Archive for April, 2013

What my membership in the NASC means to me

April 29, 2013

I had some time to reflect on the Symposium on my short drive home last Thursday, and one thing among many was pretty evident—-there is a passion for sports and sporting events like never before!

This brings me to the reason of this message to all of you. I wanted to pass along some thoughts on “What my Membership in the NASC means to me”? I really don’t know where to start with this other than the fact that it is OUR Association, and while we have some great leadership and staff at the National level, it is only as good as what we put into it. I have had the pleasure these past several years to serve on the Mentoring Committee, and as a committee we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with our new members and educate them on the value of the great decision that they and the organization that they belong to made by joining the NASC. How rewarding it has been for me help and assist someone as they venture into this exciting field of Sports and Events! Our new members are our future, and as the Symposium hit a new milestone with over 750 people in attendance this past week, we can only hope that we continue to see steady growth in the years to come. We can achieve this by offering strong educational programs, CSEE Certification, and  an outstanding Symposium each year.

If you are not active serving the NASC in some capacity—-Start Now! You would be pleasantly surprised by what you can offer (who would have thought that I would be writing this note to you now) and your event experience could help another member and its Organization save some time and effort on an Event they may be working on. There are many Committees that are available to serve on and you could be a valuable addition bringing in new ideas and thoughts. Learn more about committees and volunteer opportunities here.

If you are not enrolled in the CSEE Certification—Consider it! Expertise in any field is the benchmark for how you are perceived in your trade. Continuing education is important and what better place to receive that than in a CSEE Module. Educated and updated by the best in our field, that is what you can expect at each Module. Learn more about CSEE here.

If you are not looking at the website on a regular basis—Do it! Great updated information is only a “click” away. Make the website a favorite on your Internet menu and review it often.

If you have questions reach out to someone and find the answer. If you met someone this past week I am sure that they would be happy to speak with you. Not sure if that is where you want to start—call the National Office, they will have ideas and may recommend someone to call.

Thanks again to Louisville for hosting an outstanding Symposium!

Yours in Sports,

Ron Eifert, CSEE, Sr. Sales/Sports Manager

Dayton/Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Direct: 937.226.8284



National Association of Sports Commissions announces Annual Award Winners

April 25, 2013

The National Association of Sports Commissions today announced its annual award winners during the closing ceremonies at the NASC Symposium in Louisville, honoring 10 members for their outstanding initiatives in the  sports events industry over the last 12 months.

“Each year, the National Association of Sports Commissions recognizes its members for their outstanding service to the sports event industry and creativity in doing so,” said Mike Anderson, Director of Sports, Visit Charlotte, and NASC Awards Committee Chair. “On behalf of the NASC, I want to congratulate all of the 10 honored organizations for their industry leading efforts.”

Award winners include:

Outstanding Marketing Campaign 

Under $200,000: Lorain County Visitors Bureau

$200,000 and Above: Detroit Sports

Outstanding Locally Created Event

Under $200,000: Bloomington-Normal Area Sports Commission

$200,000 and Above: Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission

Outstanding Online Presence

Under $200,000: Butler County Visitors Bureau

$200,000 and Above: Greater Columbus Sports Commission

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Member of the Year

Under $200,000: Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau

$200,000 and Above:  Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sports Commission Member of the Year

Under $200,000: Ames Area Sports Commission

$200,000 and Above: St. Louis Sports Commission

Hasseltine named new board chair of the National Association of Sports Commissions, six new board members elected

April 24, 2013

At the annual Symposium of the National Association of Sports Commissions, Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, of the Maryland Office of Sports, was elected board chair of the organization. Joining Hasseltine on the executive committee are: Gary Alexander, Nashville Sports Council, Immediate Past Chair, Kevin Smith, CSEE, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Greg Ayers, CSEE, Discover Kalamazoo, Treasurer, and Ralph Morton, CSEE Seattle Sports Commission, Secretary.

New board members were also elected and they include: John Gibbons, CSEE, Rhode Island Sports Commission, Michael Price, CSEE, Greater Lansing Sports Authority, Janis Schmees Burke, CSEE, Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and Holly Shelton, CSEE, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Also, Rick Hatcher, CSEE joins the board representing Allied Representatives and Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA, representing Rights Holder Representatives.

Meet our 2013-2014 board.

BOD 2013-2014

Seventeen graduate from the NASC’s Certified Sports Event Executive programNA

April 24, 2013

At this year’s National Association of Sports Commissions Symposium held in Louisville, the latest class from the Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) program graduated.

The Certified Sports Event Executive Program is a certification program open only to NASC members. Since its inception, the NASC has been dedicated to raising the standards of professionalism in the industry. The NASC Staff and Professional Development Committee assist presenters in preparing sessions and case studies to ensure that the needs and concerns of the sports event industry are addressed.

The most recent graduating class of 17 includes:

  • Karin Aaron, Visit Loudoun
  • Ariana Andis Klein, US Lacrosse
  • Lindsay Arellano, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Anna Barlow Cumming, Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce
  • Jim Dietz, Columbus Indiana Visitors Center
  • Josh Dill, Visit Lubbock Inc.
  • Roy Edmondson, Team San Jose
  • Karen Hubbs, Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Carolyn Lee, GWN Dragon Boat
  • Mona Murphy, Flint-Genesee Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Dave Patrone, Kentucky Exposition Center/International Convention Center
  • Dave Plevich, Greater Morgantown Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Erik Sabato, Wyndham Hotel Group
  • Darien Schaefer, Wausau/Central Wisconsin Sports Authority
  • Justin Stine, Overland Park Sports Alliance
  • Kim Strable, Greensboro Sports Commission
  • Jason Williams, Butler County Visitors Bureau

Five Questions with Mark Lewis, Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances, NCAA

April 24, 2013

Mark Lewis, who has been in the role of Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances, NCAA, for exactly one year, is spending time at the 2013 Symposium meeting with the membership of the organization.

In June, the NCAA will distribute the bids collectively for the 89 annual championships facilitated by the NCAA. NASC_News asked Mark Lewis a few questions about his role at the NCAA.

Q: You have been in your role for one year now. What are some of the accomplishments in which you are most proud?

A. Each year, we host 89 championships for our student athletes to compete at the highest level, and to create lasting memories for them. Our men’s tournament this year celebrated its 75th anniversary with a terrific tournament that included some of the best match ups in the history of the tournament, record TV ratings and terrific attendance. We also launched our Division II Championship Festivals for the first time. We received great feedback from our member organizations as well as our student athletes for the overall experience from our host cities and member organizations.

Q: What are three tips you can share with potential host cities?

A: First and foremost, all potential host cities need to develop close working relationships with our members, the colleges and universities in their market, to submit the bid. Secondly, it’s important to complete the bid per the specifications but also be creative. We want to see some community spirit and passion in the bid. Lastly but probably most important, we want to see how the host community and member organization are going to create a positive experience for our student athletes.

Q: What are you most excited about at the NCAA?

A: I get excited going to work every day. Interest in college athletics is at an all-time high as evidenced by the TV ratings of the men’s basketball tournament–the highest since the 90s. But every time we award a championship trophy, it’s a magical moment, and we get to do it 89 times a year.

Q: How are you looking to grow strategic alliances for the NCAA?

A: With 94 percent of the annual revenue for the NCAA coming from men’s basketball, I think about growing revenue opportunities with the other championships every day. Only five of our 89 championships are self-funding (men’s basketball, men’s hockey, baseball, men’s lacrosse and wrestling). We are constantly looking for ways to grow revenue while providing additional exposure to our student athletes. For example, we will broadcast the men’s and women’s golf championships on the Golf Channel this year.

About Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis was named the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances in April 2012.

Lewis oversees the administration and operation of 89 championships in 23 different sports, including ticketing and marketing operations. Lewis also is responsible for managing the broadcast partnerships with CBS, Turner Sports and ESPN, as well as the Association’s corporate partners.

Before joining the NCAA, Lewis was president of Jet Set Sports, a leading hospitality and event company with highly successful partnerships with various local and national Olympic organizing committees. As president, Lewis focused on managing partnerships with Olympic entities in the areas of accommodations, event tickets, catering, ground transportation, management and many other services.

Prior to his position at Jet Set Sports, Lewis was vice president of sponsorship at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) where he was responsible for the oversight of all aspects of global Olympic and NFL sponsorships for General Electric, including working with various business units of the company to increase sales.

Lewis also previously served as president and chief operating officer of Olympic Properties of the United States in Salt Lake City, a joint venture of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and the United States Olympic Committee. This joint venture raised more than $1.5 billion in sponsorships with more than 70 corporations.

Lewis is a former Division I student-athlete who played football at the University of Georgia, where he received his undergraduate (accounting) and law degrees. He is married to Dawn Allinger Lewis, a former Pac-10 basketball player at Washington State and a 1996 Olympian in team handball.  They have two children, Peyton and Dylan.

From Sponsorship to Partnership: Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network

April 23, 2013

Karen Forgus, Sr. Vice President of Operations for the Cincinnati Reds, joined Linda Antus, president & CEO, and Heather Kessler, director of marketing, both from the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network at a panel discussion titled: “From Sponsorship to Partnership.”

The Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network (RTN) and the Cincinnati Reds are both in the “Experience Business.” The RTN, a destination marketing organization has been partnering with the Reds for the past six years in an ever-increasing relationship that has enabled the region to grow to a 22 million-visitor, $4.1 billion dollar travel and tourism destination.

Beginning in 2007, the Reds and the RTN had a purely media sponsorship which has grown into a 12-month partnership with the Cincinnati Reds, including paid and leveraged earned media, event marketing, community outreach and travel website package booking at the RTN website,

The Common Ground is that the Reds and the RTN are both in the EXPERIENCE Business.

The Reds and RTN are partners during the 12-month destination marketing season and here’s how:

  • RedsFest : The annual Fan Fest held over two days in December that attracts 20,000+ fans. The RTN is the Main Stage Sponsor and promotes its website portal and hotel packages around the theme: “Come for the Reds, Stay for More Fun”
  • Reds Caravan: The annual caravan with players, broadcasters and front office leadership hits the road for four days to visit fans throughout Reds Country in four states with mall visits, radio promotions and community service efforts
  • REDS on RADIO Network reaches Reds Country through its 92 radio affiliates. The RTN is a sponsor of the REDS on RADIO Network and this multi-tier partnership resulted in 2015 minutes of interviews with credible, personalities on the affiliate stations, as well as key interviews with Marty Brennaman, Jeff “The Cowboy” Brantley and Chris Welch during in-season home stand games.
  • Fox Sports Ohio: FOX provides the regional TV coverage for the Reds throughout Reds Country. The RTN has leveraged its relationship with the FOX Sports Ohio Host Jim Day with “tour spots” and the live in-game interviews with Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh.
  • Ticket Packages: The Reds see the RTN as their outer market agents of tourism and Reds outer market fan base-building. The growth of the Reds ticket/hotel packages is over 56% of the bookings on the RTN website, resulting in a new co-branded Grand Slam Getaway, peak season package for 2013.

Common Objectives to Explore with a Marketing Partner

  • Find shared objectives and common ground for attracting your target consumer
  • Build programs that grow on the relationship year-over year
  • Promote and advocate for the relationship in the community, and for the community
  • Add additional stakeholder with common objectives, over time, i.e. other family attractions such as the Newport Aquarium

Lessons from Two Super Bowl Executives: You’ve Got the Bid, Now What?

April 22, 2013

“You’ve Got the Bid, Now What?” with Tara Green and Allison Melangton

Tara Green and Allison Melangton served as back-to-back executive directors at Super Bowls held in Dallas (2011) and Indianapolis (2012). Both co-presented during today’s program for Certified Sports Event Executives at the 2013 Symposium hosted by the National Association of Sports Commissions.

They shared a 13-point checklist that event planners can use in preparing for any event from a bowling tournament to the Super Bowl.

1)      Vision: Get everyone on the same page with 13 check points

Indianapolis realized a $371 million economic impact from hosting the Super Bowl, which was impressive but it wasn’t the #1 goal of the Host City. Their overall goal was to leverage the influence of the international media that comes with the game to improve their community imaging and branding.

Indy also wanted to use the Super Bowl to drive talent recruitment and retention to brand the city as a cool place to work, live and play. Rounding out the community objectives were to drive community spirit and create a “community group hub” while creating legacy projects within the community.

2)      Goals: Do you have the same goals: The Host City and the Event?

Some of the major goals, an event and the host city will want to consider include:

  • Attendance Goals
  • Revenue Goals
  • Local Community Goals
  • Media Exposure
  • Economic Impact

A few goals that were met in Dallas include: the fund-raising of $38 million in two years to fund their Super Bowl with earned media impressions valued at $60 million.

3)      Expectations

What does the rights holder expect from your organization and your community? What does your community expect from the rights holder?

4)      Obligations: Understand all including gray areas!

Ask questions on the front end of the process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and no question is too small or silly.

5)      Responsibility for Event Success

It’s important to discuss responsibility early in the event planning process: Who is responsible for the success of the event? It is singular, shared or shared among groups.

This is important in sharing the success of the event or the challenges of the event. A shared approach is most commonly used among major events like the Super Bowl.

6)      Opportunities for Partnership:

Partnerships help increase the bandwidth and impact of programs, and engage community organizations based on their expertise.

7)      Potential Partners

Identify needs of the event and seek qualified partners such as universities, downtown organizations, civic groups, etc.

8)      Key Constituents are Key

It’s important to determine and engage volunteers, CVBs, politicians, etc. early in the process. Provide a manageable project or task that they can complete and celebrate their accomplishment.

9)      Community Leaders

Think about how who they are (outside of sport), how to engage them, communicate with them and determine cross pollination among the groups?

10)   Community Engagement: Traditional or Non-Traditional.

How can you expand community engagement beyond football fans? How can you engage the community in advance of the event as well as your corporate sponsors with meaningful opportunities and benefits?

11)   Plan for Measuring Success

Clarity is very important in how you will measure success.

12)   Community Strengths

Celebrate your assets around the event. Also, address your weaknesses head-on with creativity.

It’s important to set community objectives that mirror those of existing objectives of interest in the community. In Dallas, the goal was to rally 4500 kids to do 4500 hours of community learning in the Dallas region around the Super Bowl activities. This effort engaged families but also created media opportunities to share the progress of the planning.

13)   Identification of Risks

Indianapolis used the Enterprise Risk Management approach in their planning which was led by a committee of local risk management experts to facilitate a plan to determine all of the potential risks and how to mitigate them. All in all, 274 major risks were identified by the Indy Super Bowl Committee and each was prioritized among the working leadership committees to determine mitigation plans for each.

What my NASC membership means to me?

April 11, 2013

Being a veteran in the Sports Tourism Industry for 20 years, I can remember back when I first got involved with the NASC.  You see, I just came of the coaching world of college baseball and now I found myself in a new career path.

I attended the NASC Annual meeting, yes it was not the NASC Symposium yet, not knowing what to expect or even what the conference was about.  My first experience can mostly be related to the “TEAM” aspect that has been part of my life for over 45 years.  I found myself surrounded with individuals who, just like me, wanted to absorb everything anyone had to offer.  I was so blown away by the willingness of my competitors to share and help me learn about the industry.

I view my NASC membership as being part of that “TEAM” again.  I have been literally involved at all levels the NASC from serving on the committees, being a board member, being part of the Executive Committee and eventually the Chairman and I can honestly say every minute I spent working on projects for the NASC has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the industry and as well as provide me the tools to be successful.

The membership benefits are great, opportunities to get involved are numerous and the payoff is fantastic.  I am very glad to be part of the National Association of Sports Commission and I look forward every year to reconnecting with my all my old friends and meeting my new “competitors”.

As once said by a very famous coach to his team….”You can only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.”

Rick Hatcher web  Rick Hatcher, CSEE
Director of Business Development
536 Chapel Hills Drive, Suite 146
Colorado Springs, CO  80920

Rick Hatcher has over twenty years of experience in the Sports Travel  & Event Management Industry. He is currently the Commercial Development Director of PSA in Colorado Springs, CO.  Prior to joining PSA, he was Sports Marketplace Coordinator for Collinson Media and Groups, President and CEO of the Lexington Area Sports Authority in Lexington, KY, Executive Director of the Tallahassee Sports Council and Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tallahassee, FL.

While serving as the President and CEO of LASA, he also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) for three years, the Executive Committee for four years and as the Chairman of the NASC for one year.  Rick also served on numerous committees for the NASC and is a standing member of the NASC Leadership Council and a graduate of the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) program.