Sports Tourism: A State of the Industry Report

May 18, 2015

At last month’s NASC Symposium, Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti from The George Washington University shared the findings from the 2014 Sports Tourism: The State of the Industry Report to the NASC membership.

The report which can be found on the NASC website provides a helpful reference for our members to share with their colleagues, rights holders and funders. The report provides the following key indicators:

• Industry at a Glance
• Industry Performance Indicators
• Operating Conditions
• Methodology of the Research

Overall, the report shares good news for our industry with visitor spending up three percent over last year at $8.96 billion and total visitors entertained in 2014 was 25.65 million.

Among those NASC members surveyed, the top three community priorities were:

• Visitor spending
• Marketing the region
• Supporting local sports franchises and venues

Once you have reviewed the report, we encourage you to share the link on your website, social media pages and with an email to your supporters and community partners.

Call for Volunteers: 2015-2016 Committee Volunteers Needed

May 6, 2015

Volunteers are the foundation of the NASC. In the last year, more than 100 committee volunteers contributed to progress and growth of the NASC in many ways including:

  • Referring industry colleagues to join the Association
  • Recommending educational content and programming for the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium, the original conference and longest-running reverse tradeshow for the sports tourism industry
  • Enhancing mentoring activities for new members and first time Symposium attendees
  • Establishing new categories and serving on judging panels for the annual member awards
  • Developing CSEE modules
  • Creating the inaugural NASC Sports Legacy Fund community service project

We invite you to respond to this year’s call for volunteers. We need your skills, passion, and perspectives to build a
vibrant, inclusive, and multicultural group of volunteer leaders throughout our committees.

The NASC is YOUR association; committee participation is one of the best ways to be engaged and help contribute to the
decision-making that continues to position the NASC as the most valuable resource available to sports event professionals. Members, including new committee members and those who currently serve, must respond to the call for volunteers by May 8, 2015.

Thank you for your consideration!
Yours in Sport,

Greg Ayers, CSEE, CTA
President & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo
Chairman, NASC
Awards Committee
The Awards Committee is responsible for developing award categories and criteria for the annual NASC Member Awards.
The committee also serves as judges for the various categories.

Membership Committee
The Membership Committee oversees membership retention and recruitment. The committee contacts inactive and
cancelled members on behalf of the association to encourage them to renew. The committee also evaluates membership
benefits and resources on an annual basis.

Mentoring Committee
The Mentoring Committee cultivates relationships with new members to help guide them through their first year of membership. The committee is also responsible for planning and hosting first time attendee activities at the annual Symposium. Pre-requisites: A minimum of four years of NASC membership and industry experience

Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Committee assists with the development and implementation of the CSEE Program. Committee members are required to join and fully participate in monthly committee calls, assist in the development of modules and continually evaluate the program to strengthen the CSEE brand. Pre-requisites: Must be currently enrolled in the CSEE Program and have attended at least two modules

Sports Legacy Committee
The Sports Legacy Committee manages the Sports Legacy Fund. The committee establishes the criteria and eligibility requirements for beneficiaries of the fund and selects the beneficiary each year. The committee also coordinates all aspects of the annual fundraiser, including promotion, solicitation of donation items, and ticket sales, as well as equipment donations.

Symposium Committee
The Symposium Committee assists in the planning and execution of the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium. Committee members are required to join and fully participate in monthly committee calls, recruit event owners, develop education sessions including review of topics, examination of proposals, and selection of speakers, and promote the Symposium through word of mouth marketing to industry peers and colleagues.

National Association of Sports Commissions Host Record Turnout at 2015 Symposium NASC Wraps Up Milwaukee Meeting with Record Attendance, New Board Leadership

May 5, 2015

MILWAUKEE (April 30, 2015) – The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), the governing body of the $8.96 billion sport tourism industry, celebrated record attendance at its 23rd annual symposium held here this week.

Some 925 sports tourism professionals, including 272 first-timers, attended the 23rd annual NASC Symposium to elect new NASC leadership, honor members with industry awards and participate in dozens of continuing education programs led by industry leadership.

“As the only non-profit industry association offering an annual meeting for serious-minded sports event professionals, we are thrilled with our record attendance this year in Milwaukee,” said Don Schumacher, CSEE, executive director of the NASC. “In future years, our members will have the opportunity to visit four great American cities in Grand Rapids, Sacramento, Minneapolis and San Diego as we host our annual Symposium in each city.”

Future Host Cities for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 NASC Symposium

Future host cities and dates for the NASC Symposium include: The 24th annual NASC Symposium will be held April 3-7, 2016 in Grand Rapids, and the 25th annual NASC Symposium will be March 26-30, 2017 in Sacramento.

Additionally, the 26th annual NASC Symposium will be held April 22-26, 2018 in Minneapolis and the 27th annual NASC Symposium will be April 14-18, 2019 in San Diego.

NEW NASC Leadership Elected

New NASC board leadership was also announced, including Greg Ayers, CSEE, President & CEO, Discover Kalamazoo as the new chair of NASC.

Additional officers include: Ralph Morton, CSEE, Executive Director, Seattle Sports Commission,Vice Chair/Chair Elect; Mike Anderson, CSEE, Executive Director – Sports Tourism, Myrtle Beach Area Sports Alliance, Treasurer; Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Bryan-College Station CVB, Secretary; and  Immediate Past Chair, Kevin Smith, CSEE, Director, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission.

The slate of NASC directors includes: Board term expiring 2016: John Gibbons, CSEE, Executive Director, Rhode Island Sports Commission; Michael Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority; Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, Executive Director, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority; and Matt Dunn, CSEE, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches, Vice President, Tourism Development.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2017: Brian Hickey, CSEE, Director of Sports, Visit Tallahassee/ Tallahassee Sports Council; Janis Ross, Executive Director, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports; Benjamin Wilder, CSEE, Director, Savannah Sports Council; and Marc Zimmerman, CSEE, Sales & Events Manager, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing.

Directors with Board terms expiring in 2018: Janna Clark, Sports and Sales Director, Elizabethtown Sports Park; Kris Smith, CSEE, Sales Manager, Event Development, Detroit Sports; Roy Edmondson, CSEE, Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau; and Pete Harvey, Director of Sports Development, Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission.

Allied representatives with a board term expiring in 2016 include Mike Hill, CSEE, Senior Director, Sports Sales, Hilton Worldwide – Sports Sales and board term expiring in 2017: Steve Schell, Sports Strategic Sales Executive, Experient Sports.

Rights Holder representatives are, with a board term expiring in 2016: John David, CSEE, Chief Operating Officer, USA BMX, and board term expiring in 2017: Glen Schorr, Executive Director, Orienteering USA.

NASC Symposium Welcomes a Record Number of Rights Holders

Some 170 Rights Holders representing more than 100 organizations attended the NASC Symposium in Milwaukee to network with NASC members and Host Cities representatives. These organizations included: Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (AAU), EVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, LPGA Symetra Tour, National Congress of State Games, The Color Run, United States Olympic Committee, USA Boxing, and USA Gymnastics, to name a few.

NASC Members Raise Thousands for the Running Rebels Community Organization

Also, during the meeting the NASC Sports Legacy Fund raised $20,000 to benefit the Running Rebels Community Organization, a non-profit that offers youth programs that focus on education and recreational activities in Milwaukee, and their basketball fundamental program, which will expand the number of youth served and aide in the development of year-round programming

NASC Members Honored

Also presented this week were the Member Awards, signifying outstanding work in the field of sports tourism. The NASC also honored three industry professionals with awards. They include: Sports Tourism Executive of the Year: Don Staley, ‎Executive Director, Foley Sports Tourism Complex; Game Changer Award: Tammy Dunn, CSEE, Sports Marketing Manager, Snohomish County Sports Commission; and Sports Event Organizer of the Year: RB Thomas, Jr., Executive Director, International Senior Softball Association.

Organization Award Winners include:

  • Locally Created Event of the Year, population under 250,000: SPORTyler – Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Locally Created Event of the Year, population 250,000 and above: Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, population under 250,000: Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, population 250,000 and above: Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Sports Tourism Organization of the Year, population under 250,000: Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Sports Tourism Organization of the Year, population 250,000 and above: Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance
  • Sports Commission of the Year, population under 250,000: Rochester Amateur Sports Commission
  • Sports Commission of the Year, population 250,000 and above: Atlanta Sports Council

Certified Sports Event Executives Graduates Honored

The NASC this week also recognized its latest class of graduates in its Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) continuing education program. The Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 CSEE graduates include:

Richard Barrett, Wausau/Central Wisconsin Sports Authority
Stephonie Broughton, Twin Cities Gateway / National Sports Center
Amy Cardwell, Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Janna Clark, Elizabethtown Sports Park
Sean Doherty, Charlotte Harbor Visitor and Convention Bureau
John Giantonio, Casper Sports Alliance
Tara Hamburger, Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pete Harvey, Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
Gen Howard, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Lisa Pacheco, Sports Williamsburg
Matt Robinette, Richmond Region Tourism
Domico Rodriguez, Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Jennifer Rothman, Long Island CVB & Sports Commission
Billy Russo, Smith River Sports Complex
Debi Schultz, Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau
Wendy Scott, Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau
Don Staley, Foley Sports Tourism Complex
Dani Timm, Virginia Beach CVB
Josh Todd, Visit Mesa
Marva Wells, High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau

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About the National Association of Sports Commissions

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. The NASC is committed to the success of more than 700 member organizations and 2,000 sports event professionals. Our promise is to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members – sports destinations, sports event owners, and suppliers to the industry – and to protect the integrity of the sports tourism industry.

For more information, visit http://www.sportscommissions.org.

National Association of Sports Commissions Announces Major Sponsors for 2015 Annual NASC Symposium

April 23, 2015

CINCINNATI (April 23, 2015) – The National Association of Sports Commissions announced today its major sponsors for the 2015 NASC Symposium to be held in Milwaukee next week from April 27-30 where a record turnout of 925 sports events industry professionals will be in attendance.

Elite and Diamond sponsors include: VISIT Milwaukee, West Michigan Sports Commission, Louisiana Association of CVBs, Foley, Alabama, Sports Tourism Complex, Michigan Sports, TEAM Maryland, Mobile Sports Authority, TEAM Kentucky and Visit Greenville, SC.

Foley Sports Tourism Complex will sponsor the Keynote Luncheon, TEAM Maryland will support the Sports Marketplace Aisle Signage, VISIT Milwaukee will host the Welcome Reception, and West Michigan Sports Commission will host the Closing Celebration. Mobile Sports Authority is sponsoring the Countdown Clocks in the NASC Marketplace. TEAM Kentucky is sponsoring Extra Innings on Monday and Tuesday and Visit Greenville, SC is sponsoring Extra Innings on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Sports Commission will serve as the host for the 2016 NASC Symposium, Monday, April 4 through Thursday, April 7 in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We are grateful to our sponsors who continue to support the NASC Symposium,” said Don Schumacher, executive director of the National Association of Sports Commissions. “With their sponsorship, the NASC can continue to present the industry’s leading education and networking event for sports event professionals.”

The NASC 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.

For more information, visit www.sportscommissions.org/symposium.

NASC Event RFP Database

April 9, 2015

Looking for your cities next event? Check out our Event RFP Database where over 100 RFP’s have been posted by NASC member rights holders! Click here, to log in and begin your search.  Rights holders, want to post your organization’s RFP? Upload it to our database here, and we’ll send out an email notification to over 450 member destinations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Don’t forget to register for our upcoming Event Webinars, sponsored by MGM Resorts International. View the schedule and reserve your spot now!

NASC Launches New Career Center in the Sports and Athletics Career Network

March 9, 2015

showLogoThe new and improved NASC Career Center launched earlier this month.  The NASC joins the Sports and Athletics Career Network (SACN), which integrates Career Centers of leading industry associations, including the NCAA, NFHS, NJCAA, and NRPA.

Previously, the NASC hosted a static job board on its website with limited functionality.  The new Career Center includes helpful features that allow job seekers to share resumes, receive notifications about new jobs, and apply for positions directly through the job board.  Employers will now pay a nominal fee for important additional features to find the best candidates, including the ability to manage job postings online, monitor activity reports, access a searchable resume database, and receive an automatic email notification when new resumes match job criteria. Employer who post jobs will also have their jobs featured in the NASC Get in the Game eNews once during the 30-day post.

The NASC Career Center is powered by Boxwood Technology.

For more information visit, http://careers.sportscommissions.org/jobs. 

Record Number of Event Owner Organizations Registered for 2015 NASC Symposium

March 5, 2015

Nearly 100 event owner organizations are registered for the 23rd annual NASC Sports Event Symposium, the NASC announced today. 127 individuals representing  85 organizations are registered as of 50 days out, breaking last year’s record of 67 organizations registered 50 days out. The NASC established the first reverse tradeshow for the sports tourism industry in 2003.  More than 800 sports tourism professionals are expected to attend the annual meeting of the only not-for-profit association for the industry from April 27- 30, 2015 in Milwaukee, WI. View the list of registered event owner organizations.

“There are a lot of sports events conventions out there and they all serve a purpose. What makes the NASC Symposium stand out is the balanced mix of networking, education and socialization,” said Glen Schorr, Executive Director, Orienteering USA.

Important Dates

March 13 – Last day to register before rates increase by $100. Register now.

March 18 –  First registered attendees for all NASC member destinations, event owners, and vendor exhibitors may begin requesting appointments and will have approximately three (3) weeks to request, accept or decline appointments, prioritize the order in which requests will be attempted to be scheduled, and modify availability for appointments.

Friday, April 3  – Last day to request appointments.
Monday, April 20 – First registered attendees for member destinations and exhibiting event owners and vendors will receive another email notifying them to login to view and print their organization’s appointment schedule.

Group Appointments to be offered for the first time
We are now offering the option to participate in group appointments in addition to one-on-one appointments. Both NASC Sports Marketplace afternoon sessions (Tuesday, April 28, 4:30pm – 6pm and Wednesday, April 29, 4:00pm – 5:30pm) are reserved for group appointments. Exhibitors (event owners and vendors) will meet with up to four (4) individuals per time slot.

About the NASC Symposium

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 serious-minded 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.  Watch a brief video to learn more.

Looking for Competition? Go Fish!

February 17, 2015

Events tend to be most successful when they 1) have a strong local following and 2) use the area’s resources effectively. If you’re fishing in Florida and have an affinity for tarpon, then the place to be is the gulf area of Boca Grande, where they stage the not-so-humbly titled “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament.”

First, a little information about the tarpon: Tarpons might be the big-game prey of the fishing world. They are big, growing between four and eight feet, and when they’re hooked, they jump like a seven-foot forward in the NBA finals, which makes the fishing even more exciting. The Boca Grande/Punta Gorda/Fort Myers area of Florida’s Gulf Coast is the home to some of the best tarpon fishing around, hence the tarpon tournament, which will be held this year on June 4-6.

Organized now by the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce, the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament was originally called the Boca Grande Club Invitational when it was started in 1983 and was sponsored and run by the private Boca Grande Club located on the north end of Gasparilla Island.

In 1991, the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce took it over renaming it the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament and opening entries to the general public. Its mission is conservation and it’s a catch-and-release tournament.

At its height, the total purse of the “World’s Richest” exceeded $175,000 and anglers from all over the world traveled to Boca Grande to enter for a chance to win it. The “World’s Richest” perpetual trophy is on display at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce office and features the names of the winning team leaders for each year the tournament has been in existence.

The Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association took over the tournament and renamed it the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association Tarpon Tournament which ran until 2011 until the Chamber took it over again.

And, of course, like most events, it’s grown to include music, kids’ events and more. In fact, it’s a central park of the big fishing business in southwest Florida, a business that it’s estimated to bring in more than $100 million annually from amateur anglers.

For an area that depends on the transient nature of tourism for its livelihood, the “World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament” is a way for the greater Boca Grande area to show off its resources while engaging the community in an event whose resources uniquely fit southwest Florida.

tarpon(photo courtesy www.lowetidecharters.com)

NASC Announces Dates for 2015 Fall Meetings

February 12, 2015

The NASC will hold its 2015 Fall Meetings in Colorado Springs, the home of most of our National Governing Bodies in Olympic and Pan American sports, along with many other event rights holders.

All functions will take place September 28-30 at the Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs, located in the heart of downtown. Our board will meet the afternoon of September 28. Our Fall 2015 CSEE Module will take place the morning of the 29th. Market segment meetings, Rapid RFP Review, and a reception with event owners will take place the afternoon of the 29th, and market segment meetings will conclude on the 30th. View the preliminary schedule.

This new event replaces our partnership with the USOC’s Olympic SportsLink conference, the rights to which were transferred to another event. In fact, our room block at the Antlers Hilton is part of the room block previously held by the USOC.

We offer all area event owners and NGBs a way to meet with interested cities in a cost-effective manner: all they will need do is come to the hotel the afternoon of the 29th, present their event opportunities in the Rapid RFP Review, attend a reception, and be home for dinner!

NASC Active members will also have the option to arrange private meetings with local event owners while in Colorado Springs.

Preliminary plans are to rotate this new event between Colorado Springs and Indianapolis. These cities are home to almost all of our NGBs plus the NCAA and many other prospects.

We will open registration later this spring.

The Sport of the Moment

February 9, 2015

Watching Tiger Woods’ struggles on the golf course so far in 2015 reminds us that Tiger’s heyday, in the early to mid-2000s, was the PGA Tour’s heyday as well.

As rights fees came up for television broadcasts, sponsor renewals and the like, the Tour was smart enough to cash in on the amazing popularity of watching Tiger play golf to bring in record rights fees and sponsorship deals.

Today, watching Tiger play golf is more an exercise in watching an accident—we know we shouldn’t look, but we do anyway. Not having a signature player dominating the PGA Tour, the Tour will say, is more interesting because many players have a chance to win.

But do we know these players the way we do Tiger?

Which brings us to the discussion of what’s the “hot” sport to sponsor, to get rights fees for, to bring to your city? Ten years ago, it may have been golf, whether professional or amateur. Over the last decade we’ve seen the explosion of youth lacrosse, fishing tournaments, even bowling (which is becoming bigger than ever on the high school level).

All this follows soccer’s foothold on youth activities, and youth baseball and softball will never go away. So what’s the right sport for you?

It’s tempting to go after the “hot” sport of the moment, but look at what your area can support and what’s popular as a recreational sport in your area. That will help you determine if your facilities are right, and whether you can entice enough volunteers to help during the event.

Because as the PGA Tour is learning, what was must-see TV 10 years ago, is becoming can’t-look-away TV.

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