Archive for March, 2014

Leading Highly Effective Teams

March 31, 2014

The board retreat was going pretty much as planned.  Lively conversation centered on the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.  I was doing what I do. Facilitating, keeping them concise and on target.  All of a sudden two members began questioning each other on their motives for being on the board and the possibility that one member was behaving unethically.

I quickly switched from a facilitator role to that of a mediator.  We adjourned and only the disputants and I spent the next hour working on the issues at hand.

Once I had the “fire” squelched somewhat, we took a break.  One of the other board members came up to me and said, “I guess we should have warned you that those two have a history”.  Yes, that would’ve been nice.

So, why do some teams perform magnificently and others appear dysfunctional?  All of these individuals are competent, skillful, and professional.  They all achieve their objectives and are accountable.  They receive the highest marks on individual employee evaluations.  So, why can’t they “just get along”?

Attend my session and find out the answers and the ultimate outcome of this situation.

By:  Dr. Mac McCrory

Economic Impact Calculator

March 24, 2014

Properly assessing the economic impact of sporting events you host within your community is a key aspect to helping your organization strategically determine several things.  Whether to pursue an event, whether to bring an event back, and whether the event provides your local tourism industry a meaningful boost.

The NASC Calculator aims to provide users a tool for gathering a rough first-approximation of the potential economic impact that an event has upon your community.  As such, the primary purpose of the session is to further educate users how to navigate the Calculator in practice.

Additionally, a secondary goal of this session is to educate users how to design and implement on-site spectator surveys.  The recommended approach for using the Calculator is to gather event-specific data regarding how visitors spend money at hotels, restaurants, and more…as well as gather information on where they are from.  Thus, the presentation will yield insight into best practices for implementing on-site surveys.

TSE Consulting – Relationship Between Host cities and International Sports Federations

March 17, 2014

In 2013, TSE Consulting, in conjunction with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, conducted a worldwide independent study that focused on the relationship between host cities and international sports federations. The primary motivation was to determine the true level of partnership between cities that stage important events and the rights-holding organizations that grant them the privilege to do so.

While major international cities and international sports federations may seem to be very different from American cities and domestic sport organizations, TSE found the parallels to be strikingly similar. More than 100 cities were surveyed, and there were many interesting – perhaps, surprising – results that can be useful for both host cities and sports organizations alike.

While the study was beginning to return significant results, TSE was retained by USA Diving to assist its bid process for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials. This engagement enabled TSE to try some new ideas based upon survey results, and to create a “best practices” model for a bid process conduced by a sports organization rights holder.

At the same time, the USA Diving assignment allowed us to chronicle the perceptions of cities – what they liked, what they didn’t, and how to ensure that bid cities are best able to realize their hopes and expectations from their investment in the process.

Clearly, rights holders can improve the bid process, the events that are offered, and communication, while host cities expressed a desire to be viewed as a partner, to expect that city goals be understood, and cities have the ability to form long-term relationships. Lars Haue-Pedersen and Dale Neuburger will co-resent this session, which has equal value for cities and event rights holders.

Sports Funding: The Final Frontier?

March 10, 2014

It was a story that made headlines on both the sports and business pages. The University of Notre Dame, an Adidas-clad sports program since 1997, will become an Under Armor school when the Adidas deal expires July 1.

It’s a sports story because, of course, it’s Notre Dame and anything that happens with the sports programs under the Golden Dome is news. It’s a business story because it shows how far Under Armor has come in penetrating the America athletic scene, with a deal that puts one of the oldest, iconic athletic programs in the same breath as a relatively young equipment manufacturer.

Under Armour will be the exclusive outfitter for all 26 of Notre Dame’s varsity teams under the 10-year contract. Although the numbers weren’t released, Sports Illustrated and ESPN speculate the deal is worth about $90 million, and the University has the option to take some of its payments in Under Armour Stock. Not a bad idea, since right after the announcement, Under Armour stock rose 3.4 percent to $84.78 a share.

Among publicly-announced deals, the University of Michigan had what was believed to be the largest contract, $8.2 million annually in equipment and cash under an eight year deal with Adidas.

Under Armour already had been making inroads in the high school game, as title sponsor of the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, girls’ high school volleyball awards and the like. A number of the top high school football programs have been wearing Under Armour for years.

Why is it important for Under Armour to land one of the biggest names in football? The growth of college football on television means your logo on team uniforms is seen dozens of times during a game on 70-inch high definition televisions around the country. Division 1 athletic departments generate about $7.5 billion in annual revenue, and merchandise sales of more than $4.6 million a year, according to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University (an Adidas school).

And Notre Dame generates about $78 million of the school’s athletic department revenue of $108 million, and the Irish are third in merchandise sales, behind Texas and Alabama. So for Under Armour to grab the contract with Notre Dame at the least raises the exposure of the company, still dwarfed by Nike’s 79 Division I schools and Adidas’ 30 and at the most, give it the ‘halo’ effect of being associated with Notre Dame.

Deals like this trickle down to youth sports, where kids wanted to “be like Mike” a couple of decades ago with Air Jordans or sport And 1 shoes like Alan Iverson.

Oh, and under the heading of “Is this a coincidence,” just days after the Under Armour announcement, Notre Dame unveiled a $400 million project to add three academic and student life buildings around the exterior of hallowed Notre Dame Stadium, offering premium seating for fans and outdoor terraces overlooking the football field.

The project includes several club-style seating options, available on three upper levels on both sides. A hospitality area also is planned for the new building on the south end of the stadium. The stadium itself will be renovated, with the press box making way for premium seating. The project could add up to 4,000 premium tickets for Notre Dame Stadium.

Could Notre Dame have raised the money for the Campus Crossroads project without the Under Armour deal? Probably. Will the Under Armour deal help? Absolutely. Just take a look at what the University of Oregon has done with Nike backing. For recruits, staffers and moneyed alumni, these contracts mean upgraded facilities, updated buildings and the ‘cool’ factor that comes with wearing just the right logo.

Equipment deals are big deals for colleges and high schools. Youth sports are the next frontier.

Notre Dame Under Armour

Take an Active Role in Facilities Planning

March 3, 2014

So you wish your community had better facilities to offer when bidding for various events? How about joining forces with those working toward facilities upgrades?

No, I don’t mean stretching your already rubber band budget. I mean, using some old fashioned political-type endorsements to persuade those who can make a difference.

Here’s one example. A group called the Friends of the Greater York Recreational Complex ( is working toward building this rec center for the community of York, Maine, just off I-95 at the southern tip of the state. According to the website, “The Friends of the GYRC are advocating for an affordable multi-generational center for health and wellness that would include a warm-water recreation pool and 6-8 lane competition lap pool, fitness center, aerobic studio, walking track, and multi-sport court gymnasium that would accommodate tennis, basketball, volleyball and community programs.”

The description continues: “The center will significantly impact the region’s economy and vital tourism business. The health and wellness of the community is at the heart of the organization’s mission.”

This apparently isn’t the first time a pool and/or pool complex has been proposed for the area. Again, from the website, voters earlier approved a pool project and skate rink but even after the project was approved, the funding wasn’t there to finish the jobs.

So, enter Kerry Hoey, the executive director of the Maine Sports Commission, who wrote a letter to the editor for, supporting the construction of a multi-use recreational center to the area. “I believe their (Friends of GYRC) proposed project goals are well-aligned with our mission to promote Maine as a four-season destination for sports events and sports-related meetings, and to increase the economic impact of the state by attracting and expanding sports related events.”

Hoey goes on to explain what this means to the sports travel industry: “We expect a new swimming competition complex to generate approximately $1 million in total economic impact within one year, based on average hotel rates in the area and out-of-state participation at other swimming competitions in the Northeast.”

Hoey’s endorsement also appears on the landing page of the group’s website, reinforcing the Maine Sports Commission’s support for the project. “Your facility will be one of the only true swimming competition venues in the state and will allow for the possibility of hosting numerous large-scale events,” Hoey writes on the website. “The ability to attract larger regional or national swimming competitions and events will be a great asset to my organization and will lead to a larger economic impact for the area and state as a whole.”

Obviously the Friends of GYRC think this endorsement is valuable in their quest to have this complex built. Don’t underestimate the power of what your endorsement can mean to similar sports projects and upgrades that may be in the planning stages in your area. When you mention what those improvements can mean in dollars and cents, suddenly important ears start listening.

Greater York Rec Complex 1 Greater York Rec Complex 2