Tulsa Celebrates Championship Doubleheader

July 6, 2015

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.

Tulsa Country Club

Helicopter Parenting, Celebrity Style

July 2, 2015

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.

Upcoming NASC Event Webinars – Register Today

June 24, 2015

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

Register Now

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

Register Now

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

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).


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 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.

Attitudes sometimes need adjusting

June 22, 2015

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.

Youth basketball

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.

Making the Bid

June 15, 2015

basketball courtYou 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.

Investing in Sports

June 11, 2015

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.

Rock River Cup Lacrosse RockfordAccording 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.

How to Incorporate Community Service Projects Into Your Events

June 11, 2015

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.

A Hall of Fame Project

June 1, 2015

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.

Hall-of-Fame-Village-650

NCAA Baseball Remains Big Business

May 28, 2015

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.

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.


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