April 14, 2023

The Mississippi Pinnacle Awards, presented by Sales & Marketing Professionals, honored Visit Jackson as a finalist for the Bernice Linton Outstanding Event Award during their ceremony held Monday night at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, MS.

The winning event was Cruisin’ the Coast

Visit Jackson was a finalist for its promotional efforts to secure Jackson as the host city for ESPN College Gameday during Jackson State University’s (JSU) football season.

Visit Jackson began efforts in September 2022, towards the beginning of the season. Mid-October, rumors began to circulate that Jackson could be a host city for the show due to the national attention JSU’s football team was getting because of their undefeated record, coupled with the popularity of their celebrity coach.

Visit Jackson, with the support of the community, furthering their outreach efforts through ESPN contacts, created a social buzz, utilizing contacts from its public relations firm for further engagement.

Ultimately, with Coach Prime’s national persona, JSU’s continued success, and the team’s record attendance, ESPN College Gameday arrived in Jackson, MS, on October 29, 2022.

“Visit Jackson is committed to supporting the Jackson product,” said Jonathan Pettus, Visit Jackson’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Jackson State University is a strong component of that product, and we’ll use every avenue to aid in their visibility. We continue to stand alongside them as we promote the numerous offerings in the City With Soul.”

ESPN recorded the show’s best nine-week start since 2009, with 1.819 million viewers and 2.3 million final-hour viewers.