Archive for the ‘bright ideas’ Category

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
Bonny@Visitwinstonsalem.com
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

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).

How to Successfully Prospect

January 26, 2016

Sporting events represent an opportunity to showcase and to make a significant economic impact on your community.  Where should you start in the process of securing events and meetings?

Strengths:

To be effective with your time, you need is to evaluate what events could work in your area, especially the resources that you have available for your use.  These resources are primarily facilities and people.

  • What types of facilities do you have available to host events? Don’t limit your vision to “major” complexes.  There are a variety of options that may work including city facilities, parks, colleges, public and private schools, open spaces, hotels and even your roads.
  • Who in your community has interest, expertise and understanding of sports? Do they have relationships with event planners and will they be an advocate for you?  Who has access to recruiting volunteers who are knowledgeable with sport? Who will help collaborate to bring events to your community and to insure that they are successful?

Opportunities:

The variety and number of available meetings and events is extensive.  There are events that will work for all regions and others that you should not pursue.  There is no reason to spend any resources on pursuing a downhill skiing event if you live in Florida.  Some other topics for event marketers to explore include:

  • What types of events could work in your community?
    • Which events have a significant fan and participant base in your area?
    • What sports have an interest in growing or breaking into your area?
    • What events work in your facilities? What events have similar elements to those events?
    • What events are the facility managers interested in pursuing?
  • Look at what similar towns/cities in your area and in the country are doing. What is your competition hosting?
  • When are there “holes” in your City’s calendar, where bringing in events would make the biggest economic impact? If you live in a beach community, perhaps a winter event would have more impact than a July event when your community is already busy.

Resources / History:

There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  As a member of the National Association of Sports Commissions, you have access to research, meetings and events that are available for bid and access to other NASC members.  Utilize these resources.

Part of the vetting process is to research the history of the events and event organizers.  Are the elements in their RFP realistic? Is bidding on this event and making an investment in time, and potentially money, going to have a return on your investment?  Does history confirm their claims of room nights and economic impact?  Do they pay their bills?  Use the internet as a tool and call the CVBs / Sports Commissions that have hosted these events in the past.

Many RFPs are a starting point in the bid / negotiation process.  Many event planners will ask for everything and the kitchen sink up front.  After vetting the event and deciding that it is something that you want to pursue, even if you can’t match all of the bid elements, feel free to counter offer and make your pitch on why the event would be successful in your community.

Bidding:

Make sure that the event makes sense for your community.  It may be okay to take a loss on an event if it helps you gain exposure, grow your event portfolio or lead to other events.  Take a long range view of event procurement.

Let the event planner know the strengths of your community including who will be involved in the bid and execution of the event if you win it.   Why should the event come to your community?  Can you draw spectators and participants?  What is your experience in the sport?  Can your community provide expertise, volunteers, financial backing?  Is there a legacy if the event does come?

Conclusion:

There are sporting events and meetings that will work for all communities.  Start by looking at your strengths and then match these with the available opportunities.

Bob Murdock
Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau
860-882-1103
robertm@ctcsb.org

Upcoming Best Practices Webinar – Register Now

January 7, 2016

Mark your calendar! Next Thursday, Linda Logan, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Columbus Sports Commission, will present the 2nd edition of Turning a Loss into a Win, which was initially presented at the 2015 NASC Symposium in Milwaukee, WI. Check out the details below, and reserve your spot today!

Date – January 14, 2016
Time – 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Presenter – Linda Logan, CSEE, Executive Director, Greater Columbus Sports Commission

Join Linda as she discusses the 2nd edition of turning a loss into a win and how to make a losing bid into a winning strategy. Linda will share “failure to success” stories and how she and her team was able turn the agony of defeat into the thrill of victory. If you are unable to join us on the 14th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).

Register Now

Webinar Archives

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

Managing Expectations

December 29, 2015

One of the most important aspects of any tradeshow is managing expectations. There’s a reason that destinations and sports event planners see a tradeshow as a helpful marketing tool. Instead of trying to maintain relationships at arm’s length, you have a chance to actually meet the people you do business with and connect with your peers.

Attending your first sports tradeshow, however, can be a bit overwhelming and certainly confusing at times.  Conducting a little research before heading to the NASC Sports Event Symposium will go a long way.

When the online appointment portal opens, the first registered attendee from your organization will be able to view the list of registered organizations with whom you have an opportunity to meet. Doing a little research to find out if your destination or your sports event is a good match will save you a lot of time.  At the tradeshow, the 10-minute appointment will be over before you know it. Having as much information about who you are meeting with will provide you more time to establish key relationships. The more you know before you go will provide you with more confidence during your scheduled appointments.

Now let’s talk giveaways. From my experience, during your appointments, less is more when it comes to swag – especially when most of what you are giving away will end up as trash. Trying to juggle giveaways, take notes, and exchange business cards is a lot to manage. Business cards are typically all you need.  Following up after the show is the best way to continue the dialogue. If you say you will follow up with specific items, make sure you do.

You may come back with a couple of leads and you may come back with only business cards. The most important takeaway from attending the Symposium is the relationships you are beginning to cultivate.

Remember that the goal of any tradeshow marketing experience goes way beyond just making sales and closing deals. Building your brand, promoting your destination, sport, or services, networking with peers and potential new clients, and sizing up competitors in your industry are all part of the tradeshow experience. All of these takeaways should be accurately reflected as tangible goals in your tradeshow marketing efforts.

Cheryl McCullough
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

Off-season planning for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium

December 15, 2015

It’s the season of lists. Holiday shopping, wish lists, parties, and making sure you end up on the “nice” list. In the spirit of lists, here’s your NASC 2016 Sports Event Symposium “TO DO” list. Right now is the best time to do your off-season prep, get organized, take care of the logistics, and position yourself to rock it in the new year. Grand Rapids, here we come.

(1) Get registered! You have to be there April 3-7, 2016 to take advantage of this direct selling, education, networking opportunity. It only takes a few clicks. Don’t forget the add-ons and let NASC know if this is your first Symposium. See? Easy.

(2) Make your hotel reservation. You have two choices in Grand Rapids, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel or the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. You can’t go wrong with either property. Both have plenty of amenities and are convenient to the action at DeVos Place Convention Center. (Room blocks will sell out, so don’t delay on this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

(3) Book your flight/make travels plans. Local airport is GRR with plenty of lift — 6 airlines and 22 major market direct flights. Or, if you feel the need to road trip, Grand Rapids is easy to get to. Our NASC staff made the trek via car last summer from Cincinnati in under six hours with no speeding tickets (I think).

(4) Update your member profile. This is a good idea any time of the year, but especially when your potential partners are looking for you in prep for the Symposium. Logon to the NASC website and search for yourself in the member directory.  Make sure your POC is current and your message is relevant to your goals for your meetings this spring. It’s the NASC version of Googling yourself.

(5) Ok, now for additional cool stuff. The NASC Member Awards program is great way to recognize those in our industry that deserve our praise. Learn more here.

There are also opportunities to do good work and leave a mark on the local community while in Grand Rapids. Watch for details on the Sports Legacy Fund Community Service Project and get involved by joining your fellow colleagues at a local park clean up. We’d love to see everyone ready with sleeves rolled up. Don’t fret about the weather, no one froze last year! The Sports Legacy Fund silent auction and raffle will benefit the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Wheelchair Tennis Program. This organization assists hundreds of children and adults participate in a variety of organized team sports. Details on donating can be found here. Please, please bring your raffle ticket CA$H and your credit card with the highest limit.

(6) Get your clients to Grand Rapids. Are your current partners NASC members? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see them at the Symposium?  Why not personally invite them to join the association and meet you there. If you need membership info or would like a member of the Membership Committee to contact them, just say the word.

There you have it. Include this list with all the others. Check these items off now to be ready when the Symposium season arrives. See you in Grand Rapids. Ready…..Go!

Janna Clark, CSEE
Elizabethtown Sports Park
NASC Board of Directors
NASC Mentoring Committee

Winning isn’t everything…

August 17, 2015

In this age of “everybody’s a winner” in youth sports, and trophies are handed out just for showing up, Pittsburgh Steeler James Harrison has given us a different perspective on who should get a trophy when.

In a lengthy Instagram post this weekend, Harrison showed a couple of trophies his sons “earned” and then explained why his kids won’t be keeping them:

I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. #harrisonfamilyvalues

Now we can all argue the value of giving out participation awards to young athletes—it motivates them to be in sports, it makes them feel good about their participation, etc.—but James Harrison has a point: How do you know if you’re any good if you get an award for just being part of the game?

Harrison maybe is taking his opinion to the extreme, but it’s still an interesting topic. And it says volumes about how kids are being raised. Because how do they handle losing later in life, if they’ve always been told that they’re a winner–and have the hardware to prove it?

James Harrison Post

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Steeler, James Harrison

Tragedy in Kansas..

August 3, 2015
Photo courtesy nbcphiladelphia.com

Photo courtesy nbcphiladelphia.com

We talk a lot about getting kids involved in sports, and we all know it’s a great thing for youngsters to learn teamwork, playing by the rules, etc. But every once in a while tragedy seeps into our mission of sports.

Case in point: A 9-year-old bat boy who was hit in the head as a player was taking practice swings died Sunday evening of his injuries. Kaiser Carlile, who was a bat boy for the Liberal Bee Jays, an amateur baseball team, was retrieving a bat (and wearing his helmet) when a player warming up took a practice swing during Saturday’s game and hit Kaiser in the head. Absolutely an accident, but a tragedy nonetheless.

Kaiser was injured near the on-deck circle during the game on Saturday, a playoff game in the National Baseball Congress World Series. He was initially treated by the home plate umpire, an experienced paramedic, before being rushed to Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. A spokesman for the National Baseball Congress confirmed Kaiser was wearing a helmet, which is mandatory for all teams.

Perhaps this statement from National Baseball Congress General Manager Kevin Jenks says it best: “It’s difficult to remember a day that is darker than this one. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense and this accident certainly is a memorable example. Kaiser was simply doing something he loved.”

A couple of reminders here: First, anyone involved in youth sports or events management knows that importance of having first aid, athletic trainers and an ambulance on site. Second, accidents do happen that no amount of medical personnel can prevent. This tragedy is not a reason to keep kids away from sports, but there’s a good chance new safety rules and/or equipment may come into play in the future to try to prevent future accidents like this.

Upcoming NASC Webinar Schedule – Register Now

July 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!



National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Mark Krug, Assistant Executive Director, NJCAA, as he discusses the National Junior College Athletic Association and what it takes to land their events. Recently, NJCAA uploaded RFP’s to our Event RFP Database for 15 different events with multiple years available. If you haven’t checked these out, be sure to do so! There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions. If you are unable to join us on the 4th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (login required).



US Corporate Games

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Kurt Aichele, CEO US Corporate Games, as he discusses US Corporate Games 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 18th, remember you can download the webinar recording from the webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.



Utilizing Social Media for Events

Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

Register Now

Join Jackie Reau, CEO, Game Day Communications, as she discusses best practices for utilizing social media for events. If you are unable to join us on the 26th, remember you can download a recording of the presentation on the webinar archives page of www.SportsCommissions.org (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.

NASC Member Awards

November 24, 2014

The annual NASC Member Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of our members and are presented at the NASC Sports Event Symposium each year. Member Awards are the highest honor an organization or individual in the sports tourism industry can receive as they are created and awarded by industry peers.

For the 2015 Member Awards, activities, events, marketing campaigns, web strategies, etc. must have occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

Click here to view organizational and individual award categories.

Submitting an Entry:

Entries are due by Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:59pm ET.
Contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, with any questions about Member Awards.

Judging Policy:

Organizational Awards: Each judging panel will be comprised of three individuals (one Awards committee member and two NASC members at-large).  Judges may not submit an entry for the category which they are judging.
Individual Awards: Each Awards Committee member will serve as a judge for individual awards.  Committee members may not submit an entry for individual awards

Prospecting in the NASC Sports Marketplace

August 18, 2014

Let’s talk for a few minutes about Sports Marketplaces. The NASC developed the first Sports Marketplace in the late nineties and since then it’s become an intricate part of the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium. And looking at the recent responses from our meeting in Oklahoma City, we can tell that your interest in the sports marketplace is as high as or higher than ever, and it turns out to be the number one reason why many of you attend the symposium and we understand that. One of the questions I would ask you though is to determine for yourself whether you’re prepared for the sports marketplace before you begin. And now we’re talking from the cities point of view, because one of the concerns, I personally have is, that many of you are relatively inexperienced in the industry are expecting to go to the Sports Event Marketplace and pick up business in 10 to 12 minutes, when you’re not even sure whether your destination can host the events you’re talking about. How do you fix that?

First, don’t go to a Sports Marketplace until you know the kinds of events you can host, and which age groups, and why. And if you don’t know that, you’re going to have to find somebody to help you determine what you can do before you talk to anybody. Because what happens is, a very simple prophecy is fulfilled if you don’t know whether you can handle the event or not, and you show the event owner in a sports marketplace appointment that that’s the case, what you’re doing is losing the business, rather than gaining the business.

What’s a proper approach to a sports marketplace appointment? Be prepared, be absolutely ready with what you can do and don’t take appointments with people who have events that you can’t handle. How do you find out where these events are? You go to the Rights Holder section of our database and you can find hundreds of event owners, and you can determine by sport which ones you ought to be talking to. And it makes common sense, to go ahead and do your homework before you go to the marketplace, at all.

Now, there has been some thought about restricting appointments at the marketplace to people who have been members and have attended the symposium for at least two years, and not have marketplace appointments with new people. That, of course, is not what we are going to do. Instead, I think you’re going to find the NASC to rely itself increasingly on Rapid RFP Review sessions; where an event rights holder meets with 10 or 12, or 15 of you at one time, “Here’s what we’ve got, this is what we’re looking for, go off do your homework. When you know you have it, get in touch with us, let’s talk then.” That’s a great way to do this. What is not a great way is to say to yourself before you arrive on-site for a sports marketplace series of appointments, is all I have to do to be successful in this business is to have a bunch of appointments, talk to a bunch of people, I’ll make friends and they’ll want to do business with me.” That’s not the way this business works, never has, never will, and it will be a waste of your time and a waste of the other event owners time, also.

I wish you well in all of your marketplace appointments, but I also, would wish preparation and the understanding that in 10 to 12 minutes you can lose a relationship faster than you can gain one. It is a terrific way to go back and say hi to old friends and acquaintances, and remind them that you are still interested in doing business with them. It is a terrible way to show people that you’re too new to know what’s going on.

Video blog: Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director
National Association of Sports Commissions
513.281.3888     –     http://www.sportscommissions.org 
Published  August 18, 2014