Archive for January, 2015

News from NASC: Beth Hecquet Resigns

January 30, 2015
Don Schumacher, Executive Director of the NASC announced today that Beth Hecquet, Director of Meetings and Events, has resigned. “Beth has accepted another position here in Cincinnati outside our industry, and we will miss her and the many contributions she has made to the NASC since she was hired in 2002,” he stated.

Hecquet has overseen the growth of the NASC Sports Events Symposium from its tenth anniversary in 2002 through completion of the preparations for this year’s event in Milwaukee. “Beth Hecquet has been a valued employee and we wish her only the best as she pursues a new opportunity,” Schumacher concluded.

“Deflategate” and Sports

January 28, 2015

While we are heading into Super Bowl weekend, we should be talking about the game—instead, we’re talking about under inflated footballs, and who’s to blame.

We’re acting as if playing fast and loose with the rules is something new in sports. The old saying, “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’” is said mostly in jest, but for some it’s too often a stain on their sports record.

In 2001 Danny Almonte was probably the most famous Little League pitcher in the country, throwing a solid 76 miles an hour and tossing a no-hitter in the Regional Finals to send his team from the Bronx to the Little League World Series. He then threw a perfect game during the Series and ended the series striking out 62 of the 72 batters he faced. Problem was, he was found to be 14-years-old during the Series, not the 12-years-old he was supposed to be.

Youth football isn’t immune to cheating allegations. A Tennessee youth football team was suspended, along with five coaches, for misreporting player’s weight before games. A certain weight means the player can’t run the ball or play certain positions so he doesn’t hurt smaller players. Once home video showed the coaches, still on the sidelines, the team was suspended from the league.

In fact, type in the name of just about any youth sport and add “cheating” to the search and you’re bound to find examples of bad behavior among players and/or coaches.

This controversy will be resolved, one way or the other, and the game will be played. But it shows you that no matter what the age or the sport, teams are always walking the edge, trying to get an advantage in the biggest games of the season.

Will it spoil your Super Bowl viewing? Let us know what you think on the NASC Facebook page.

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Timeless Ticket or Unique Crowdfunding?

January 20, 2015

The Milwaukee Brewers are making available to fans a deal they call the “Timeless Ticket.” In engraved brass, the over sized one-pound ticket will allow the ticket holder to attend any single game, anytime in the future.

So, you may ask, what’s the savings in that? A thousand dollars for one ticket?

Well, let’s say the Brewers make it to the World Series (remember, it’s a “Timeless Ticket” good for anytime in the future). Face value tickets are expensive enough to the postseason, and secondary market tickets can be outrageous. So, if you happen to have one of these Timeless Tickets, you can give the team a bit of notice and tell the front office you want to redeem your Timeless Ticket for a World Series game. Now, the cost doesn’t seem so out of line.

But wait! There’s more!

The team also says the package now includes ticket vouchers to attend nine additional Brewers regular season home games of the owner’s choice, excluding Opening Day and Postseason.

As of last week, the team had sold 240 Timeless Tickets. Multiply that by a thousand, and yes, you get $240,000 in the bank.

The tickets may become treasured heirlooms to be passed down among Brewer fans, or indeed they may be cashed in for a postseason game. Either way, the Brewers have cash up front for a game that may not be played for decades, and fans get a personalized memento from their favorite team.

And oh yes, they get lots of publicity for the team.

In a time where every sports entity is looking for creative ways to sell tickets to their events, the Brewers have come up with one that can pay off now for them, and later for their fans.

What do you think? Would something like this work in your organization? Give your opinion on the NASC Facebook page and let us know how you feel.

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Jackie Reau
Game Day Communications
jreau@gamedaypr.com
www.gamedaypr.com
LinkedIn: JackieReau
Facebook: JackieReau
Twitter:@JackieReau

When Society and Sports Collide

January 19, 2015

In the wake of the social unrest we’ve seen in Ferguson, Cleveland and New York, athletes have used their national platforms to express their opinions on the incidents—see the St. Louis Rams’ players coming out for team introductions with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose.

This expression has reached basketball, where professional and college players alike have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, signifying the last words of Eric Gardner, the New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold.I cant breathe

And now, a high school basketball tournament in Northern California has been included in the conversation, after a school scheduled to play in the tournament was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups.

The athletic director at Mendocino High School was told that neither the boy’s nor the girl’s team would be allowed to participate in the tournament if they wore the shirts.

The boys were reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirt. Too few girl players agreed to not wear the shirts and were not allowed to play.

No surprise here: The parent of the one boy who decided to sit out the holiday tournament has taken the issue to the American Civil Liberties Union. In a written statement, the principal of the host school, Fort Bragg High School, said the school administrators respected the Mendocino teams “for paying attention to what is going on in the world around them” and that the shirts were being banned as a security precaution.

This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, time where the world of amateur and youth sports will collide with First Amendment rights and the desire of young athletes to express themselves.

Have you run into similar issues with your events or teams? If so how did you handle the issue and what advice would you have other rights holders or event planners on how to deal with the issue? Give us your thoughts on our NASC Facebook page. We always welcome comments on best practices.

Boston in 2024?

January 12, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Boston as the city to represent the American bid for the 2024 Olympic Summer Games. Since there hasn’t been a Summer Games staged in the United States since Atlanta in 1996 and no Olympics since 2002 Salt Lake City, much is riding on this bid.Boston 2024

After the Chicago bid—and almost immediate rejection of that bid by the International Olympic Committee—the United States is looking to make this bid count. The Boston bid seems to be more of a cost-efficient proposal, rather than major spending on new venues as has been the norm in the last few bids.

The 2024 Olympics could include field hockey events at Harvard Stadium, archery at MIT and beach volleyball on the Boston Common, among other venues, taking advantage of the region’s many universities and public spaces.

In choosing Boston, the USOC bypassed Washington D.C. and two other cities, including

San Francisco and Los Angeles. L.A. is the host of the next US. Olympic Marathon Trials, and the awarding of that bid was seen as a move to bolster its Summer Olympics bid effort.

The Washington D.C. bid, which was led by local businessman Russ Ramsey and co-chaired by Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, included many of the area’s most prominent business and political leaders. It focused on constructing a new stadium on the site of RFK Stadium and an Olympic Village and tennis center along the Anacostia River that organizers hoped would help revitalize some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The IOC will make its final decision on a host city in September 2017. Other candidates could include Rome, Paris, the German cities of Hamburg or Berlin, and Durban or Johannesburg from South Africa.

A Durban or Johannesburg bid could lead to the first Olympics in Africa. A Paris Olympics would have the advantage of commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Games. Like Boston, Hamburg has never staged a Summer Games and Rome hasn’t hosted since 1960.

But unlike the failed Chicago bid, the U.S. bid seems to have a better chance of having its representative city be chosen for the Olympics. The USOC has worked hard to mend hard feelings and relationships between its group and the IOC, and sticky issues like money (isn’t it always about money?) and rights fees over broadcasts have been smoothed out.

Congratulations to Boston—now let’s figure out how traffic will be moving during the games on those narrow streets!

Reserve Your Space Now For NASC Event Webinar Hosted by AAU, Sponsored by MGM Resorts International

January 8, 2015

Join Jennifer Miles, Senior Sports Manager, as she discusses the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States 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 the webinar recording from the webinar archives page on www.sportscommissions.org.

Click here to reserve your space.

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars or would like to view them again, visit our webinar archives.

Please direct any questions, comments or topic suggestions regarding NASC Webinars to info@SportsCommissions.org.