Today, Eric Engemann, vice president of BRASF, says he and the company's president, Jerry Stovall, approach athletic events in three ways: Start new events by themselves or with partners on board, consult on existing events and/or bid on upcoming sporting events.
Engemann said these athletic/sporting events have also evolved into economic development boosts for the economy. "We recently hosted a women's bowling league of about 58,000 bowlers from all over the country for 151 days, and nearly $90 million was generated as a result. We even built them their own bowling center," said Engemann, who is the brother of Zachary High Golf Coach, Clark Engemann.
BRASF represents about 53 major sports - everything from archery to wrestling, sports for men and women and from the young to the old, Engemann said.
"Now that Southern University has resurfaced their track, we're looking at more events that could potentially be held there," said Engemann. "What we look for is any sports center or location that can host large crowds and which has multiple fields, tracks or gymnasiums."
Although BRASF has been "flying under the radar," Engemann says he, Stovall and their two interns are changing their strategy by seeking more quality types of events that feature BRASF more prominently. "We're also looking at generating more economic development opportunities," he said.
He says that although some of the events BRASF has hosted or partnered with may not be large in terms of participants or attendees, the events are well-known.
Last year BRASF coordinated the first Louisiana Marathon and the Cajun Classic Wheelchair Tournament, which was international in scope and attended by 140 people from outside the United States.
BRASF "owns" the Mardi Gras Mambo 10K, which he said included about 1,700 runners.
In addition, BRASF has just signed a contract to host the area's first cross country meet to be held at Port Hudson State Historic Site near Zachary.
The event is scheduled for Sept. 29, and although the original goal was for 500 runners, the event could land about 1,000, Engemann said.
"The development of wide open spaces out there make it ideal for this type of running event. We're also looking at possibly making it a two-day festival," said Engemann.
BRASF has hosted events in the Zachary area before - at BREC's Doyle's Bayou Park - is looking into more possibilities at local golf courses and at Flanacher Road Park, "which has lit fields...that's very hard to come by."
He said Zachary High School's multiple gymnasiums and Bronco Stadium with it's turf football field are also possibilities, depending on the event. "The more space we can find, the better," Engemann said.
For more information about the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation or to volunteer at events, visit www.brasf.com.