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Chair's Column: Solheim Cup Showcases DSM USA Momentum

Chair's Column: Solheim Cup Showcases DSM USA Momentum

August 10, 2017

It is difficult to create, hard to describe but evident and powerful when you have it. It’s momentum and Greater Des Moines (DSM) has it as we prepare to take the world stage Aug. 14 through 20 in hosting the LPGA Solheim Cup, a biennial competition between teams consisting of the best professional women’s golfers in the U.S. and Europe. The event is highly regarded and another game-changer for our region. We commend Bankers Trust CEO Suku Radia, who helped win this opportunity, DuPont Pioneer for stepping up as a global partner for the tournament and the 100+ local companies that are supporting the event through major sponsorships or purchasing blocks of tickets for their customers and employees.   

While there is a myriad of reasons why our region and Des Moines Golf and Country Club were selected over other finalists, let’s focus on understanding what contributed to the momentum in landing this international event and leveraging its potential future impact.

Past Event Success

DSM has a track record of successfully hosting major events. Most notably in golf, we hosted the 1999 U.S. Senior Open, which set an attendance record of more than 250,000, and have continued that momentum with hosting the Principal Charity Classic, which in 2016 was recognized as the PGA TOUR Champions Tournament of the year. Our list of hosting successful events also includes the Des Moines Arts Festival®, which has been recognized as the Best Festival in the World by the International Festivals & Events Association for three years running, the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. We are also slated to host the ACCE Convention — the premiere event for chamber of commerce professionals — in 2018 and again host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2019.

To keep our momentum, we must be diligent. How can we ensure the region, like a successful company, continues to have it? J.C Larreche, author of "The Momentum Effect", provides part of the answer, “Managers often talk about ‘riding the wave.’ However, momentum leaders aren’t that passive. They live by this motto: First build your wave, then ride it.” 

Building Momentum

Building our own wave includes ensuring a good experience for our local residents and visitors, working together to showcase the very best our region has to offer, and championing events and high-visibility opportunities by serving as ambassadors and volunteers. Who knows what big events this could lead to in the future?

The Partnership will continue to work closely with business, civic and community leaders to maximize momentum as we focus on telling our region’s story boldly. The Solheim Cup will be the first high-profile event since the unveiling of our regional identifier, DSM USA. What great timing as the Golf Channel and NBC broadcast nearly 30 hours of live tournament action and highlights of area attractions and things that make our area special and unique. One thing that makes the Solheim Cup unique is that spectators are encouraged to loudly and passionately cheer for their country. No need to be shy at this tournament.

Let’s be loud and bold and use the #DSMUSA hashtag as we create a raucous and memorable experience for the players and fans alike. After all, we’re not just riding the wave, we’re creating it!

LPGA Solheim Cup
When: Aug. 14-20, 2017
Where: Des Moines Golf and Country Club
Tickets: Go to solheimcupusa.com/event-tickets

Interested in sharing your passion for #DSMUSA loud, bold and broad? Sign up to be a DSM USA Ambassador today, join the #DSMUSA Facebook Group and find a few bragworthy conversation starters as well as recent regional rankings and recognition. Then, help spread the word to visitors and prospective residents during the LPGA Solheim Cup and beyond.

Dan Houston

Dan Houston is chairman, president and CEO of Principal and board chair of The Partnership. He regularly contributes to the Chair's Column.