Archive for January, 2012

Two Super Bowls and Two Super Women!

January 24, 2012

Wow! Two straight Super Bowls and two straight female NASC member executives! If ever there was a doubt whether women could succeed in the sports event industry (there wasn’t) those doubts were put to rest in Dallas and for this year in Indianapolis.

Don Schumacher, Executive Director of NASC, interviews Tara Green, Chief Revenue Officer for American Airlines Center and current NASC chair, who was the COO for Super Bowl XLV.

Tara Green, current chair of the NASC, was Chief Operating Officer last year. She worked for the host committee for three years and spent six months on the bid. As you will remember, all they had to overcome was everything usual plus dealing with a new building, temporary seating, and a modest little ice storm!

Allison Melangton has been President and CEO of this year’s event since 2008! Before that she was with the Indiana Sports Corporation and USA Gymnastics.

Congratulations to two outstanding executives, and power to the women of the NASC!

We men think multi-tasking is walking and talking. Sorry, guys.

– Don

Check out Don’s interview with Tara Green here:

Sports Commission and CVB Relations

January 10, 2012

The topic of CVB and sport commission relations continues to pop up in our industry’s discussions.  It’s not surprising.  The topic has been around since before the NASC’s founding!  It’s pretty obvious—and there are far too many examples—anytime there is a CVB and sports commission in the same city, there is a chance conflict might arise.  Squabbles over resources, poorly assigned responsibilities, and claims of credit are far too common.

Sometimes missions overlap and often personalities clash.

Unresolved fights not only hurt both organizations, but also create inefficiencies that place a community at a disadvantage in sport event recruitment.  None of this has to be the case.  It would be nice to be able to say that resolution or avoidance of conflicts is easily corrected; they are not.  Let’s  look at some strategies to find methods that work for a few areas.

Personalities:    To work in our business, a strong personality is a required organizational leadership asset.  Pig-headedness should not be part of this definition.  If there are conflicts between organizations’ leaders, each should look to find ways to end the strife.  Without resolution of personality conflicts, eventually one of two bad things will happen.  Someone will lose or both will lose.  Nobody “wins” when stubbornness prevails.

Overlapping Missions:   Communities cannot afford two organizations with overlapping missions.  Eventually—especially in tough times—community business and political leaders may be forced to make choices.  Often the culprit in having two organizations that conflict is the governance by their respective boards.  Executive directors who desire cooperation should engage their board members, review the organization’s mission, and better define goals and objectives.   If you can’t build complementary organizational relationships, you can expect one (or both) organizations to face scrutiny and public questioning about your stewardship of community resources.

Duplicative Efforts:  Concentration on what your organization does best is a successful approach to consider and effective coordination with destination partners can avoid duplication.  There is enough variation in how sports commissions and convention bureaus meet community needs to avoid having each do the same work.  In our community, we brought in outside consultants to help us focus our sport and other tourism organizations to fit into the overall destination brand and marketing efforts.  We learned what we each do best and gained mutual respect for each group’s competence.

Claiming Credit:   Think about sharing credit because claiming credit for success is a trap.  If two groups have jointly gone after an event, it is obvious they should share credit.  Not so obvious is that even if you had the most to do with bringing an event to town, there is no harm to share the win!  The “Golden Rule” might be something to consider.  Besides if you claim credit on a regular basis, when projections aren’t met, getting blamed might just follow.

About the Guest Contributor – Jack Hughes, CSEE is the Executive Director of the  Gainesville Sports Commission, the 20-plus- year-old sports commission formerly known as the Gainesville Sports Organizing Committee. The GSC works closely with its tourism partner, VisitGainesville to host as many as 40 sports events annually. Prior to this he served on the Gainesville/Hall County (Georgia) Sports Council and CVB. His more than 25 years of experience includes the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, the Centennial Olympic Games, three Olympic Festivals, 1993 World University Games, the US National Hot Air Balloon Championship and the original Earth Day. Hughes is a Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) and served as the Chair of the NASC in 2008-2009.

Why do facility owners/operators require insurance?

January 5, 2012

If you sell or produce sports events you must address the need for the event to have its own insurance and to make sure that insurance adds the facility as an additional insured! There is no reasonable way to expect the facility to take the risk of an incident free event. It is equally unreasonable to expect them to carry all coverage necessary on their own policy.

What you should expect is to sign a contract requiring the event to carry its own insurance. The coverage must be drafted by risk managers to meet minimum standards. Normally this includes specific types of policies, minimum limits of coverage, and special endorsements like “additional insured” status for the premises owner.

Please do not make promises to an event owner without insuring yourself by following these procedures.

You can learn everything else you need to know to grow your events by attending the 2012 NASC Sports Event Symposium in Hartford, CT April 16-19.

See you in class!!