eXplore Lawrence is pleased to announce the hire of B.J. Harris who is joining the team as Sales Manager for Sports. In this role, Harris will promote and sell the city of Lawrence as a premier destination for sporting events beginning September 2.
Harris comes to eXplore Lawrence after serving the past six years as the Executive Director of the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau in Pittsburg. While at the Crawford County CVB, Harris helped increase overall tourism revenue by more than twenty percent. He also helped develop a strong sports tourism market in Pittsburg. Some of his top accomplishment include helping with the development of the Robert W. Plaster Center, which has now been awarded several NCAA Division II and NJCAA Indoor Track Championships. Harris also led the bid process in attracting those championships. Additional top events include the NJCAA Football National Championship, coming to Pittsburg from 2018 to 2020, the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the 2014 & 2018 Kansas Shrine Bowl and many more statewide and regional championships.
In addition to a strong focus on sports tourism, Harris has also taken a leadership role in regional and statewide coalitions. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK), a position he will continue when he joins eXplore Lawrence. Harris serves as the Immediate Past President and founding member of SportsKS, an organization formed in 2015 with the goal of growing sports tourism in Kansas.
Before entering the tourism industry, Harris spent nearly a decade in radio, serving in a variety of positions, both on-air and in management. He has continued working as a sports broadcaster and has been a part of more than a thousand high school and college broadcasts, currently serving as the color analyst for the Pittsburg State Football broadcasts. He considers sports broadcasting the best hobby ever.