MCLEAN, Va. - For many parents whose children participate in school and community sports leagues, fall means both back-to-school and back-to-sports, often requiring considerable time, money and travel. According to a new survey* on sports travel from Hilton Worldwide's Embassy Suites Hotels, on average each sports season, parent respondents travel more than 1,000 miles to their kids' away games and tournaments and spend more than $1,400. To reward parents with their own "win" during the busy fall sports season, the all-suites, upper upscale hotel chain is looking for "All-Star Parents" through a Facebook contest and is continuing its partnership with celebrity "spokesmom" Brooke Burke-Charvet to host a Twitter chat discussing how to plan a stress-free sports trip.
"We recognize that kids' fall sports schedules can cut into both budgets and weekend time for devoted parents, and we want to honor them this season by asking family friends and other parents to nominate who they consider 'All-Star Parents'," said John Rogers, global head, Embassy Suites Hotels. "Embassy Suites' standard amenities, such as our free made-to-order breakfast, spacious two-room suites and complimentary Evening Reception**, ensure every member of the family - and the team - has what they need for a successful weekend on the road."
All-Star Parents Facebook Contest
Embassy Suites invites consumers to nominate the team champion who embodies one of three All-Star Parent profiles, along with why their All-Star deserves to be rewarded. The three parent types include "The Road Tripper" (an ultra-dependable parent who's not only figured out directions to the destination but also researched everything there is to do once they arrive), "The Mommy/Daddy Poppins" (a reliable sideline source who's always armed with whatever supplies the teammates might need - first aid, snacks, socks, cooler and more) and "The Unofficial Official" (a person who knows all there is to know about the ins and outs of the game but most importantly, is the team's most loyal cheerleader - win or lose). Along with the Facebook contest, all parents can visit SheKnows.com to take a quiz to find out exactly which Embassy Suites parent profile they fit. Throughout the contest period, Sep. 10 through Oct. 7, there will be multiple chances to win:
- Weekly Winners: Every Wednesday after the contest's start, Embassy Suites will select one All-Star Parent to win exciting prizes. The winning nominators will not go empty-handed - they'll also receive a special surprise for taking the time to recognize these worthy parents.
- Grand Prize Winner: Each of the four weekly winners will also be eligible for the Grand Prize - a package that includes a VIP getaway for two at an Embassy Suites anywhere across the continental United States! As a bonus, the travel team they cheer for also gets a win, as the hotel chain will invite the team for a complimentary stay at an Embassy Suites for a future trip.
- Social Surprises: Embassy Suites will be listening to what All-Star parents are saying on social media, too, and will randomly surprise and delight traveling parents throughout the fall sports season.
To enter the contest, visit the Facebook app at the following link: http://bit.ly/AllStarParents.
Revealed: Parents are Just as Dedicated to the Team as Their Kids
Being an All-Star Parent takes a toll on more than just wallets and weekends. The numbers behind the trending mentality reveal just how much parents are affected and why they do it:
- Sports, Above All: 93 percent of parents surveyed have delayed or skipped buying something for themselves to pay for their child's sports travel. If this sounds familiar, make sure to create a preseason budget, including travel costs, so you don't have to sacrifice other purchases.
- Leisure Out, Sports In: 92 percent are willing to forego a number of activities to facilitate their children's sports travel such as: family vacations (36%), social functions and family gatherings (45%) or another child's event (27%). For these folks, Embassy Suites has good news, as no matter a trip's purpose, staying with the brand will always make families feel like they're in the midst of a fun-filled weekend escape.
- Save those Vacation Days: 64 percent of survey respondents confirm that they have taken time off of work in order to accommodate their child's sports team travel schedule. Work with your family to create a plan - traveling for sports doesn't have to replace a family vacation. 95 percent of those surveyed have used an out-of-town game as a reason to extend their trip into a family getaway.
- So, What's the Motivation?: Parents cited several reasons why they trade in their weekends for sports-filled travel. 68 percent do it to show their children they love and support them, while others said it keeps them motivated (60%), fosters family bonding (55%), gives the kids a chance to live out a dream parents could not (30%) and helps children get a scholarship (28%).
Of all parents surveyed, 94 percent agree that choosing the right hotel can make a difference in a long, sports-filled weekend. When booking a hotel for team sports travel, 51 percent claimed that free breakfast is something they look for, and 31 percent cited extra space as a perk. Embassy Suites has both covered with its complimentary made-to-order breakfast and spacious two-room suites. The hotel brand goes one step further by offering an evening reception with complimentary drinks and snacks, perfect for parents looking to unwind or kids needing an energy boost after a day on the field.
Sports Travel Talk with Brooke Burke-Charvet
As a busy mom with a frequently traveling family, celebrity brand partner Burke-Charvet is inviting parents to join her in a conversation around being an All-Star Parent where she will share tips on how to make sure sports travel weekends go as smoothly as possible.
"Jumping in the car to head to a kids' tournament weekend after a busy work week can be taxing," says Burke-Charvet. "Staying at a hotel that keeps your needs and your kids' needs top-of-mind is absolutely essential."
Those interested in getting in on the conversation can join Burke-Charvet (@brookeburke) for a one-hour Twitter chat on Thursday, September 18 at 8 p.m. ET using the hashtag #AllStarParents.
Families can stay connected to Embassy Suites on Facebook and Twitter throughout the sports travel season and beyond. To make reservations, families can visit embassysuites.com or call 1-800-EMBASSY. Media can obtain more information at http://news.embassysuites.com.
The Embassy Suites Fall Sports Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 400 parents of kids traveling overnight at least once per season for fall sports, between September 2nd and September 9th, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
**Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
Brooke Burke-Charvet has been commissioned by Embassy Suites Hotels for her endorsement and participation in 2014 public relations campaigns.
About Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has more than 230 hotels with 50 in the pipeline. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. For more information, visit embassysuites.com or news.embassysuites.com. Social media users may connect with Embassy Suites by Hilton at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.