The Houston Host Committee for the 2024 College Football Playoff has launched a supplier diversity program that will provide local businesses with more opportunities to participate in the event.
The program "Buy Houston, By Houston" aims to increase access to contracts and bids for local businesses owned by historically underrepresented communities. This program will provide these companies with direct access to subcontracting as Houston hosts College Football Playoff National Championships in January 2024. It will also offer professional development sessions and network opportunities. Maria Duran will be the director of community engagement at Harris County Houston Sports Authority.
Chris Massey is vice president of HCHSA and host committee president. He said that the ultimate goal of this program is to keep the economic impact of the game as close as possible to Houston. According to the host committee, the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship Game will generate an estimated $250 million in economic impacts for Houston.
Massey, a Houston Business Journal reporter, said that conversations about the HCHSA's use of its local vendor network for hosting major sporting events and how this process could be improved began well before the College Football Playoff. The agency chose to use the College Football Playoff as a catalyst because of its size. He also said that the goal of the program was to create a dynamic list of local vendors who could be used for future events such as the FIFA World Cup and AAU Junior Olympics.
Massey stated that Houston was looking to go beyond the usual ways in which previous host cities had involved their local community with college football. Massey said that he hopes the program for supplier diversity will set an example for other host towns, similar to the success the Houston NCAA Final Four Host Committee had in 2016, when it launched the Read to the Final Four Program, now required by every Final Four hosting city.
Massey stated that this was a great opportunity to do something more than the usual checklist for hosting an event. This extra effort will hopefully be of value to not only the next host city but also to CFP and their partners.
Massey said that it is hard to predict how many vendors Houston will use to host the championship match, but he does expect the program to provide hundreds of opportunities for Houston-based businesses to participate in the event. The CFP will have a list of between 25 and 30 vendors who will be coming to Houston to host the event. These vendors will also use additional local vendors in order to host the game.
Vendors are needed in many different categories, such as service providers like cleaning, janitorial and hospitality, audio-visual staging, printing and florals. They also need suppliers of apparel, merchandise, linens and chairs. The program allows the host committee to tap into local vendors' expertise, which will allow those businesses to grow.
Massey stated that 'if you really thought about it there is probably no industry or category which will not have some sort or direct or secondary connection to the activities going on around championship game'.
Massey stated that the committee was launching the program even though the championship game will be months away. This is to allow local businesses to participate in the process. For more information, interested businesses can visit host committee website. Vendors who want to participate will also have to be certified by the Office of Business Opportunity of Houston.