.0.

The $3.38 million economic impact assumes that visitors spent 140 percent of the calculated expenditures and that the economic impact factor was 1.6 -- that is each dollar was re-spent multiple times.

Udaybhaskar Munjuluri and Shashikant J. Ingale of India, Anh Tu A. Tran of Vietnam, Wan-Chun Duan of Taiwan, and Xiaotong Liu and Cheng Chen of China made up the team of Clarkson MBA students.

"This team of international students arrived in the U.S.A. just a week before the Bassmaster Elite event," said McKeown. "Despite being new, they grabbed hold of this project and ran with it, even though they had no clue where Waddington was!"

The team of MBA students completed the study with guidance from School of Business Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Boris Jukic and support from School of Business Dean Dayle M. Smith.

The team was also guided by School of Business Director of Graduate Enrollment & Student Affairs Patricia M. Perrier and Associate Director of Graduate Enrollment & Student Affairs Christopher J. Wszalek.

Smith said that the partnership between the county chamber and Clarkson was a win-win for both the community and the students.

“This opportunity enabled our students to learn more about the community and American culture, and gave them a chance to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply new skills to real-world challenges," said Smith. "It also strengthened the relationship between the University and our community, where our students learn outside the classroom and the community, in turn, gains knowledge from our students.”

Full survey results are available upon request from the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University international MBA students Xiaotong Liu, left, and Wan Chun Duan, center, talk with vendor Bernie Knowlton, right, while conducting an economic impact survey at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament in Waddington, N.Y.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://clarkson.edu/news/photos/bassmba.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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