Archive for the ‘Community Relations’ 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

 

 

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
JGibbons@GoSportsRI.ocm

Ron Eifert, CSEE
Senior Sales Manager
Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau
reifert@daytoncvb.net

Mom Gets Back Into Sports through Mary Free Bed Program

January 25, 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 Suzanne Egeler.

Hi, I am Suzanne Egeler, a 44-year-old mother of four girls.  I have been involved with Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Sports for almost 14 years.

Suzanne photo

I got involved in the sports programs shortly after my third daughter was born.  I was really discouraged with my weight gain and asked my doctor at Mary Free Bed what he suggested I do to lose some weight; his immediate and enthusiastic answer was TENNIS!

I met with a recreational therapist and tried out a few different activities…swimming, wheelchair racing, basketball, handcycling, and (yes) tennis.

I purchased a handcycle, which enabled me to go on bike rides with my husband and children.  I’ve even done the 5/3 Riverbank 25k a couple of times. But tennis ended up being exactly what I needed to get motivated to exercise.  After one tennis practice, I was hooked.   Lots of cardio, great competition, and lasting friendships with other wheelchair-using athletes.

I was always involved in sports from a young age and had forgotten how much fun exercising could be, with a group of friends. I am so grateful to have Mary Free Bed Wheelchair Sports and all of the programs it provides.

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

Put sports on your giving list

December 14, 2015

As you’re doing your holiday shopping this season, you can’t help but notice a plethora of requests for donations. Besides the Red Kettle on the corner, you’ll often see on your credit card checkout pad a request to add a dollar for a number of good causes, from homeless pets to meals for the hungry.

youth lacrosse

Photo courtesy of Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation

While you’re considering year-end gifts, don’t forget about some of the non-profit sports organizations in your own back yard. Whether it’s a local youth baseball team, or even the sports commission or sports corporation that may help you as a rights holder or event manager put on events, all would appreciate a donation at this time of year.

And what will that donation mean? Well, it can help continue a youth basketball program whose gym rental fee went up this year; it can help an inner-city Pop Warner football team buy new gear, including safer helmets and pads; and it can help a sports corporation pay the filing fees for new events that it wants to bring to your area.

Big or small, any gift is appreciated by these groups. And the best part of it is, you can see how that gift pays off with more sporting events and more people participating in sports. According to the U.S. Department of Education, student-athletes in the lower grades are four times more likely to attend college than their counterparts who do not play. And Up2Us Sports says student-athletes have an 11% higher graduation rate than non-athletes.

All in all, sports is a good investment, no matter what time of year it is. Putting your favorite sports non-profit on your year-end giving list helps invest in the future of sports.

NASC Upcoming Webinars – Register Now

November 18, 2015

Mark your calendars now! 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!



Tips for Building Community Relationships
Best Practices Webinar
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

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. Join Bonny Bernat of Visit Winston-Salem as she shares best practices used in hosting events in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. If you are unable to join us on the 24th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).



USA Triathlon

Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Thursday, December 17, 2015
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

Register Now

Join Brian D’Amico, National Events Senior Manager, USA Triathlon, as he discusses USA Triathlon 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 17th, 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.

Contact the Member Services Department if you have any questions.

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

Finding funding: Sometimes it comes to you

July 28, 2015

So you have a great idea for a new event for your facility: It would bring in hundreds of athletes who would stay multiple days and bring in thousands of dollars to the local economy.

Or, you’d like to expand your facility, adding fields or courts, which would allow you to bring in bigger, better events. All sounds good, but the bottom line, as they say, is the bottom line: How to pay for all of this?

It’s a universal issue that all organizations, rights holders, facility operators, high school and college athletic departments or team managers face. You may have great ideas, but you don’t have the resources to fund them. Where does the money come from?

As a sports corporation or CVB, you might ask your sales staff to acquire more sponsorships or partnerships. (what your sales staff says after you leave the room, well, that’s out of our control)

We already know that more colleges and universities, especially those outside the “Power Five” conferences, are looking to beer sales at games to help fund the athletic department. A year ago, there were 21 on-campus football stadiums where any fan of legal age could grab a brew. That’s more than twice as many as five years ago.

Troy University Athletic Director John Hartwell estimated that beer would account for $200,000 in commissions for the season. According to its contract with concessionaire Sodexo, Troy receives 43 percent of gross beer sales at its 30,000-seat stadium, or better than $2 for every $5 beer.

But sometimes the money comes to you, through an endowment. A trend that started in the Ivy League and spread to other schools is now becoming the new way to save that school from paying a salary.

The most recent example? Richard Corbett, a Florida real-estate executive who served as the business manager of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, gave $35 million to the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1960.

Of the total, $25 million will go for a new building to house the anthropology and psychology departments and a digital-media center. He also directed $10 million of the gift to endow the university’s head football coach position.

In another case, Xavier’s men’s basketball coach, Chris Mack, is now the Sedler Family Men’s Head Basketball Coach after Tom and Genny Sedler provided Xavier with the endowment to fund Coach Mack’s salary. The endowment basically allows the university to take the money that would go to salaries and use it somewhere else.

The academic side has been doing this for decades, as donors have funded the “so-and-so-chair for chemical engineering research” at universities around the country. So how can you get the endowment idea to work for you?

It might come in the form of a civic-minded philanthropist who wants to fund a new soccer or basketball complex, or a company that can use foundation dollars to help a community cause while getting its name out in public.

This is a time we all have to be creative to find sponsorship and partnership dollars. Doing a form of an endowment might be the way to get your project from the drawing board, into the community.

ball field

How to Incorporate Community Service Projects Into Your Events

June 11, 2015

Join Michelle Haider, Meetings & Event Services Manager, VISIT Milwaukee, and Mike Guswiler, President, West Michigan Sports Commission, as they discuss incorporating community service projects into events. They will also share details about the creation of the Sports Legacy community service project that was launched in Milwaukee, WI during the 23rd NASC Symposium.

Register Now.

If you are unable to join Michelle and Mike on the 23rd, you can download their presentation from our webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with the NASC Sports Legacy Fund

December 2, 2014
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
What better way to celebrate #GivingTuesday than by donating to the NASC Sports Legacy Fund? Donors will receive logo recognition for your organization on the Sports Legacy Fund website and in the Symposium program. Plus, the organization whose donation raises the most money during the 2015 fundraiser will receive a complimentary registration for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium.
How to Donate
1) Make a cash donation when you renew your 2015 membership or register for the 2015 NASC Symposium
2) Donate a silent auction or raffle item
3) Sponsor a silent auction/raffle table ($100 per table)
4) Donate basketball equipment
5) Purchase an “old-fashioned” during the first evening of Extra Innings or the NASC Sports Legacy Fund Reception
6) Bid on a silent auction item at the NASC Symposium
7) Purchase raffle tickets at the NASC Symposium
8) Volunteer
 for NASC C.A.R.E.S.: Sports Legacy Committee Park Clean Up
Running Rebels Community Organization announced as 2015 beneficiary
Since 1980, the Running Rebels Community Organization has been dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically, and spiritually.  By offering youth programs that focus on education and recreational activities, Running Rebels provides Milwaukee’s youth with positive alternatives to gangs and substance abuse.
The proceeds raised for the 2015 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward the Running Rebels basketball fundamentals program which will expand the number of youth served and aide in the development of year-round programming.  Funding will off-set operating expenses for the program including gym rental and referee fees, equipment, transportation, training for older youth to become certified referees, and healthy snacks.  This will allow the program to become much more than a fundamentals program; utilizing young people’s love of basketball to benefit them physically, socially, and academically.
Watch a short video to learn more about Running Rebels.
Questions? Contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership & Marketing at Elizabeth@SportsCommissions.org or call 513.281.3888.

NASC Sports Legacy Committee Announces 2015 Beneficiary

November 10, 2014

The NASC Sports Legacy Committee is pleased to announce the selection of the Running Rebels Community Organization as the 2015 beneficiary.

RRlogoSince 1980, Running Rebels has been dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically and spiritually. By offering programs that focus on education and recreational activities, Running Rebels provides Milwaukee’s youth with positive alternatives to gangs and substance abuse.

The proceeds raised for the 2015 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward the Running Rebels basketball fundamentals program which will expand the number of youth served and aide in the development of year-round programming.  Funding will off-set operating expenses for the program including gym rental and referee fees, equipment, transportation, training for older youth to become certified referees, and healthy snacks.  This will allow the program to become much more than a fundamentals program; utilizing young people’s love of basketball to benefit them physically, socially and academically.

Watch a brief video about Running Rebels.

RR1

How you can help
1) Renew your 2015 membership or register for the 2015 NASC 2) Donate a silent auction or raffle item
3) Sponsor a silent auction/raffle table ($100 per table)
4) Donate basketball equipment
5) Purchase an “old-fashioned” during the first evening of Extra Innings
6) Bid on a silent auction item at the NASC Symposium
7) Purchase raffle tickets at the NASC Symposium
8) Volunteer for NASC C.A.R.E.S.: Sports Legacy Committee Park Clean Up

New Community Service Project Announced for 2015

The NASC Sports Legacy Committee will be launching a new community service project at the 2015 NASC Sports Event Symposium in Milwaukee, WI.. In addition to providing the 2015 beneficiary with a cash donation, this hands-on community project is a way for sports tourism professionals to give back to the host city of the annual Symposium and leave a lasting impact in the cities we visit.

Symposium attendees are invited to join the NASC Board of Directors and Sports Legacy Committee help improve Washington Park, a Milwaukee County Park. Volunteers will assist in painting picnic tables, mulching around trees, cleaning up the playgrounds, and renovating soccer fields. Breakfast, transportation, and a t-shirt will be supplied. Event details are below.

Space may be limited, so sign up now!

Monday, April 27, 2015

6:30am – grab and go breakfast at Hilton Milwaukee and Hyatt Regency
7:00am – departure from both hotels
7:00 am –  10:15am – volunteer for needed tasks at Washington Park
10:30am – arrival back to hotels

About the NASC Sports Legacy Fund

Originally created by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund awards an annual grant and sports equipment donation to an organization in need in the host city the NASC Symposium.

An emphasis is placed on donations to not-for profit organizations that provide individuals, particularly at-risk youth, veterans, or physically or intellectually disabled individuals, opportunities to participate in sport and encourage healthy lifestyles. This contribution is part of the legacy the NASC leaves in each host city.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund made a donation of $14,000 to Oklahoma Cleats for Kids.  “The Sports Legacy grant is helping Oklahoma Cleats for Kids with opportunities to help more kids,” said Stacy McDaniel of Cleats for Kids. “We have purchased four bins for sporting goods collections and will be purchasing three permanent outdoor collection bins for locations around the Oklahoma City area. Also, our programs director, who has been a part time employee, has moved to full time. This is making a big impact on C4K’s ability to reach more kids.”

For more information about how you can help leave a legacy, contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, at Elizabeth@sportscommissions.org.