Showcasing Amazing Jackson: Andrea Patterson
Andrea Patterson has been a sports fan her entire life.
Though she didn't play in many organized sports growing up, she knew she wanted to be a team player in the sports-related field.
Her talent for bringing the community together earned her her current role as Senior Director of Community Relations & Marketing with the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, and she has been working with Jackson's LeFleur Museum District ever since on broadcasting the wealth of talent existing in the Magnolia State.
"So many people that aren't from [here] don't realize how many of the world's best athletes come from Mississippi," Patterson said. "One of my favorite examples is, at one time, the NFL's leading quarterback, leading running back and leading receiver all came from small-town Mississippi, as well as the father of what we call 'The First Family of Football.' And that's just in football."
What visitors may also be surprised to learn is that Mississippi has had a representative in every single summer Olympics since the 1920s, which can be seen displayed in one of the museum's many exhibits. It's these tales of triumph that make state tourism so special to Andrea and puts Jackson on a global map."
"I think that's what makes our city special. It doesn't matter why you like to travel or where you like to travel, because you're always going to find something for you here," Patterson said. “From world-renowned museums to food, to local artists and musicians, you're going to find it. We're a melting pot for all kinds of cultures and travel experiences. And we offer such an affordable and accessible level of travel, too."
One of the most creative projects that Patterson has personally had her hand in has been implementing the city's first "passport" with Visit Jackson, in which visitors can collect stickers and stamps from participating attractions and restaurants to earn a free t-shirt. It's the sightseeing along the way with the city's legendary sights and landmarks, though, that hopefully sparks interest to return again and again."
I am so excited for what I believe is the future of [Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame] and the museum district," Patterson said. "We have exhibits and features and programming that are second to none in the country. And when you take that and look at us as a whole, it just shows the vast amount of amazing things you can do right here in Jackson.”