Archive for February, 2016

A Win Comes with a Price

February 29, 2016



Photo courtesy of Troy Machir, Sporting News.


The coach of a California high school girls’ basketball team was suspended two games for a big win.

And we mean, big.

Arroyo Valley High School defeated Bloomington High School, 161-2 last month. And it’s not first time Arroyo Valley had won by large margins. The Hawks had scored more than 100 points twice before, but this 159-point win created enough backlash that the school felt it needed to act and suspended Coach Michael Anderson for the two games.

Not that benching the coach made much of a difference. In the first game without Coach Anderson, Arroyo Valley won, 80-19. The Hawks were coached by Anderson’s 19-year-old son.

For his part, Anderson said he talked with the Bloomington head coach before the game, explaining that this was the Hawks’ last game before league play and that his team was going to play hard. “I wanted to let him know there was no harm intended,” Anderson told the Orange County Register, “and that if he had any ideas or concerns just to let me know.”

Anderson benched his starters at halftime and told his players in the second half to run the shot clock down before trying to score, but it still ended up as a beyond-lopsided final score. And Bloomington’s head coach, Dale Chung, told the San Bernardino County Sun he wasn’t happy with the outcome. “People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team,” he said. “They should feel sorry for his team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.”

A few times a year, we read about this kind of a game—is it the coach’s fault for running up the score or is it the opposing team’s fault for not putting up more of a fight? In several high school sports, football and basketball included, many state associations allow a running clock if the score is lopsided—in California, a running clock isn’t allowed until the fourth quarter.

There’s a fine line between sportsmanship and letting players play. The reserves want to show their skills and often take the opportunity in ‘garbage time’ to do just that, at the expense of an undermanned opponent. The talent level is so inconsistent in youth sports, including high school girls’ basketball, that blowouts do happen. A two-game suspension probably won’t stop Arroyo Valley from winning by 100+ points again this season. The lesson for the players may be, how those games are won.

Building Community Relationships

February 23, 2016


Building relationships within your community is essential to the success of sporting events you host.  From venue support, event management, volunteer recruitment, fundraising and sponsorships, your local community holds the resources that rights holders look for when awarding events.

How do you begin?

  • Visit all prospective venues in your area. Get to know everything about them, build a relationship with their staff and learn who books their events.
    • Why?
      • A venue is usually the most critical component to a successful bid.
      • Their customers may become prospects and customers of yours.
    • Get to know all of the local clubs and sport organizations.
      • Where to find them?
        • Local news
        • Referrals
        • Google Alerts and Search Engines
        • Relationships with local venues
        • Club listings on national websites (i.e. National Governing Bodies)
      • Why?
        • They are the experts in their sport and invaluable resources in areas such as event management, vendor relationships, volunteers, and they may also have relationships with venues.
      • Reach out to local government; they may grant access to venues, provide support services, and/or offer financial support that could be essential to a successful proposal.
        • Parks and recreation departments
        • Police, fire and EMS
        • Department of Transportation
        • Elected officials such as a Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners
      • Be sure to include the business community in your outreach as they can may provide sponsorship opportunities and a pool for volunteers.

What tools are available to build and support your relationships?

  • Social media
  • Volunteering at sports events in your community
  • Join and/or serve on a board or committee for a club, organization or association
  • Create an event to bring your local sports community together to foster discussions and promote networking amongst themselves.

Bonny Bernat, CSEE
Senior Sports and Events Sales Manager
Visit Winston-Salem
NASC Mentoring Committee



Breaking Barriers through Adaptive Sports

February 23, 2016

Editor’s Note: Leading up to the NASC Symposium this spring, the NASC is highlighting adaptive sports athletes. The proceeds raised for the 2016 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward offsetting expenses for the Mary Free Bed and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis program, which provides equipment to individuals who are unable to afford their own. Each month we feature one of the adaptive athletes: This month we feature 32-year-old Matt Clements.

Matt Clements.jpg

I got involved in wheelchair tennis after meeting (wheelchair tennis athlete) Curt Bender when I was still at Mary Free Bed after I got hurt. He told me that sometime after I went home that I should come check it out. So after my little over three-month stay at Mary Free Bed and being home for a month I went to check it out just to “watch.” Well Coach Lynn (Bender) and a few other people helped to get me into a tennis chair and after that I never missed a practice probably for three or four years.

Wheelchair tennis is a HUGE reason of how I got back to all of the things I used to do before my injury that so many people told me that I would never be able to do. It also turned my path to recovery and to learn how to do things as a highway to recovery.

I remember Curt telling me one day that I was four or five years farther ahead of him after he had been in a chair for three years. None of that would have been possible without what is now Mary Free Bed sports.

Everyone helps each other out with their issues, problems, and whatever we can do for each other. The tennis team is like a big family and those of us who have been hurt longer do not hesitate to take someone newer to this life under our wing and teach them all of the little tricks and solutions to things that we know. We show them that there is nothing they can’t do.

For example, I still drive my big full-size truck and hook up to my big trailer and load whatever, hop down and get back into my chair, strap it down and be on my way all by myself. People are baffled over how I am able to just pop up into my truck, but I would probably not have been able to do any of this if it hadn’t been for Mary Free Bed sports.

I tell people that it is a great way to be active and have a whole bunch of fun with a bunch of great people. We are like a big family and support group, and you learn so much more than just tennis.

The Sad Side of Sports

February 22, 2016

A high school girls’ basketball game this past weekend between Pike and Ben Davis high schools, two Indianapolis-area schools, had to be called with five minutes left in the fourth quarter because of a fight that apparently involved both fans and players.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers

Photo courtesy of

Video posted on social media showed both players and fans on the court, although officials are not saying right now what may have started the incident.

At the time of the scuffle at Ben Davis’ gym, Pike was leading the game by a wide margin. Officials from both schools are scheduled to meet with the Indiana High School Athletic Association later this week.

In a statement, Ben Davis’ administration said, “We are extremely disappointed that good sportsmanship was not shown by the players involved in (today’s) girls basketball game at Ben Davis High School We are working closely with administrators at Pike High School and the IHSAA to determine exactly which players were involved in this incident.”

The statement continues: “This behavior is not representative of our values, beliefs or how we coach our student athletes. It is not reflective of the Ben Davis pride of our students, alumni and community share. And it certainly does not reflect the rich tradition and success of our girls basketball team. The Ben Davis players involved will face consequences at school, and we will comply with any consequences we receive from the IHSAA.”

For its part, the Pike athletic department Twitter feed posted this message: “Today’s girls’ BB incident was unfortunate! We are working with BD & IHSAA to investigate today’s occurrence.”

Last season the IHSAA hit Griffith and Hammond high schools with sanctions after a fight at a boys game, suspending both teams for the year. Eventually both schools got a temporary restraining order so they could play in the post-season tournament, and Griffith make it to the 3A championship game.

This investigation probably will go on for weeks, with sanctions expected on both sides. But when young players, girls or boys, see the behavior that goes on at some professional games, is it any wonder that scuffles break out? It makes it even more imperative for youth coaches to have proper training to make sure that nothing like this happens at their events.

Upcoming NASC Webinars – Register Now

February 16, 2016

Mark your calendars now! We have an awesome lineup of Best Practices and Event Webinars that you won’t want to miss. Check out the schedule below and reserve your spot today!
Strider Sports
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Ted Heuttle, Events Manager, Strider Sports, as he discusses his current RFP for the 2017 Strider Cup. There will be time at the end of the presentation for questions.

NASC Mentoring Program: Not Just for Newbies
Best Practices Webinar
Friday, February 26, 2016
2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. ET

Register Now

Join NASC Mentoring Committee co-chairs John David, CSEE, COO, USA BMX, and Mike Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority, as they share different ways the mentoring committee can help you get the most out of your NASC membership.


National Veterans Golden Age Games
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, March 14, 2016
2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Register Now

Join Jeanene LeSure from National Veterans Golden Age Games as she discusses her RFP for the 2020 Golden Age Games and what she looks for in a host destination.

Starting Your Own State Games
Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Register Now

Eric Engelbarts, National Congress of State Games membership chairman, will discuss how your CVB or Sports Commission can leverage your existing sport director relationships to build an event that you own and operate that can contribute to your mission of ‘heads in beds’ and act as a potential revenue source for your organization.
Webinar Archives
If you are unable to participate on any of the upcoming webinars, missed any recent webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices and Event Webinar Archives (login required).

February’s Featured Member Benefit – Allied and Rights Holder Member Mentoring

February 15, 2016

We continue our Featured Benefit for the month of February with a blog post by Mentoring Committee members Hank Pivarnik and Glen Schorr. They explain why mentors are useful for the Allied and Rights Holder levels of membership and some of the ways mentors can be utilized.

With a combined 23% of total NASC membership, the Allied and Rights Holder members comprise an important part of NASC. However, the needs of these categories of members differ from those of the Active members, which include destinations represented by sports commissions, DMOs, and parks and recreation departments, from across the country.

The primary purpose of the NASC Mentoring Committee is to connect new member organizations with an industry veteran to help guide them through the first year of membership and beyond. New members also get the “lay of the land” before the Symposium from their mentors. Not only prior to the Symposium but throughout the year, new members and first time attendees can rely on their mentor to answer any number of questions, offer ideas, share industry best practices, and more.

The primary benefit of mentoring for both Rights Holders and Allied Members is that it gives us a chance to speak with peers in a common language. We face the same issues. We have the same questions. We need the same information. And whether we have been in this business for one or thirty years, sometimes we just need to raise our hand and ask the question so we can do our job smarter. That is what the Mentoring Committee is for … to answer the question; whether you are an Allied Member, Rights Holder, or Active Member.

To learn more about how you can benefit from the NASC’s Mentoring Committee contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, at

Hank Pivarnik, CSEE
Director of Sport Sales, Hilton Worldwide
Member Mentoring Committee – Allied Representative

Glen Schorr
Executive Director, Orienteering USA
NASC Board of Directors & Member Mentoring Committee – Rights Holder Representative

Whether you’re a brand new member wanting advice about the Symposium or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for a second set of eyes on a proposal, the Mentoring Committee is here to help. Take a look at the committee roster and reach out today!

Tips for the RFP Process

February 9, 2016

Responding to an RFP can be a daunting task, especially in the sports market.  Yet, tackling an RFP piece-by-piece can make the process easier and, hopefully, yield lucrative results.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that the requirements are a good fit for your destination. Read the RFP thoroughly to see if you have the items needed to place a bid.  The bare bones necessary are the venues, hotel space, volunteer availability, expertise of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and a plan to deal with bid fees.  If you have any questions, pick up the phone and call the planner.  A phone call will go a long way, and allows you to find out what the hot button issues are. In some cases, what you might think is important actually may be unimportant for the planner.  Always ask the question. For example, if a bid specifies that your fields need to have lights but yours don’t, ask the planner if lack of lights is a deal breaker.  Another example might be that a client prefers Hilton properties, but the bulk of your rooms are with Marriott. If this happens, let the client know, and check to see if this will be an issue for the bid.

One of the most important steps in this process is to check the history of the event you are bidding on.  The best way to do this is to talk to the CVBs or Sports Commissions in cities that have hosted the event in the past.  Ask them about venues used, hotel pickup and if there were any challenges with the event operator.  Make sure to find out if they had any overall problems with the event.  This information is very valuable, and will help you in the RFP process.  It is important to also check the geographical history of the event – has the event ever occurred in your region? Some events are a better fit to certain areas of the country- what works in the South might not work as well in the North. It’s fine to let a client know that you have researched their event.  It shows that you are thorough and helps keep them transparent and communicative.

Many destinations cannot afford – or simply won’t pay – bid fees. Many times, a bid fee can be circumvented by offering concessions instead.  A list of concessions is usually provided along with the bid fee. These can include complimentary hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars etc.   Only the sales person and the destination marketing or sports organization can determine if you can address their concessions.  Perhaps you can form a partnership with a local rental car agency to get a reduced weekly rate in exchange for agency being listed as the sponsor. Airlines can be a bit challenging, however contact your local hub, they may be willing to work with you. Utilize relationships with the hotels in the area to obtain comp rooms for the proposal.  Some events will require two or more hotels to fill the comps. Always make sure the comp policy is consistent across hotels listed in the proposal.

Once you have collected all of the information required for the bid, prepare to submit the proposal. If you have not been able to meet all the concessions, it is still okay to submit. Several things can happen at this point. One response may be, that, although the concessions were not completely met, the facilities may be a better fit for the event. Another response could be a flat out no, however the organizer now is aware what you are able to do and may come back for future events.

It is important to ask for decision dates as a part of the proposal submission. If it is not specifically addressed in the RFP, make sure to ask. This allows organizations to hold space at facilities until decision time. Some facilities will place the space on “hold” for a certain number of days and give the event planner the “right of refusal” for the dates. In that case the organization on “hold” will have to go to contract and send a deposit for the space. Some organizations will request a site visit as a part of the decision process. With years of experience, it is safe to say a site visit should typically last two days to include venue and hotel options.

John Gibbons, CSEE
Executive Director of the RI Sports Commission

Ron Eifert, CSEE
Senior Sales Manager
Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau

February’s Featured Member Benefit – Active Member Mentoring

February 8, 2016

Last week we introduced Member Mentoring as the Featured Benefit of the Month. This week we put the spotlight on how our Active Members use the mentoring committee. Mary Lee Malmberg is an Active member who currently serves on the
Mentoring Committee. She reflects upon her early experiences with her mentor and how Active members of all experience levels can use this NASC service.

“The Member Mentoring Committee is available to all members of NASC regardless of their years of experience in the industry! Many of our members volunteered to serve on this committee because someone else helped them when
they needed advice and assistance. The majority of questions we receive are from individuals new to the sports travel industry. Questions range from “what can I expect to get out of Symposium” to “who should serve on my
sports committee.”

When I was new to the industry I was mentored by Denny Gann, one of the founding members of NASC. I was preparing my first proposal for a national tournament and Denny kindly reviewed my work and made suggestions to make the
bid stronger. The story has a happy ending because Cedar Rapids was awarded the tournament! I have always appreciated the insight and help a fellow NASC member gave me!

The CVB and Sports Commission members serving on NASC’s Member Mentoring Committee have many combined years of industry experience. We are here to answer questions, provide advice, brainstorm or lend an understanding ear to
inquiring minds from small or large organizations regardless of years of experience!”

Mary Lee Malmberg
CSEE, Director of Sports Tourism
Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Whether you’re a brand new member wanting advice about the Symposium or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for a second set of eyes on a proposal, the Mentoring Committee is here to help. Take a look at the committee roster and reach out today!

Upcoming Best Practices Webinar – Register Now

February 3, 2016

Join NASC Mentoring Committee co-chairs John David, CSEE, COO, USA BMX and Mike Price, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Lansing Sports Authority, as they share different ways the mentoring committee can help you get the most out of your NASC membership!

You don’t have to be a new member or new to the industry to utilize the mentoring committee, as many industry veterans still connect with their mentor to discuss ideas and share experiences. All three membership categories are represented within the committee, which consists of over 200 years of cumulative sport tourism industry experience and knowledge. Questions about the benefits and resources available to members, the NASC Symposium and industry related topics are just a few examples of how the mentoring committee is able to assist. There will also be time to ask John and Mike questions during the webinar.

Who should attend this webinar? All members! Whether you are a new NASC member, a new hire at an NASC member organization, new to the sport tourism industry or have been around for years, we encourage you to attend!

Date: Friday, February 26
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Register Now!

If you’ve missed any of our recent Best Practices Webinars, or would like to view them again, visit our Best Practices Webinar Archives (login required).

February’s Featured Member Benefit – Member Mentoring

February 1, 2016

Throughout the month of February, we will be highlighting how the Mentoring Committee can offer assistance in many areas of the sport tourism industry. The main purpose of this committee is to cultivate relationships with new members and help guide them through their first year of membership.

The Mentoring Committee educates members about benefits and resources that will help them make the most of their NASC membership. Both new members and those who have been in the game for years can utilize the Member Mentoring program.

One of the greatest assets of the Mentoring Committee is the wide array of background and experience on various industry topics, which consists of over 200 years of cumulative sport tourism industry related knowledge. All three membership categories are represented within the committee – Active, Allied and Rights Holder.

Keep an eye out for these blogs and sign up to attend our Best Practices Webinar, Mentoring: Not Just For Newbies on Friday, February 26 @ 2pm ET to learn more about how the Mentoring Committee can help you!

Check out the Member Mentoring page to view the committee roster and read each mentor’s bio!

DSC_8599Mentors, designated by their jerseys, meet with their First Time Attendee Mentees at the 2015 NASC Sports Event Symposium in Milwaukee, WI.