June 05, 2014 8:45AM
Pittsburg State University’s hosting of the 2014 Baja SAE-Kansas event recently brought more than just dollars to the Pittsburg community, organizers said.
After the dust settled – literally – the Crawford County Convention and Tourism Bureau estimated the event, held May 22-25, brought in more than $2.3 million in direct and indirect benefits to the local economy.
In addition to the dollars spent in Pittsburg and surrounding communities, SAE Baja-Kansas also gave the community and PSU some welcome international exposure.
PSU officials said they saw a high level of interest and engagement on the university’s website and its social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
For example, nearly 7,000 viewers from across the U.S. and around the world watched the 10 videos on Baja-Kansas produced by PSU’s Office of Marketing and Communication and posted on the University’s YouTube Channel.
PSU’s frequent posts on the event reached almost 48,000 Facebook users. Many of them commented, asked questions and shared the PSU posts. On Twitter, an estimated 1,300 people Tweeted using the Baja Kansas hash tag.
Live video coverage of the event, which was produced by students in PSU’s broadcasting program and streamed on the university’s website, was accessed about 14,000 times. The viewers tuned in from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Korea and more than 25 other countries.
Finally, university officials said they tracked more than 20,000 page views on the PSU website, where visitors came to read stories and get more information about the Baja-Kansas.
“Hosting SAE Baja-Kansas gave Pittsburg State, the community and the region a rare opportunity to be on an international stage,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president of marketing and communications at PSU. “The hard work of scores of volunteers and the welcoming spirit of the community left a positive impression far beyond our region.”
Trent Lindbloom, assistant professor in automotive technology, one of the co-organizers of SAE Baja-Kansas, praised the cooperative efforts that made the event so successful.
“It’s impossible to adequately thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, city and university officials who worked to make SAE Baja-Kansas happen,” Lindbloom said. “Competitors and spectators who came from around the world and those who watched from afar through live streaming and social media got to see the campus and community at its best.”