Archive for September, 2015

Getting the most of the venues you have

September 29, 2015

Fenway Park in Boston has been the home for football, for concerts, for hockey, and now, this winter, it will be the home for big-air snowboarding. “Big Air at Fenway” will bring in top winter extreme athletes to compete on a 140-foot snow ramp inside the park. With the winter Boston had last season, having enough snow or cold shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, organizers say they’ll just truck in enough snow for the athletes.

“I think it’s more that we see Fenway as a community gathering place, and doing high-profile, blue-chip events outside of baseball season a couple times a year is an appealing thing for the community,” according to Red Sox and Fenway Sports Management President Sam Kennedy. “A lot of them are a return to a past. Soccer had happened way back in the early part of the century, and the Patriots even played at Fenway and Boston College played at Fenway way back, so I think we’ve been inspired by Fenway’s history and actually bringing these events back in terms of a return to the past.”

More and more venues are getting more and more use out of their facilities by opening them up to new ideas and new sports. Yes, sometimes it’s a pure gimmick, as with the U.S. Synchronized Swim Team performing routines in what was called the largest swim tank in Times Square history last week, but it’s another way to expose what may be a niche sport to more people. You can bet Fenway will be sold out for the Big Air event.

(Boston, MA, 09/22/15) Fenway Sports Management (FSM) and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) during a press conference announce a big air ski and snowboard competition that will take place at Fenway Park in February.  A drawing of the massive snow ramp within the park on Tuesday,  September  22, 2015.  Staff photo by Matt Stone

Drawing courtesy of Fenway Sports Management

NASC Upcoming Best Practices and Event Webinars – Register Now

September 29, 2015

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 5, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Bert Wells, CEO, Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and his team as they discuss Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions 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 5th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


USA Archery
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 19, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Sheri Rhodes, National Events Manager, USA Archery, as she discusses USA Archery 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 19th, remember you can download the webinar recording from ourwebinar archives page (login required).


Prospecting for Events
Best Practices Webinar
Thursday, October 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, NASC, as he discusses best practices for prospecting events. Don will share his top methods for sourcing events, as well as prospecting opportunities and strategies. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.

Sports at its best

September 21, 2015

So it seems as if we’ve talked a lot about the bad stuff that’s happened in high school games recently. Here’s a feel-good story of what youth sports CAN accomplish.

Northwest High School in the Cincinnati area recently had its second Breast Cancer Awareness soccer game. It started with a player whose aunt was battling the disease and he wanted to do something to show his support. As the team planned its first awareness game, they found out that another soccer player’s mother also was dealing with breast cancer.

At this year’s game the varsity team wore pink socks and jerseys to support those fighting the disease, and to honor those who are no longer here. Fans were encouraged to wear pink and to donate to the cause, and they chipped in hundreds of dollars.

Another area club team, Cincinnati United, raised almost $9,000 through the sale of t-shirts and donated the money to CancerFREE Kids to recognize Childhood Cancer Month.

It’s a cause that many high school and youth sports teams have picked up in recent years. The “Volley for a Cure” among volleyball teams has raised thousands of dollars, and on the college level both men’s and women’s basketball have special breast cancer awareness games.

With headlines dominated recently by high school players behaving badly, it’s good to see youth teams that are thinking of their community and how to help others. It’s a good lesson to learn both on and off the court, the field, or the pitch.

Photo courtesy Northwest High School

Photo courtesy Northwest High School

Call for Proposals Now Open for 2016 Symposium

September 17, 2015

The NASC is pleased to announce that the call for speaking proposals is now open for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium.  The event will take place April 4-7, 2016 in Grand Rapids, MI. Proposals will be accepted through October 30, 2015.

Emphasis is placed on curriculum that is relevant and timely based on what leaders in the sports tourism industry are experiencing. Education sessions are designed to raise the level of professionalism and provide training that leads to career advancement in the field of sports tourism.

The 2016 NASC Symposium educational offerings will include keynote presentations, breakout sessions, deep dives, “next” practices, and speed learning sessions.  Although not applicable to all education styles, it is preferred that breakout and deep dive sessions include both a presentation (individual or panel) and a practical application exercise.

Sessions vary in length. All sessions include 5 minutes for speaker introductions, sponsor recognition, and announcements.

Please note the following before submitting:

  • Deadline for submissions is Friday, October 30
  • All proposals must be submitted online
  • All proposals must be completed in full
  • You may submit a maximum of three proposals

Click here to submit a proposal.

DSC_9639

Rules of Engagement

September 17, 2015

It’s happened again.

In the span of just over a week, another high school referee has been assaulted during a football game, and again it happened in Texas.

This time the incident involved a player from San Antonio’s St. Anthony High School who, video shows, shoved a referee following an altercation on the field during the game.

Here’s the setup: The player had been penalized for being involved in a scuffle on the field during play, but after the flag was thrown the player pushed the referee who called the penalty by the shoulders before his teammates pulled him away.

No surprise, the player was tossed from the game after that.

Of course, all this comes on the heels of the incident at John Jay High School the week before, where video shows two John Jay players targeting a backfield judge, one knocking the referee down, the second one spearing him as he was on the ground.

What is precipitating these acts? Maybe there is no correlation between the two. In the case of the John Jay incident, the players now are claiming the targeted referee used racial slurs against them. For his part, the umpire is considering criminal charges.

But now we have video of the incidents, and we can see how disturbing the acts are. And perhaps it all has to do with the pressure of winning, especially in football-mad Texas. For his part, the top athletic official in John Jay’s school district, said, “This is the first time I’ve ever witnessed and experienced (anything like this) in the realm of athletics.”

While coaches have the responsibility to teach their players the lessons of sportsmanship and fair play, event organizers now have the responsibility of what to do when the rules aren’t followed. In Indiana, for example, referees suspended a season-opening football game after players got into a shoving match, which seems pretty tame after the referee-assault incidents we’ve now seen.

Schools and athletic conferences as well as event rights holders who produce out-of-school events now have to worry about not just the safety of players, but the safety of the referees, umpires and others paid to keep order at the games. The bottom line is, this has to stop to keep organized sports alive. Today, the issue is football. Tomorrow, it just might be basketball.

Photo courtesy of MaxPreps.

Photo courtesy of MaxPreps.

NASC Upcoming Webinars – Register Now

September 16, 2015

We have a great line-up of both Best Practices Webinars and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!


A to Z Guide to Organizing a Sports Event
Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
2:30pm – 3:30pm ET

Register Now

Join us on Wednesday, September 23rd @ 2:30pm ET as Bill Hanson, CSEE, Author of the A to Z Guide to Organizing a Sports Event, and Jeff Gayduk, Publisher, Premier Travel Media, discuss their top recommendations for organizing a sporting event. Bill will share information on the best way to get started, how to take your event to the next level and what tools are needed to conduct a successful, sustainable event. Jeff will discuss why it is so important for a sports organization to utilize the A to Z Guide when organizing a sports event. If you are unable to join us on the 23rd, you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 5, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Bert Wells, CEO, Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and his team as they discuss Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions 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 5th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


USA Archery
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 19, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Sheri Rhodes, National Events Manager, USA Archery, as she discusses USA Archery 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 19th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Prospecting for Events
Best Practices Webinar
Thursday, October 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, NASC, as he discusses best practices for prospecting events. Don will share his top methods for sourcing events, as well as prospecting opportunities and strategies. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Webinar Archives

If you’ve missed any of our recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives or our Event Webinar Archives.

Phil Keoghan, Host/Co-Executive Producer of The Amazing Race, to Share His N.O.W. Philosophy to CSEE and Market Segment Meeting Participants

September 10, 2015

The NASC is finalizing the plans for the Fall 2015 CSEE Module and Market Segment Meetings, scheduled for September 29-30 at the Antler’s Hilton in Colorado Springs, CO.

KeoghanPhil2014Part of this final preparation involved having a telephone conversation with our keynote presenter, Phil Keoghan, Host/Co-Executive Producer of Jerry Bruckheimer’s Emmy Award-Winning television show, The Amazing Race and author of No Opportunity Wasted.

When the NASC approached Phil about speaking at the fall meeting, we indicated to him that the membership would enjoy his perspective on event/operational components in his role as Co-Executive Producer of The Amazing Race.  In many ways, the television show can be compared to events our members host and own. Phil has experience working with local organizing committees, production teams, hospitality communities, travel and housing bureaus, and more.

It was clear during the planning call he understands and “gets” what our members do and is excited to bring his passion for thinking outside the box, using your imagination as your currency, and letting go of the handrails – all life philosophies he writes about in his book – to our meeting.

CSEE and Market Segment Meeting attendees should expect to be entertained, encouraged, and challenged by Phil’s message.  He is dedicated to continual learning and for people to look at what they do day after day in a new way.

If you have not yet registered, please click here.  If you need to book your room at Antler’s Hilton, please click here.  The cutoff for the room block has been extended to September 14.

For more information, contact Lori Gamble, Associate Executive Director, at Lori@SportsCommissions.org or 513.842.8309.

Tackling the issue of sportsmanship

September 8, 2015

We know they take their football seriously in Texas, but this is over the top.

You probably have seen the video of the football game between two San Antonio-area high schools, John Jay High and Marble Falls, where a backfield referee was blindsided from behind by one John Jay player, then speared by a second as he was still down.

No surprise, both players were thrown out of the game, and both are suspended from the team pending the investigation.

What triggered all of this? Again, the investigation is still under way, but a couple of plays earlier, the team’s quarterback, who also plays defense, was ejected from the game while on defense. A fourth John Jay player had been tossed out earlier in the game.

When you watch the video, it seems obvious that the first player who runs into the back of the referee had the move planned. It wasn’t an accidental collision, the player aimed for the ref. So, it looks like, did the second player.

Of course, the investigation will tell more of the story. But it may never tell us what got into the heads of these athletes to even think that crushing a referee would be acceptable behavior. Sure, they may have been upset that their teammates had been thrown out of the game, but leveling a referee is hardly the way to settle the issue.

The larger issue is, why haven’t the lessons of fair play, respecting authority and following rules been taught? It’s easy sometimes to blame the kids. Maybe it’s time to put the microscope on the adults in charge who know better. Or should.

ref-tackled-3-e1441571083929

photo courtesy of wgso.com

Keeping Spectators Safe

September 2, 2015

Anyone in the events business knows that one big concern is keeping spectators safe. Often the emphasis is at the point of entry: Checking bags and ‘wanding’ spectators is now the norm at professional sporting events, and is happening more and more at the amateur level.

But now, safety issues are shifting to venues themselves. The issue has turned tragic this past week, with the death of a spectator at Turner Field, who fell over the railing of an upper deck. It’s the third fatal fall at Turner Field since 2008. Earlier this month, Justin Verlander and other Detroit Tigers called for baseball to extend netting to protect fans after a fan was struck in the seats at Comerica Park, and that comes after a spectator was seriously hurt at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway.

We know that attending a sporting event carries its own level of risk, as is spelled out on the backs of most of our event tickets. But railing height has been almost as much of an issue as extending the nets down the base lines to protect fans. Atlanta Braves’ officials say the new Braves stadium is designed to have higher railings, even though the present railings meet safety standards. The International Building Code mandates that venues like Turner Field and the Rangers’ ballpark, where, four years ago, a fan reached over the outfield wall to retrieve a tossed baseball and fell 20 feet to his death, have rail heights of 33 inches, increasing to 42 inches at the base of aisles. Those guidelines still have not prevented fan-falling incidents at those parks as well as the Georgia Dome and St. Louis’ Busch Stadium in recent years.

And here are some sobering stats: There are 53,000 foul balls that enter the seats every year, according to Edwin Comber, creator of foulballz.com. And 1,750 spectators are injured every season by batted balls at major league games, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg News.

It will be costly for stadiums to upgrade their facilities, and they’re reluctant to obstruct lines of sight because they don’t want to encourage fans to stay at home where they can get an even clearer, closer view of the game from their HD television. But if it continues to become a major safety issue, something will need to be done, and soon. Don’t wait for someone else to die.

Photo courtesy pa baseball netting.

Photo courtesy pa baseball netting.