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Website Launched for 23rd Annual NASC Symposium

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 15:41

The NASC is pleased to announce the launch of the new website for 23rd annual NASC Symposium, scheduled for April 27-30, 2015 in Milwaukee, WI., hosted by VISIT Milwaukee. The NASC Sports Event Symposium is the annual meeting for the only not-for-profit association for the sports tourism industry. For more than 20 years, the Symposium has been designed for sports tourism professionals by sports tourism professionals. Through a combination of industry-leading educational and business development opportunities, more than 800 Symposium attendees learn how to produce measurable ROI for their organization and advance their careers in the industry.

“The NASC board of directors, staff, and Symposium Committee are all very excited about the way the 2015 NASC Symposium is coming together,” said Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, Director of Meetings and Events.  “We are taking the feedback provided by our members and previous attendees and letting it guide us every step of the way.  You won’t want to miss it!”

On the website, you can download registration forms, view the preliminary schedule, find hotel & travel information, learn about sponsorship opportunities, and more.  Online registration will open for NASC members at the end of September.

Complete details are available at www.SportsCommissions.org/Symposium.

 

About the NASC

As the only trade association for the sports tourism industry, the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), and sports event owners.

Since its establishment in 1992, the NASC has been committed to increasing the effectiveness of nearly 700 member organizations and more than 2,000 sports tourism professionals.

Our promise is to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities, and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members and to protect the integrity of the industry.

 

 


Categories: National

Thoughts from the MPI World Education Conference

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 05:00

Ever think there are never enough hours in the day? Or that you’re the only person who returns emails on a regular basis? Don’t fret, you’re not the only one who deals with those issues, and more. At the Meeting Professionals International World Education Conference August 2-5 at Minneapolis, a number of speakers offered tips and suggestions on how to put on great meetings, no matter what the challenge.

One of the highlights of the opening day was the keynote by bestselling author Deepak Chopra, discussing his concept of “wellness real estate” and healthy indoor environments at the home, the office and where we meet. Related to his speech was the session, “Serve This, Not That,” on what we as meeting planners order from food & beverage for our events and meetings. Just asking the right questions of caterers can make choices healthier for attendees and save planners money.

Also top of mind for many in the sports events business is best use of time. The Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiatives helps meeting and event planners organize their responsibilities, and the WEC session on APEX Savings Time helped explain the best use of this industry standard.

Want to use more video but aren’t sure how to go about it? “Video=Euphoric Results” offered great tips on using videos in marketing plans in lieu of the unread email backup that frustrates both the planner, and the person wanting more information.

“The MPI World Education Congress is my go to event each year for education and best practices for the meetings and events industry,” says Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, Director of Meetings and Events for the National Association of Sports Commissions.  “The 2014 sessions were exceptional and I have brought back to the NASC offices innovative ideas to try and information to guide us as we plan the 2015 NASC Symposium in Milwaukee next April.”



Categories: National

Prospecting in the NASC Sports Event Marketplace

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:26

Let’s talk for a few minutes about Sports Event Marketplaces. The NASC developed the first Sports Event Marketplace in the late nineties and since then it’s become an intricate part of the NASC Annual Sports Event Symposium. And looking at the recent responses from our meeting in Oklahoma City, we can tell that your interest in the sports marketplace is as high as or higher than ever, and it turns out to be the number one reason why many of you attend the symposium and we understand that. One of the questions I would ask you though is to determine for yourself whether you’re prepared for the sports marketplace before you begin. And now we’re talking from the cities point of view, because one of the concerns, I personally have is, that many of you are relatively inexperienced in the industry are expecting to go to the Sports Event Marketplace and pick up business in 10 to 12 minutes, when you’re not even sure whether your destination can host the events you’re talking about. How do you fix that?

First, don’t go to a Sports Event Marketplace until you know the kinds of events you can host, and which age groups, and why. And if you don’t know that, you’re going to have to find somebody to help you determine what you can do before you talk to anybody. Because what happens is, a very simple prophecy is fulfilled if you don’t know whether you can handle the event or not, and you show the event owner in a sports marketplace appointment that that’s the case, what you’re doing is losing the business, rather than gaining the business.

What’s a proper approach to a sports marketplace appointment? Be prepared, be absolutely ready with what you can do and don’t take appointments with people who have events that you can’t handle. How do you find out where these events are? You go to the Rights Holder section of our database and you can find hundreds of event owners, and you can determine by sport which ones you ought to be talking to. And it makes common sense, to go ahead and do your homework before you go to the marketplace, at all.

Now, there has been some thought about restricting appointments at the marketplace to people who have been members and have attended the symposium for at least two years, and not have marketplace appointments with new people. That, of course, is not what we are going to do. Instead, I think you’re going to find the NASC to rely itself increasingly on Rapid RFP Review sessions; where an event rights holder meets with 10 or 12, or 15 of you at one time, “Here’s what we’ve got, this is what we’re looking for, go off do your homework. When you know you have it, get in touch with us, let’s talk then.” That’s a great way to do this. What is not a great way is to say to yourself before you arrive on-site for a sports marketplace series of appointments, is all I have to do to be successful in this business is to have a bunch of appointments, talk to a bunch of people, I’ll make friends and they’ll want to do business with me.” That’s not the way this business works, never has, never will, and it will be a waste of your time and a waste of the other event owners time, also.

I wish you well in all of your marketplace appointments, but I also, would wish preparation and the understanding that in 10 to 12 minutes you can lose a relationship faster than you can gain one. It is a terrific way to go back and say hi to old friends and acquaintances, and remind them that you are still interested in doing business with them. It is a terrible way to show people that you’re too new to know what’s going on.

Video blog: Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions
513.281.3888     –     http://www.sportscommissions.org 
Published  August 18, 2014


Categories: National

NASC Best Practices Webinar on Defining the Roles of Sports Commissions and Convention & Visitors Bureaus Scheduled for Tuesday, August 26

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 13:07

Are you wondering whether your community should develop a sports commission? Maybe you find yourself asking, what is the difference between a sports commission and a convention and visitors bureau? What about funding– how do you raise the money needed to fund a sports commission? 

Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, National Association of Sports Commissions as he discussed the difference between a sports commission and a convention and visitors bureau, as well as sustainable funding sources to help keep your organization alive.     If you missed our recent video blog on Defining the Roles of Sports Commissions and Convention & Visitors Bureaus, be sure to check it out prior to August 26th, as Don will dive further into detail during the webinar!   About Don: Don Schumacher, CSEE has 50 years of experience in the fields of communications, family entertainment, theme park marketing and operations, arena and stadium marketing and operations, event management, sports marketing and facilities consultation. For the past 30 years he has focused his activities on the sports event travel market and has consulted with more than fifty cities on strategies to increase their share of this market.
Categories: National

NASC and its members featured in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal: The Big Business of Sports Tourism

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:09

The NASC and many of our members are featured in an 18-page special advertising section in this week’s SportsBusiness Journal. The section highlights the evolution of sports tourism and the history of NASC and its members as the pioneers for sports-related travel.

Special thanks to all of our members who supported the issue as advertisers:

  • Greater Columbus Sports Commission
  • Sioux Falls CVB
  • Oklahoma City CVB
  • Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance
  • Frisco CVB
  • Palm Beach County Sports Commission
  • Birmingham CVB
  • The Sports Facilities Advisory
  • Maryland Sports
  • VisitPittsburgh
  • Elizabethtown Sports Park
  • Visit Jacksonville
  • Massachusetts Sports Marketing Office
  • Myrtle Beach Sports Center
  • Rocky Top Sports World
  • Pensacola Sports Association

Be sure to check it out now!


Categories: National

Truckload Rate Quotes Now Available Through PartnerShip

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 05:00


PartnerShip®, the company that manages the NASC Shipping Program, offers competitive rates on full and partial truckload shipments to all NASC members! PartnerShip has created relationships with dozens of national and regional truckload carriers to help you save time and money. Even when your freight shipment is a full or partial truckload, requires specialized equipment, or is being exported or imported – PartnerShip has the connections to help you with a solution.

Truckload Freight Services:

  • Partial/volume loads (5,000-9,999 lbs.)
  • Full truckloads (>10,000 lbs.)
  • Solo or team truckload services
  • Dedicated, expedited or intermodal
  • Dry van, flat bed or refrigerated
  • Reputable carriers, including Schneider National, Swift Transport, U.S. Xpress, Werner, Con-way Truckload, Celadon Trucking, J.B. Hunt, R+L Truckload, and many more

Receive a competitive rate on your truckload shipment by visiting PartnerShip.com/TLQuote today. There, you can request a free, no-obligation quote for your dry van, refrigerated or flatbed truckload shipment.

This tip is brought to you by PartnerShip, the company that manages the NASC Shipping Program. For more information email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902.


Categories: National

NASC Board of Directors Meets for Summer Retreat

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 13:16

Membership services and professional development were two of the main topics covered at the 2014 National Association of Sports Commissions Board of Directors Summer Retreat, held July 16-18 at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s office in downtown Indianapolis.

The meeting is the yearly opportunity for the Board to discuss topics that affect the long-term growth and viability of the NASC, and how NASC can best serve its members.

“We see the summer retreat as a great way to proactively look at the issues facing the NASC and its member organizations,” said Kevin Smith, CSEE, director of the St. Petersburg/ Clearwater Sports Commission and the chair of the Board of Directors. “We use this time to discuss some of the ways we can help our members be even more productive.”

Topics during the retreat included CSEE and professional development for members, Association meetings and events, and new membership services.

The Board also heard from Mark Lewis, executive vice president for championships and alliances of the NCAA, on the changing environment of college sports.

“These topics affect how our membership does business in the competitive sports tourism industry,” said Greg Ayers, CSEE, president and CEO of Discover Kalamazoo and Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Board. “The Board wants to find new ways, from education to networking, to help our members establish themselves as leaders in this field.”

The next professional development opportunity for members is the CSEE Fall Module and Market Segment Meetings, co-located with the USOC Olympic Sportslink at the Hilton Chicago on Monday, September 22 and Tuesday, September 23. For information and registration, visit http://sportscommissions.org/MarketSegmentMeetings.

Jackie Reau
Game Day Communications
700 West Pete Rose Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 929-4263, office
(513) 708-5822, mobile
(513) 929-0245, fax

jreau@gamedaypr.com
www.gamedaypr.com
LinkedIn: JackieReau
Facebook: JackieReau
Twitter:@JackieReau


Categories: National

Sports Commissions vs. Convention & Visitors Bureaus

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:30

We’re often asked, should we develop a sports commission into our marketplace?  What’s the difference between a sports commission, and convention and visitors bureau?  I would like to refer all of you that are members of the NASC to this report which is available in the member’s only section of our website under Research and Reports where we carefully define the separate roles of a sports commission and convention and visitors bureau.  We think that’s a great first place when you consider whether a sports commission is going to be right for your market or not.

But beyond that, once you’ve understood the fundamental differences between a sports commission and a CVB the big issue that you need to come down to is funding, because a sports commission, if it is not part of a convention and visitors bureau, is going to have to figure out what kinds of sources are in the community for sustainable funding to keep that organization alive.  Clearly, if you decide that your sports commission or your sports authority is going to be a department of you convention and visitors bureau the funding with doubtless come primarily from the hotel tax that is levied in your marketplace.  But if you’re an independent and we have about eighty sports commissions in the United States that are independent from convention and visitors bureaus, then funding becomes the single biggest issue.  So, before you get started down the road of a sports commission establish the kind of budget you think you need and then address the real hard question of, can we raise that kind of money?  Because there’ll often be 300, 400, 500 thousand dollars to fund a sports commission in a marketplace, when you stop to think of an annual budget in a convention and visitors bureau it’s easy to understand that a sports commission could require investments of that size.  Now not all sports commissions are that big, some are much smaller, but it depends on the role that you expect the sports commission to play in your marketplace.  Fundraising can come from corporate community members, and one of the key differentiators in your market is the number of headquarters organizations versus the number of branch offices.  A branch office will never be able to support you as effectively as the home headquarters of an organization will, that is in your community and dedicated to what’s good and what’s growing in your community, and I think you can all understand that.

The room tax is a second possibility for funding; some sports commissions even though they’re independent of a convention bureau receive some portion of their funding from the convention bureau in recognition for the room nights that they are producing in the community.  There are also some sports commissions in the United States that have become a line item in the city or county budget, where they actually receive a set amount of money each year.  Of course they have to go back and fight for that money in every new budget process, but some public funding is available from time to time for communities.

Memberships, charging memberships for both corporations and individuals are ways in which some sports commissions have funded their operations, and also fundraisers.  Whether it’s a series of luncheons, an annual sports banquet where you celebrate the value of sport in your community and bring in a high powered speaker, and try to raise substantial amounts of money.  And never forget the fact that sports commission have the ability to put themselves in their own budgets, and when the day is done and the events over, an amount of money can be transferred from the event account to the sports commission account, in recognition for the contribution that the sports commission has made.

So, as we conclude, a couple of things to keep in mind: number one if you’re going to create a sports commission dedicated lines of funding are all important, and number two, sports commissions don’t always consider room  nights as the single most essential reason for their being.  Most sports commissions, frankly, and this is true in this report, and its pointed out here, and we tried to point it out very clearly, most sports commissions are thinking about quality of life issues for their community.  They love room nights, but they are really looking for events that are going to make a difference in the lives of the people in their community, and not necessarily the events that will produce the largest number of room nights.

We hope these thoughts on sports commissions and convention and visitors bureaus are helpful to you.  Certainly we’d be happy to answer your questions at anytime, just call us here in Cincinnati and we’d be happy to talk about it.

Video blog: Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions
513.281.3888     –     http://www.sportscommissions.org 
Published  July 14, 2014


Categories: National

Get rewards and savings from FedEx Fridays when you enroll in the NASC Shipping Program

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 08:38

FedEx wants to help us celebrate your hard work and accomplishments. When you enroll in the NASC Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip®, you’ll be automatically signed up to receive an exclusive offer every week from FedEx Fridays.* If you’re already enrolled in the NASC Shipping Program, simply click here to register.

Offers can include:**
• Starbucks® and iTunes® Gift Cards
• Discounted offers from FTD and LivingSocial
• And much more

With FedEx Fridays, it’s even more rewarding to join and use the NASC Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip®. NASC members will continue to save up to 27% *** on select services all year long, even after this promotion ends. It’s free to join and there are no minimum shipping requirements. And, you may be eligible for other special offers and promotions.

Visit PartnerShip.com/09NASC to enroll in the NASC Shipping Program and sign up for FedEx Fridays. If you’re already enrolled in the NASC Shipping Program, you can click here to register for FedEx Fridays. Make sure you enroll or register by Aug. 15, 2014 to get signed up for these exclusive offers!

This tip is brought to you by PartnerShip, the company that manages the NASC Shipping Program. For more information on this free member benefit, email sales@PartnerShip.com or call 800-599-2902.

*Sign up by Aug. 15, 2014. Eligible customers must be a current member of NASC and enrolled in the NASC Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip® with their account in good standing. Only one FedEx account number per person, per organization may qualify. Customers may need to meet additional requirements in order to be eligible for specific offers. All offers are limited-time only while supplies last. Registrations received after 12:00:00 a.m. EST each Thursday will be eligible for the next week and subsequent weeks’ (if any) offer.

**Starbucks®, iTunes®, American Express®, FTD® and LivingSocial are not participants or sponsors of the promotion.

***Includes a bonus 5% online processing discount. Full details available at www.PartnerShip.com/09NASC/FedExdiscounts.

 


Categories: National

Creating Your Own Events

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 05:00

I’m Don Schumacher, Executive Director of the National Association of Sports Commissions and I’d like to demonstrate to you here for just a moment our commitment to personal fitness.  Everyone on our staff is now equipped with an exercise ball chair, and we think it’s a great way to keep fit.  And it’s a great way for me to start out a video where I talk briefly to you about creating your own events.  We’ve talked about this for years around the NASC and we thought we’d give you a brief video that would just have a few topics on it that I’ve put down on paper here.

How do you do it?  How do you create your own event?  One of the best ways to do it is to find an event in your community that’s already bringing visiting teams to the area.  Meet with the organizers of that event and see what’s holding back the total number of teams that are coming into the area from out of town.  It might be that they just can’t handle the hotels; it might be that they need help finding more fields or courts; it might be that the total weight of the whole organization of the event is more than they can handle on their own.  Once you find out what’s holding them back, look for ways to solve the problem: find volunteers for them, help them put the hotel block together, set up a Stay to Play system if one is needed, create a goodie bag system, where that event has discount coupons to area attractions, restaurants, and so forth.   In short, help an existing event grow.

If you’d rather start from scratch, then you logically go for the sport that you’re best equipped to handle.  Might be its girls fast pitch; you might have enough diamonds that that’s really the sweet spot for your community.  Meet with your local fast pitch community, find out if they’re well connected or well enough connected in the fast pitch softball community regional to be able to reach out and find teams that will come and spend the night while they’re participating in your marketplace.  One of the best ways to put these events together is to stress the many things that people can see and do while they’re in your area.  We’ve talked a lot in the industry about mini-vacations, and that’s certainly true when you’re creating your own events.  And why obliviously are you going to create your own event?  You’re going to create your own event so you don’t have to bid on it every year, and you’ll find that once an events established it can grow off its own accord.  I’d like to suggest,  there’s kind of a rule of thumb, if a team is going to come from 100 plus miles out, they’re going to be inclined to stay overnight, because that’s just too much of a distance to travel each way, back and forth.

And a final suggestion, financial stipends.  If you’re helping a tournament grow, that’s being locally produced and they need financial help one of the best ways you can help them is to provide them with two, three, four thousand dollars, whatever the reasonable amount of money would be in your market, which stipulation that that moneys going to be used to promote teams coming to your market from a travel destination.  So that you can be assured your money is not only being used to promote the event but its helping to build the overnight business.

There will be plenty more to say about creating events over the coming years but these are some of the hints that we found helpful.

Video blog: Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions
Published on June 30, 2014


Categories: National

Why Sports Matter

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 08:08

Because we’re in the business of sports, we’re used to talking about the economic impact that sports has on our respective communities. It brings jobs, a livelihood, a spark of energy, a sense of excitement to our host areas.

But let’s take a second to look at the human factor of sports, and what it means for the coming generations.

All you have to do is look at the recent NBA Finals series between San Antonio and Miami. Both teams have been basketball powerhouses for several years, and have been in the media spotlight for longer than that. Expand that to the states in which they are located, Texas and Florida, and the NBA Finals have been held in one or both of these states eight times in the last 10 years.

That’s a lot of home town fans watching the best players in the league. No, scratch that, it means that’s a lot of home town kids watching the best players, and wanting to be like them.

According to the Florida High School Athletic Association survey, almost 900 more boys were playing basketball in the state last year than 10 years ago. In Texas, that state’s high school athletic association found there are 55 more high schools with boys’ basketball teams now, than five years ago.

Miami coach Eric Spoelstra has seen the change in just the short time he’s been in South Florida. “When I first got down here it was only a football city,” he said, “but now you’re starting to see a legion of kids and young generation of NBA fans that weren’t necessarily here 15, 20 years ago.”

More NBA fans means more boys and girls growing up playing basketball, developing a love of the game and, just as importantly, developing the skills to play the game at a higher level. That can mean scholarships for families who otherwise couldn’t afford to send a child to college and, consequently, the chance for a better job, a solid career, a better life for future generations.

All because San Antonio and Miami played in the NBA Finals.

And that’s just one more reason, why sports matter.

Jackie Reau

Game Day Communications
700 West Pete Rose Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 929-4263, office
(513) 708-5822, mobile
(513) 929-0245, fax

jreau@gamedaypr.com

www.gamedaypr.com

LinkedIn: JackieReau
Facebook: JackieReau
Twitter:@JackieReau


Categories: National

NASC Video Blog – Room Rebates

Mon, 06/16/2014 - 15:55

Listen as Don Schumacher discusses room rebates.

Don Schumacher, CSEE
Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions


Categories: National

Safety in Youth Sports

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 05:00

We’ve heard a lot about the effect of concussions and other health and injury issues in front of the National Football League. The concerns over sports safety now have reached the White House recently, where President Obama brought in representatives from professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, youth sports players and researchers to discuss the issue of youth sports concussions.

At the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, groups such as the NFL, National Institutes of Health and the Pop Warner Little Scholars pledged money and other support to help in the research for safer materials to give young athletes better protection in their respective sports.

The genesis for much of this came in a report last fall from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, calling for a national system of tracking sports concussions—including how often young athletes suffer concussions and in what sports.

Anyone who is involved in youth sports wants to see the safety of the athletes be front and center. And the issue of safety has some a long way in the last few years, with soccer and lacrosse players now wearing improved protective headgear and youth football players now being taught to tackle with their heads up, the goal being to protect from head and spinal injuries.

Still, the issue of youth concussions is top of mind for a lot of parents who want to keep  their kids safe. A report in the Wall Street Journal in January shows youth participation in the four most popular team sports—basketball, soccer, baseball and football—fell by roughly four percent from 2008 and 2012. In the same article, the National Federation of State High School Associations shows football participation dropped 2.3 percent in the 2012 season from 2008.

The causes of declines in youth sports aren’t clear. Experts cite everything from increasing costs to excessive pressure on kids in youth sports to cuts in school physical-education programs along with the safety concerns. The long-term issue is the health of children who become more sedentary, while the short term concern for cities and organizations who are the hosts for youth sports is keeping events going, and going strong, in your home town.

Keeping kids healthy while keeping them safe through sports is good for host organizations as well as for the next generation. Seeing top organizations start to invest in the safety issues is the next step in making sure youth sports continue to flourish.


Categories: National
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