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Updated: 25 min 51 sec ago

Coaches behaving badly…

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:17

In the regionals of the Little League Softball World Series the big story this past week was a rematch between Central Iowa and Washington for the right to advance in the playoffs. But here’s the back story: Central Iowa, which finished 3-1 in pool play, could have advanced to the semifinals if South Snohomish, Washington, either scored three runs vs. the U.S. Southeast representative from North Carolina or won the game to finish 4-0 in pool play. However, Washington rested its top four players and, according to Central Iowa Little League president Chris Chadd, ordered its players to bunt and reportedly had players swinging at pitches in the dirt. The goal? To prevent Central Iowa from advancing.

The result: North Carolina no-hit the Washington team in an 8-0 victory, and the Central Iowa All-Stars finished in a three-way tie — and out of the tournament. The Central Iowa coach protested to the tournament director, who denied the protest. Iowa then took the protest to Little League International, which didn’t disqualify Washington but did order a one-game playoff between Iowa and Washington to see who’d advance. In what some would say was an act of Karma, Central Iowa won and advanced (but lost in the semi-finals). For his part, Washington coach Fred Miller said he was only trying to rest his starters and his team was unfairly punished.

Now, let’s face it: It’s not unheard of for pro teams to “rest their starters” to get a better draft position, but this is Little League, where the Little League pledge says, in part, “I will play fair, and strive to win, but win or lose, I will always do my best.” Coach Miller says his players were harassed with notes left on their hotel room doors after the game. Coach, it wasn’t the players’ fault—they were just doing what every team member is told to do—follow the coach’s orders.

We’ve talked a lot about the good and bad in youth sports, and the lessons to be learned. Here’s one lesson for all those involved, as former Jets Coach Herm Edwards famously said: “You play the game to win.” Let’s hope so.

photo courtesy Little League Softball


Categories: National

Winning isn’t everything…

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 08:29

In this age of “everybody’s a winner” in youth sports, and trophies are handed out just for showing up, Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison has given us a different perspective on who should get a trophy when.

In a lengthy Instagram post this weekend, Harrison showed a couple of trophies his sons “earned” and then explained why his kids won’t be keeping them:

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues

Now we can all argue the value of giving out participation awards to young athletes—it motivates them to be in sports, it makes them feel good about their participation, etc.—but James Harrison has a point: How do you know if you’re any good if you get an award for just being part of the game?

Harrison maybe is taking his opinion to the extreme, but it’s still an interesting topic. And it says volumes about how kids are being raised. Because how do they handle losing later in life, if they’ve always been told that they’re a winner–and have the hardware to prove it?

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Steeler, James Harrison


Categories: National

NASC hosts board retreat in Grand Rapids to Preview City for 2016 NASC Symposium

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 15:02

The NASC Board of Directors were in Grand Rapids this week for their annual board retreat while previewing the region’s venues, hotels and restaurants in anticipation of Grand Rapids hosting the 24th NASC Sports Event Symposium April 3-7, 2016. Today, they named Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports as the beneficiary of the NASC Sports Legacy Fund in 2016 – an NASC tradition to make a lasting impact on the community hosting its annual symposium.

“This is an exciting week for Grand Rapids to showcase its incredible sporting event assets while the NASC is in town for its summer board retreat,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “And just as important as leaving with positive impressions about our region, they leave with a promise to invest in our community by naming Mary Free Bed as the 2016 beneficiary of the NASC Sports Legacy Fund.”

As the only nonprofit 501 (c) (3) trade association for the sports tourism industry, NASC produces the NASC Sports Event Symposium that it has held annually since 1992 – and Grand Rapids will host it for the first time, April 3-7, 2016 at DeVos Place. Mary Free Bed Named 2016 Beneficiary of NASC Sports Legacy Fund Begun in 2006, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund awards an annual grant and sports equipment donation to an organization in need in the host city of the NASC Symposium. The Sports Legacy Fund is a way for members of the sports tourism community to make a personal and lasting impact on sports programs and initiatives. The West Michigan Sports Commission nominated Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports and its wheelchair tennis program since it fits with the NASC’s criteria of donating to not-for profit organizations that provide individuals – particularly at-risk youth, veterans, or physically or intellectually disabled individuals – opportunities to participate in sport and encourage healthy lifestyles.

“Choosing Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports as the NASC Sports Legacy beneficiary means that our athletes are provided more opportunities to participate in the many sports we offer without a financial burden, allowing them to gain confidence, empowerment and life skills as individuals,” said Alicia Hass, sports coordinator at Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports. The NASC Sports Legacy Committee organizes a silent auction and raffle to raise money for the Sports Legacy Fund at the NASC Symposium each year. Proceeds from the auction and raffle will support the 2016 beneficiary and the NASC Sports Legacy Fund endowment. Originally developed as an equipment donation program by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund became a monetary donation in 2009 and has contributed more than $63,000 since then to programs in its conference host cities, including $20,000 in 2015 to the Running Rebels Community Organization in Milwaukee.

“The NASC has seen steady growth in donations to local charities in the host cities of the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium since 2009,” said Don Schumacher, CSEE, executive director of the NASC. “It is very exciting to come to a new market and raise funds to assist in the development of programs that will benefit the residents of the community.”

As an added benefit to the host city, the NASC also organizes a community service project as a program that all NASC Symposium attendees have the option of volunteering for while in town for the conference. This was launched as a new initiative at the 2015 NASC Symposium in Milwaukee, and due to its success, will be continued for the 2016 Symposium in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids project and location will be named at a later time.

About the West Michigan Sports Commission

The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked 400 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 560,000 athletes and visitors, generating $145 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit westmisports.com.

About the National Association of Sports Commissions

As the only nonprofit 501 (c) (3) 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. The NASC is committed to the success of more than 700 member organizations and 2,000 serious-minded, sports tourism professionals. Our promise is to deliver quality education, relevant industry research and ample networking opportunities to our members – sports destinations, sports event owners, and vendors to the industry – and to protect the integrity of the sports tourism industry. For more information, visit sportscommissions.org.

About Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports

Mary Free Bed started wheelchair and adaptive sports programs more than 40 years ago with a single tennis team. The program has grown tremendously, and now approximately 400 children and 300 adults participate in a variety of organized team sports, clinics and camps every year. The Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program is designed for anyone age 7 or older who cannot participate in traditional sports in the typical way, whether they were born with their disability or are challenged as a result of an injury, accident or illness. For more information, visit maryfreebed.com/sports.

NASC Board of Directors Summer Retreat

NASC Board of Directors with 2016 Sports Legacy Fund Beneficiary, Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program.

NASC Board of Directors testing out comfy chairs at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.


Categories: National

Go Fund Them

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 07:21

With students going back to school this month (if they haven’t already), families are facing a familiar task: Getting kids into sports and finding the money to pay for the activities.

With schools pinched for resources and parents nickled-and-dimed with school fees this time of year, some teams and/or individual families are now looking at the crowdfunding route to pay for their kids’ recreational fees.

This example comes from KATU in Portland, Oregon, where the coach of a cheerleading squad, Oregon Dream Teams in Beaverton, was looking to pay for a trip to the cheerleading World Championships in Orlando. The cost was $1,200 per cheerleader—and that’s on top of the minimum $4,000 the athlete pays for practices and regular competition.

Cher Fuller, the head coach, started a GoFundMe.com on line account for the squad, and asked people to make donations. Her goal was a thousand dollars, and raised a little more than that.

She’s not alone. Also in the Portland area, Karen Emmett, one of the crowdfunding parents quoted in the KATU story, set up a crowdfunding site for her daughter’s soccer expenses. In explaining why she did so, Emmett posted on the station’s Facebook page: “What isn’t mentioned in the video is not only am I a single mom, I’m working two jobs to pay our bills … and my daughter and her soccer team have been doing other fundraising (rummage sales, bake sales, can drives, yard work for neighbors, etc).

“I only opened an account because I was pushed by a lot of family and friends to do so. I was told to swallow my pride and admit that I need help paying for this.”

This isn’t unusual. Go to the gofundme.com website and on the left side you’ll see a menu of causes to which you can donate. Click on the ‘sports’ tab and you’ll see requests from teams (especially Little League teams in World Series playoffs) and individual athletes, all asking strangers to help pay for their expenses to play a sport, travel to playoffs, whatever.

Crowdfunding is a relatively new phenomenon, but now that it is pervasive in youth sports, perhaps it’s time to look at the cost of youth sports altogether. For those who wonder why those kids aren’t washing cars and doing other fundraisers to pay for their sports, see the quote from Karen Emmett, who says the team had been fundraising in more traditional methods to get enough money.

Are youth sports, especially traveling team costs, too expensive now? Are parents less willing to chip in or are financially unable to pay for their children to play? As sports professionals it’s up to us to make sure EVERY child who wants to play sports can, regardless of financial status or ability to pay. If you haven’t done so, perhaps its time to look into charitable funds connected to what we do, to make sure kids can still play sports.


Categories: National

Tragedy in Kansas..

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 16:45

Photo courtesy nbcphiladelphia.com

We talk a lot about getting kids involved in sports, and we all know it’s a great thing for youngsters to learn teamwork, playing by the rules, etc. But every once in a while tragedy seeps into our mission of sports.

Case in point: A 9-year-old bat boy who was hit in the head as a player was taking practice swings died Sunday evening of his injuries. Kaiser Carlile, who was a bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays, an amateur baseball team, was retrieving a bat (and wearing his helmet) when a player warming up took a practice swing during Saturday’s game and hit Kaiser in the head. Absolutely an accident, but a tragedy nonetheless.

Kaiser was injured near the on-deck circle during the game on Saturday, a playoff game in the National Baseball Congress World Series. He was initially treated by the home plate umpire, an experienced paramedic, before being rushed to Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. A spokesman for the National Baseball Congress confirmed Kaiser was wearing a helmet, which is mandatory for all teams.

Perhaps this statement from National Baseball Congress General Manager Kevin Jenks says it best: “It’s difficult to remember a day that is darker than this one. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and this accident certainly is a memorable example. Kaiser was simply doing something he loved.”

A couple of reminders here: First, anyone involved in youth sports or events management knows that importance of having first aid, athletic trainers and an ambulance on site. Second, accidents do happen that no amount of medical personnel can prevent. This tragedy is not a reason to keep kids away from sports, but there’s a good chance new safety rules and/or equipment may come into play in the future to try to prevent future accidents like this.


Categories: National

Upcoming NASC Webinar Schedule – Register Now

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 05:00

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFP’s to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


US Corporate Games

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Kurt Aichele, CEO US Corporate Games, as he discusses US Corporate Games and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 18th, remember you can download the webinar recording from the webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.


Utilizing Social Media for Events

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jackie Reau, CEO, Game Day Communications, as she discusses best practices for utilizing social media for events. If you are unable to join us on the 26th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.


Categories: National

Finding funding: Sometimes it comes to you

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:11

So you have a great idea for a new event for your facility: It would bring in hundreds of athletes who would stay multiple days and bring in thousands of dollars to the local economy.

Or, you’d like to expand your facility, adding fields or courts, which would allow you to bring in bigger, better events. All sounds good, but the bottom line, as they say, is the bottom line: How to pay for all of this?

It’s a universal issue that all organizations, rights holders, facility operators, high school and college athletic departments or team managers face. You may have great ideas, but you don’t have the resources to fund them. Where does the money come from?

As a sports corporation or CVB, you might ask your sales staff to acquire more sponsorships or partnerships. (what your sales staff says after you leave the room, well, that’s out of our control)

We already know that more colleges and universities, especially those outside the “Power Five” conferences, are looking to beer sales at games to help fund the athletic department. A year ago, there were 21 on-campus football stadiums where any fan of legal age could grab a brew. That’s more than twice as many as five years ago.

Troy University Athletic Director John Hartwell estimated that beer would account for $200,000 in commissions for the season. According to its contract with concessionaire Sodexo, Troy receives 43 percent of gross beer sales at its 30,000-seat stadium, or better than $2 for every $5 beer.

But sometimes the money comes to you, through an endowment. A trend that started in the Ivy League and spread to other schools is now becoming the new way to save that school from paying a salary.

The most recent example? Richard Corbett, a Florida real-estate executive who served as the business manager of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, gave $35 million to the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1960.

Of the total, $25 million will go for a new building to house the anthropology and psychology departments and a digital-media center. He also directed $10 million of the gift to endow the university’s head football coach position.

In another case, Xavier’s men’s basketball coach, Chris Mack, is now the Sedler Family Men’s Head Basketball Coach after Tom and Genny Sedler provided Xavier with the endowment to fund Coach Mack’s salary. The endowment basically allows the university to take the money that would go to salaries and use it somewhere else.

The academic side has been doing this for decades, as donors have funded the “so-and-so-chair for chemical engineering research” at universities around the country. So how can you get the endowment idea to work for you?

It might come in the form of a civic-minded philanthropist who wants to fund a new soccer or basketball complex, or a company that can use foundation dollars to help a community cause while getting its name out in public.

This is a time we all have to be creative to find sponsorship and partnership dollars. Doing a form of an endowment might be the way to get your project from the drawing board, into the community.


Categories: National

NASC Upcoming Webinars – Register Now

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 13:36

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


USA Badminton

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, July 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jon Schmeider as he discusses USA Badminton and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Ways to Ensure a High Return on your Membership Investment

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership & Marketing, NASC, as she shares the top 5 NASC membership benefits that can help you get your share of the sports tourism industry. She will discuss how to ensure a high return on your NASC membership investment and answer any questions you may have about benefits and services available to your organization as a member of NASC. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFP’s to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


US Corporate Games

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Kurt Aichele, CEO US Corporate Games, as he discusses US Corporate Games and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 18th, remember you can download the webinar recording from the webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.


Utilizing Social Media for Events

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jackie Reau, CEO, Game Day Communications, as she discusses best practices for utilizing social media for events. If you are unable to join us on the 26th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.


Categories: National

How many sports should my child play?

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:56

Whether you’re a rights holder or a parent, you probably live and breathe youth sports nearly 24/7. And the discussion always is there: Should kids play more than one sport, or should young athletes concentrate on the sport in which they excel?

The Wichita Eagle recently published an interesting look at youth sports and participation. First, the bottom line: According to the Sports Facility Advisory, there were 53 million youngsters (and their parents) traveling to youth sporting events in this country last year, with an economic impact of $7 billion.

That’s the economic total, now let’s look at the ‘why’ we have our kids participate. The article quotes Marilyn Price-Mitchell, a Seattle-based psychologist identified as a positive youth development expert. “Sports teach kids about tactics and strategy,” she said. “It teaches them about working with a team, how to collaborate with other kids.”

So we know that sports teaches our kids great life lessons. But let’s face it, we often hope that their favorite sports will help them earn a college scholarship. Here’s a sobering fact: The NCAA says $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships that Division I and II schools give out, go to more than 150,000 students each year. Sounds like a lot, until you realize that total is just two percent of high school athletes.

And the article points out that specializing in one sport doesn’t guarantee a college signing. “Many think a college scholarship in athletics is a given,” Newman University women’s basketball coach Darin Spence said. “Just because you pay some club coach money, that doesn’t mean your child will earn a scholarship.”

Programs often can offer only partial scholarships as well. Baseball, for example, usually reserves full rides to pitchers. NCAA Division I baseball programs give out 11.7 scholarships per team, so most players receive partial scholarships.

Bottom line is, we know that youth sports are a great, healthy activity for kids. For event holders and site managers, we also know that youth sports are a growing business. But none of us should lose sight of the reasons why we’re involved in youth sports: For the kids. Overwhelmingly, coaches responding to The Eagle’s survey said youth sports need to be about learning and loving the game.

“Parents must be patient,” Joe Auer, boys basketball and golf coach at Heights High, said. “I see a lot of kids get burned out on sports because by 10, 11, they’re told the reason they’re playing is to get to the next level. You can get better without taking the fun out of it.”


Categories: National

Communication is the Key

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 08:02

It may be summertime where you are, but in sports you know you’re always planning a season (or more) ahead. I was reminded of that this week, when a local high school sent out a letter to parents and boosters regarding this year’s football season. Some of the points in the letter are applicable not just for football, but for all youth sports. Some excerpts:

  • “Each coach will hold a USA Football Heads Up Certification and will instruct with positive feedback, excitement, fun and plenty of repetition for every player. Our philosophy is kids will not get better standing on the sideline.”
  • “Each parent will be asked to contribute a small amount of time to help our league put together an organization we can all be proud of. We will not be successful in giving our kids the experience they deserve unless everyone takes some personal interest in the success of the league.”
  • “Our mission is to get kids on the field and provide them with a safe and fun atmosphere to display their efforts and talent….we want our sport to be available to anyone that wishes to participate so there are three ways (to) pay the..registration. Another option is scholarship. No one…that wishes to play football will be denied that opportunity based on finances.”

There are some good points in that letter, including having coaches properly trained, asking parents to get involved and making sure everyone participates, regardless of their ability to pay. And isn’t that what we want for all our kids, no matter what sport they may want to play?


Categories: National

NASC Upcoming Webinars – Register Now!

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 10:35

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


Selling Local Sponsorships – A perspective from both the buyer and seller’s side

Best Practices Webinar
Monday, July 13, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

This is a webinar you won’t want to miss. Join Tom Gamble, President & CEO, In-Game Sports, as he shares tips on finding sponsors for your local sporting events. He will also provide examples on activating sop once they are secured. Elisa Cappella, Marketing Brand Manager, First Financial Bank, will join Tom to provide her perspective from the buyers side. She will discuss what she looks for when purchasing a sponsorship, how she evaluates ROI and what has worked best for her in the past. If you can’t join us on the 13th, you can still access the webinar from our webinar archives page at www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


USA Badminton

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, July 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jon Schmeider as he discusses USA Badminton and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Ways to Ensure a High Return on your Membership Investment

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership & Marketing, NASC, as she shares the top 5 NASC membership benefits that can help you get your share of the sports tourism industry. She will discuss how to ensure a high return on your NASC membership investment and answer any questions you may have about benefits and services available to your organization as a member of NASC. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFP’s to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Utilizing Social Media for Events

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jackie Reau, CEO, Game Day Communications, as she discusses best practices for utilizing social media for events. If you are unable to join us on the 26th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.


Categories: National

Tulsa Celebrates Championship Doubleheader

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 12:32

July will be a big month for the Tulsa Sports Commission, as the city will be the host for two national championship tournaments at the same time later this month.

The USGA Girls’ Junior Championship will be held at the Tulsa Country Club starting July 20th, while the US Youth Soccer National Championships will start a day later at the Mohawk Sports Complex.

This will be the third USGA championship conducted at Tulsa Country Club, and the 22nd championship held in the state of Oklahoma. The club previously was the host for the 1960 U.S. Women’s Amateur, won by JoAnne Gunderson Carner, and the 2008 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, won by Diane Lang.

Add them all up, and the Tulsa Sports Commission will be bringing in 35 events this year, with six of them national championships. For these two national championships, the planning started well ahead of time. Tulsa Country Club was awarded the Girls’ Junior Championship in July of 2013, while the Sports Commission bid on the soccer tournament two years ago.

While the city will be busy, Heath Aucion, director of operations for the Tulsa Sports Commission, told the Tulsa Fox station that everyone is ready. “Hotels are okay, communication (about the events) is out, so people know there’s going to be a lot of people in town.”

And, the bottom line is, as we all know, the bottom line. The soccer championship is expected to have an economic impact of $5.7 million, while the golf championship is estimated to have a $750,000 economic impact. While the financial impact is important, it’s also a great opportunity for Tulsa to show off its facilities, and its city, to visitors. All 96 soccer teams participating in the tournament are from outside Tulsa, and all but six of the 156 golfers in the USGA event are from outside Oklahoma.

Landing the big events is one thing: Getting the word out that there will be big events, is another thing. Tulsa has made sure its partners know that it’s their time to shine on a big sports stage.


Categories: National

Helicopter Parenting, Celebrity Style

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 08:03

We may find out this week whether Sean “Diddy” Combs will be charged by the district attorney after his dustup last week with the UCLA football strength and conditioning coach.

In an incident that someone said was “helicopter parenting by a parent who actually owns a helicopter,” Diddy got into a fight with Bruins coach Sal Alosi after the coach screamed at Diddy’s son, Justin, on the practice field.

Now, no one likes to see their child get screamed at, so Diddy allegedly confronted the coach in his office and he was 1)either defending himself from the coach’s threats or 2)threw a kettlebell weight at the coach during the argument. Diddy’s arrest includes three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of making terrorist threats and one count of battery. There is said to be surveillance video of the incident, so more should be known soon.

A bit of background: If Sal Alosi’s name sounds familiar, it should, because he was an assistant with the New York Jets almost five years ago when he tripped a Miami Dolphins player as he was running down the sidelines covering a punt.

As for Justin combs, he’s a redshirt junior defensive back for the Bruins and has played a handful of games during his UCLA career. UCLA is becoming the program of choice for rap star’s sons: Snoop Dogg’s son just signed with the Bruins this year.

You don’t have to have been around youth sports long to see verbal confrontations between parents and coaches, during and after games. Who is at fault for what in this particular incident has yet to be sorted out, but it’s not unique in youth sports and it’s a big reason kids say they leave sports in their early teen years.

A coach’s job is to make that young player the best he or she can be. A parent’s job is to be as supportive as possible. And let’s think about what the atmosphere in that locker room is going to be when – or if – Justin Combs returns to the UCLA program.


Categories: National

Upcoming NASC Event Webinars – Register Today

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 09:28

We have a great line-up of Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!

NXT Sports Inc.
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, June 29, 2015
11:30am – 12:30pm ET

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Join Robin Baxter, Vice President of Events, NXT Sports Inc., as she discusses NXT Sports and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 29th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).

The Biggest Loser RunWalk
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
2:30pm – 3:30pm ET

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Join Christina Morlock, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, as she discussed The Biggest Loser RunWalk and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 1st, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).

USA Badminton
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, July 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

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Join Jon Schmeider as he discusses USA Badminton and what it takes to land their events. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).

National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

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Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFPs to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).

Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars or would like to view them again, visit our webinar archives.


Categories: National

Attitudes sometimes need adjusting

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:14

As much as we focus on youth sports events and facilities, it’s good to, every once in a while, talk about the players themselves who participate in athletics, sometimes year-round.

Photo Credit: Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation

A recent article on theseason.gc.com by Tori Benavidez, a former softball player at Sam Houston State, now an associate softball coach there, brings that focus back to the players. The article puts a lot of the responsibility of developing and keeping players in the game at the feet of the coaches in her article, “Five Components of a Positive Culture.” Those include:

Attitude: A positive attitude, she says, helps the entire team grow. “Eventually those with a negative attitude will start standing out, and it will be your responsibility to correct this issue,” she says.

Mindset: “Athletes constantly go through ups and downs,” says Tori, “but those who are successful are the ones whose failures do not faze them.”

Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement, Tori says, should follow positive effort, while on the other hand, “negative reinforcement should always follow extreme habits that you want to eliminate from your team’s culture.”

Perseverance: Because in sports, most of the time you fail more than you succeed, Tori says it’s important to instill perseverance. “Perseverance makes a player a go-getter rather than someone who sits back and watches everything unfold,” she says. “Your culture should always consist of fighting, battling and giving it your all to achieve your stated goals.”

Passion: Finally, Tori says, if you have the luxury, choose players with passion. “Those passionate players will constantly give it their all, and you want that imitated in your culture.”

Those are attributes to follow not only in sports, but also in life. Great coaches instill those lessons that last a lifetime, both on and off the field and the courts.


Categories: National

Making the Bid

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 15:31

You work hard as an event host to bring in events, tournaments and meetings that you think will be perfect for your space. Yes, you may wish you had mega-complexes with dozens of fields, courts and diamonds so you could attract just about any organization that might want to come your way.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring in top-notch events to your area.

Those who have been around the business of sports know that relationships are the key to landing the right event for your area and for your facilities. With an increased number of upgraded venues battling it out for the same events, it’s more apparent than ever that how you work with what you have is the key to landing the contract.

We had an opportunity to talk with a sports corporation director during a site visit for a sports-related meeting. While that particular sports corporation did not have the newest facilities available for meeting space, what the corporation could offer was personal attention to making the bid work.

“I remember the night before one tournament here in town, I made a quick visit to the venue to check out the locker rooms,” she said. “They were a mess, with graffiti, chipped paint and dirty floors. I turned around, called my family, went to the home improvement store and we spent the night cleaning and painting the locker rooms. Not every host organization would do that, but I felt it was necessary to make the best impression.”

The impression worked, as that particular event returned two more times to that same facility. The moral of the story is, a little personal attention goes a long way.

“There have been days that I’ve shuttled participants and coaches back and forth to hotels and the airport,” she said. “Whatever has to be done, we figure out a way to do it. I can’t always offer new courts or rinks but what I can offer is the best service that any sports corporation can give.”

In a tight bid market with all other things being equal, personal service can make the difference in whether you’re successful. In this case, it was: The sports corporation got the sports meeting it was bidding for.

So as you get ready to make a bid to bring in a new event, remember this: We all WANT to offer new, bigger, brighter facilities: We all CAN offer personal service.


Categories: National

Investing in Sports

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 10:30

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is making a big play to use a $55 million upgrade of its sports venues to attract more events and in turn, bring in millions of new dollars in visitor spending.

According to the Rockford Register Star, a new $24 million sports complex under construction in the downtown area landed its first big ‘get’ last month with the AAU 6th Grade Girls Basketball Tournament in 2018. That will bring an estimated 3,500 people to Rockford, projected to spend $750,000 while they visit.

That sports complex already is paying dividends, months before it is slated to open, as it’s already spurred nearly $120 million worth of development planned for the area, including two hotels.

According to the paper, the tourism bureau there spends half a million dollars a year on marketing to bring sports tournaments to the region. John Groh, the bureau’s president/CEO, is quoted as saying his agency will need more personnel to capitalize on the downtown venue and a $31 million expansion on tap at Sportscore Two in Loves Park.

The Rockford region plays host to 250 sports tournaments a year, and the bureau’s goal is to attract 60 more a year by 2018. But it’s a competitive market. The 600-acre National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota offers a soccer stadium, more than 50 soccer fields and an eight-rink ice facility. The $33 million Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria has 10 synthetic turf youth softball and baseball diamonds, plus a dome for indoor events. And Westfield, Indiana, already has plans to expand its still-new 400 acre Grand Park youth sports complex with two indoor venues.

Amateur sports tournaments produced nearly $9 billion in visitor spending in the U.S. last year, with 42 percent of those events played in the Midwest, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions. And Groh is quoted as saying the sports tournament business has become increasingly competitive.

“Cities everywhere are building more athletics venues and facilities, but there’s a finite number of tournaments to go around,” he said. “So you have relatively the same number of buyers and more sellers. The buyers are in a relative position of power and can extract more from tournament hosts, so that means we have to be really smart about how we put deals together and market what we have to offer.”

Right now visitor spending tied to sports tournaments brings in roughly $16 million a year to the Rockford region. That figure is expected to double within three years with the indoor athletic complex in downtown Rockford and expansion of Sportscore Two.

For Rockford, the investment in sports is paying off for now, and in the future.


Categories: National

How to Incorporate Community Service Projects Into Your Events

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 08:20

Join Michelle Haider, Meetings & Event Services Manager, VISIT Milwaukee, and Mike Guswiler, President, West Michigan Sports Commission, as they discuss incorporating community service projects into events. They will also share details about the creation of the Sports Legacy community service project that was launched in Milwaukee, WI during the 23rd NASC Symposium.

Register Now.

If you are unable to join Michelle and Mike on the 23rd, you can download their presentation from our webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.


Categories: National

A Hall of Fame Project

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 08:42

Ever been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton?

You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the history that the orange juicer-shaped building contains. Canton, of course, was the site of the early Canton Bulldogs, which helped found the National Football League in the early 1900s. The city’s place in NFL history made it a natural site for the league’s most hallowed honor.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pretty impressive now, but if plans come to fruition, it’ll be a major economic driver for northeast Ohio. Last fall the Hall of Fame announced plans for Hall of Fame Village, expanding the area and making it an interactive and educational football attraction.

According to a study conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL),
HOF Village will generate $15.3 billion in cumulative net new total economic output within Stark County, home of the Hall of Fame, over the next 25 years. Additionally, a total of 13,375 new full and part-time jobs will be created within the county during the peak year of the project.

But wait, there’s more.  The cumulative economic and fiscal impact of HOF Village on the State of Ohio estimated over a 25-year period include $4.8 billion cumulating net new personal earnings and $1.0 billion new cumulative tax revenues.

CSL’s analysis is the result of a yearlong study of the project. The methodology of the economic analytics focuses on direct spending that occurs in three ways: construction (materials, labor, design and professional fees), in-facility (direct spending generated by visitors and participation throughout HOF Village) and out-of-facility spending (direct spending away from HOF Village in the city, county and regional areas).

The complex is designed to include the Hall of Fame Museum; the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (Fawcett Stadium is the facility now adjacent to the Museum, where high school and college games are played as well as the HOF game); a hotel and conference center, the Hall of Fame NFL Experience, youth fields, a residential area, the Center for Excellence which will include athletic performance and safety center, coaches’ university and the Institute of Integrity for Officiating and a retail/restaurant/office space area.

Construction costs are estimated at $476 million, according to the Hall of Fame. The project is due to start this summer, with the first phase to open in 2019.

Hall of Fame plans for a Hall of Fame facility that could reshape the face, and the economy, of football-crazy northeast Ohio.


Categories: National

NCAA Baseball Remains Big Business

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 11:57

Omaha, Nebraska isn’t the only place that profits from the NCAA baseball tournament.

Omaha, of course, the long-time host of the College World Series, sees the tournament as a major economic driver as well as a showcase for the area. In 2012 it’s estimated the tournament generated more than $20 million worth of media coverage for the city. And a report by Goss & Associates Economic Solutions estimates that between 2008 and 2018 the CWS will add $514.8 million to the Omaha economy, or $385.6 million in 2008 dollars.

But other cities that are the hosts for the baseball regionals are seeing a positive economic impact as well. Tulsa’s first Big 12 championship baseball tournament’s five days of competition are expected to be exciting for more than just college sports fans.

According to the Tulsa Regional Chamber, the Big 12 Baseball Championship is expected to have a total economic impact of close to $5.6 million in revenue.

The Tulsa Sports Commission’s budget to put on the event was just less than $800,000, said Ray Hoyt, president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission.

The Tulsa World reports that the $5.6 million in revenue includes $3.2 million, the amount spent by outside visitors; $221, the average each visitor who spends the night in Tulsa is expected to spend per day during the tournament; and $142, the average each visitor who doesn’t spend the night will spend per day.

A particular goal for this week is to run the event in a way and produce turnout that will strengthen the city’s relationship with the Big 12 as well as the NCAA. Tulsa has an application in to be the host for the 2018 Big 12 Baseball Championship as well as conference events as soon as next year.

Amenities added include a free “Fan Fest” area where about 6,000 were expected during the weekend, pop-up bars and other activities between games. To help fund the extras, a number of area businesses stepped up with donations and sponsorships.

As Ray Hoyt, president of VisitTulsa and the Tulsa Sports Commission told the Tulsa World, “Sports is a business. They (the businesses) understand the return on investment to Tulsa.”

Whether it’s the NCAA world series, a regional site or a conference tournament, CVBs and sports commissions are seeing the value in being the host for thousands of passionate fans, ready to party and ready to spend.


Categories: National

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