Archive for July, 2012

Where is all the Merchandise?

July 31, 2012

I came to the London 2012 Olympic Games ready to spend a good amount of pound sterlings on goodies for me, my family and our friends at home.  The problem is I can’t find an official retail outlet!  I came with the assumption there would be a make-shift merchandise shop around every street corner, but we have only found one so far, in the Greenwich Arena (site of the gymnastics competitions). They had sold out of many items on day two of the gymnastics competition and were limited in sizes for what they did have for sale.  I was shocked!  We then headed to badminton that afternoon at Wembley Arena, clear on the other side of London and a ways out, so I guessed they’d have another store with more stock. Again I was disappointed.  The 10 minute shop from the Wembley tube station to the Arena was lined with shops for food and merchandise, but as you can see in the sad picture I took, all of the merchandise shops were closed up tight.  And this is only day two of the games!  My only thought is, “What were they thinking?!”

Beth Hecquet, CMP

Director of Meetings and Events


Volunteers a Plenty

July 30, 2012

Upon our arrival in the UK in the early morning hours, we had our first taste of the Olympic spirit within steps of departing the plane. Two volunteers dressed in their bright pink and purple shirts stood at the top of the jet bridge with a welcome sign. A few steps further down the path to baggage reclaim (as they call it at London’s Heathrow Airport) we encountered scores more of friendly and helpful volunteers. And this was only the beginning. On every street corner where Olympic spectators could wander, they will find at least two volunteers; at every tube, bus and train station, there are at least two volunteers as well (and many times upwards of six to eight). All are there to make getting in and around London and the Games as easy and stress free as possible. In the London 2012 official programme (spelling is correct, this is the UK) they make sure to state there are 70,000 volunteers organized by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games) there to help. And help they have, as well as given spectators a welcome feeling to a city that can be very overwhelming.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events

NASC Member Cities Host 17 of 19 Olympic Trials

July 12, 2012

Recently we had occasion to take a look at the cities that hosted Olympic trials events in preparation for the London Games. As we did, we realized our members have played a huge role in helping to qualify and prepare our athletes.

Of the 19 Olympic sports that held trials for the 26 sports on this year’s program (7 sports select their teams without trials events), 17 were held in NASC member cities. Both of the exceptions are former members where a staff person left the organization prior to this year. This equals 89 percent of the sports holding trials.

Since some of those sports (aquatics, for example) have four sports, there were actually 31 different trials events for the 19 sports. Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo held their events in four different cities.

NASC members hosted 29 of the 31 different disciplines within the sports, or 94 percent of all of the trials events held for the 19 sports on the program for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It could not be any clearer: NASC members play an absolutely essential role in these events.

We are very proud of each host city and look forward to seeing the athletes who qualified medal for the USA in London!

– Don

How can the Mentoring Committee help you?

July 3, 2012

The NASC has several committees to serve the membership, and one such committee is the Mentoring Committee.   As stated on the NASC website, this committee cultivates relationships with new members to help guide them through their first year of membership.  The committee educates members about benefits and resources that will help them make the most of their membership.  The committee provides a vast amount of industry experience and know-how to members on various topics related to the industry.

One of the greatest assets of the Mentoring Committee is the wide array of background and experience, which consists of over 200 years of cumulative sports event related knowledge.  All three membership categories are represented within the committee – Active (Host Organizations), Allied (Suppliers) and Rights Holder (Event Owners).  As such, any rights holder in need of support or guidance has an excellent resource at their fingertips and can reach out to the Mentoring Committee knowing there is the expertise to help.

Both new rights holders and those who have been in the game for years can find support and these are just a few examples of topics the Mentoring Committee is happy to help with:

  • Tools provided by NASC: The support and tools the NASC provides is overwhelming and the Mentoring Committee can guide you through what’s available.
  • RFP creation and implementation: Both creators of RFPs and their responders are on the committee.   Each can provide a rights holder with valuable feedback to maximizing the process thus generating the best results.
  • Rights Fees: These vary greatly event by event and there are many different philosophies on the amount as well as the implementation.
  • Hotel Rebates and Relationships:  The hotel industry is well represented within the committee, as well as both active and rights holders, all of which can shed light on the mystery of this hot topic.
  • Third Parties: Love them or hate them the Mentoring Committee has worked with them on every capacity.  You can find help with hiring a third party, problem resolution with your third party and maximizing the relationship.
  • Relationships with Sports Commission/CVBs:  One of the challenges rights holders face is understanding the structure of the CVB and Sports Commission when working on a prospective event.  Some towns have both entities that are active in supporting the event, while others only have one.  Understanding the structure and knowing the goals of your partners is essential and imperative to success.  Committee members can answer many questions in both areas and are happy to share their knowledge with you.

Just as the rights holders in need of support or guidance have excellent resources at their fingertips, Allied and Active members do as well.   Like the Rights Holder members, Allied and Active members of the committee can share tools provided by the NASC via the website, consulting services, etc.  But here are a few examples of other topics:

  • Symposium Information:  The Mentors have been attending the Symposiums for many years.  The committee can provide you information via webinars and orientations regarding what to expect at the Symposium.  Topics like choosing the best Rights Holders or Allied members to meet with while you are there or preparing for those Marketplace appointments are discussed.  The committee members are at your fingertips via telephone or email to ask your questions any time.
  • Bid Preparations/Presentations:  With the combined experience of the committee members, you can expect to receive great information about preparing bids and even deciding if you should bid on a particular event.  The members will provide you with their experience in the bid process.
  • Networking:  The Mentors assist you with your networking by being your first contact with the NASC.  Because the Mentor are required to have at least 5 years of industry experience and be active in the NASC, they can assist you by introducing to others and helping you network through the different events the NASC offers.  They can also make email introductions to assist you with your efforts.
  • Relationships with Rights Holders:  This industry is based on the relationships that are established.  The Mentors can assist you with building those relationships by helping you understand the different Rights Holders and their expectations.  Again drawing on the combined experience of the members of the committee, each member has worked with many different rights holders and can assist you with the RFP requirements and give you information about contacts within those Rights Holders.  Once you understand how the Rights Holders work, you will have successful relationships and bids.

In closing, the Mentoring Committee is here to welcome you to the NASC and assist you in your first year as you get acclimated to your association.  The committee is simply another great resource provided by the NASC as YOUR resource for the Sports Industry!

About the Guest Contributors:

John David is the Chief Operating Officer of USA BMX, the National Governing Body for the sport of bicycle motocross (BMX), where he has been since 2000.  In addition to executing the mission of the association, John focuses heavily on the creation of the association’s annual national series which consist of 30 national level events which are hosted across North America including the annual Grand National Championships and BMX Olympic Trials.  Recently John co-coordinated the asset purchase of the National Bicycle League to create singular governing body thus unifying the sport of BMX for the first time since its inception over 40 years ago. John is currently serving a two-year term on the NASC Board of Directors.  Phone: 480-961-1903×112, Email:

Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP, is the Director of Sales for the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau where she has been since 2004. The sports market in Bryan-College Station is thriving and in her time in Aggieland, Kindra has increased hotel room nights by 300%. Prior to the convention and visitors bureau world, she served as the Marketing Assistant and as an Event Coordinator with the NAIA and has experience in the collegiate athletics field as well. Kindra has been a member of NASC since 2002 and earned her CSEE in April 2008. Kindra is currently serving a three-year term on the NASC Board of Directors.  Phone: (979) 595-2686, Email: