Archive for the ‘hospitality’ Category

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.

NASC Playbook – December 2013 Edition Available Now

December 30, 2013
The latest edition of the NASC Playbook is available now.Image
Inside this issue:
  • 2013 Year in Review
  • CSEE/Market Segment Meeting Recap
  • 2014 Board Nominations
  • 2014 Member Awards
  • 22nd annual NASC Sports Event Symposium Preview
The NASC Playbook was created to feature members’ success stories and share industry best practices among the membership.  If your organization has a story to share and would like to be interviewed for a future article, contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing.
Read the Playbook now.

NASC Call for Proposals

October 23, 2012

Are you interested at presenting a breakouts session, or know someone who might be, at the upcoming 21st annual NASC Sports Event Symposium, April 22-25, 2013 in Louisville, KY.  If so check out the recently released Call for Proposals form.

The 2013 breakouts sessions are being collectively called “Engaging Education Sessions” with the aim of allowing attendees to drive their own learning experience by extracting the collective knowledge from industry experts and the audience.  There will be three sets of four concurrent sessions  (12 sessions in total) and each meeting room will have its own theme:

  1. Room 1: Event Management (for example: Local Organizing Committee (LOC); working with municipality, county, state governments; event insurance; contract negotiations; volunteer recruitment, training, recognition; preparing for an event; etc.)
  2. Room 2: Sales & Marketing (for example: sponsor development/fulfillment; membership recruitment; media partnerships; ticket sales; marketing plans; essentials of good salesmanship; effective promotional strategies, etc.)
  3. Room 3: Financial (for example: determining ROI; revenue sources for not-for-profits; economic impact; etc.)
  4. Room 4: Executive (for example: strategic planning; leadership and management skills; board relations; etc.)

Deadline to submit is Friday, November 9th.

What NASC Membership Means to Me

September 24, 2012

If you are like most of us, when you acquired your position you also acquired a “membership” in NASC because your CVB or Sports Commission was already a member of NASC.  And, quite possibly, you probably knew little about the NASC or what an impact it could have on your job and your career.

You are part of a rapidly growing industry-the sports tourism travel industry-and the rules we operate by are changing almost daily.  How do you stay ahead of your competition? How do you identify and act on trends when they occur?  How do you go about your “business as usual” when the “usual” keeps changing?

It’s a tough job and sometimes it’s easy to get the feeling that you’re overwhelmed with change and are having to go it alone in your job.

Well, if you haven’t thoroughly studied the NASC website, if you haven’t attended the Market Segment meetings, haven’t yet attended a Symposium, or become involved in the CSEE program, then you couldn’t know that many of the answers to your problems lie as close as your NASC  membership.

The longer you are involved in NASC the more you’ll come to realize that you’re not alone.  The problems you encounter are the same problems others in our industry face and oftentimes, the best way to resolve the problems is to communicate with our peers.  The NASC certainly provides this opportunity through all of its programming services.

I have often said, I have learned more about this industry and learned more about my job through my association with the NASC than with just about anything else I have done throughout my career.  The NASC has provided me the opportunity to establish relationships with rights holders, with event owners, NGB’s, and with my fellow peers within the industry-and we all know it’s all about our relationships.

I would certainly encourage you, whether you are a newcomer to the industry, or a seasoned veteran, to let your NASC help you become a significant contributor to this industry.  And I would also encourage you to get involved with the NASC.  Serving on committees, contributing at market segment meetings, participating in our webinars, and attending and being a part of the Symposium will help you build those relationships that are so crucial to success.

We all have growing pains as we go through life, the NASC can help ease those pains and make us successful.


Jim Dietz, Director of Sports
Columbus Indiana Visitors Center

Jim served on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Indiana Visitors Center (CIVC) for seven years and as an officer for three of those years. Jim currently serves as Director of Sports Tourism for the CIVC and oversees over 50 annual athletic events in Columbus. Jim has been involved in the hospitality industry for over 30 years having owned and operated his own restaurants in Indiana and Illinois. A former high school teacher and coach, he has also held management positions in a Fortune 500 company and has served on numerous boards including the Western Illinois University Foundation Board and the Western Illinois University Athletic Board.  Jim is currently serving on the NASC Board of Directors and enrolled in the Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) Program.  He is the co-chair of the NASC Mentoring Committee.

Here with just a few of our closest friends

August 3, 2012

As our Olympic Games journey comes to an end, we finally made it to where the games began – Olympic Park.  In order to access the Park, either a ticket for a venue within the area or a day-pass that had to be purchased months in advance is required.  At first, this made no sense to me as many sponsors have interactive exhibits here, and the Merchandise Mega Store takes up a good portion of the area.  Furthermore, it is a great place to people watch.  However, upon spending a few minutes here, I understand the method to what I assumed was madness.  I am guesstimating there will be upwards of 400,000 people here today. If they had opened the doors to everyone, it would be a security nightmare, nearly impossible to enjoy and just plain crazy.  It has been a great trip and I look forward to sharing the nearly 2,000 photos I have taken.


Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events

It’s Fun and Games

August 2, 2012

Greater London has caught the Olympic spirit. Banners are up on houses, businesses and streets. Free and pay activities have been created and heavily promoted such as BT Live in Hyde Park.  Large screens have been erected at Hampton Court Palace grounds to watch competitions.  Although there has been quite a fuss about tickets being listed as unavailable even though many seats have been empty at major events (you’ve probably seen them on TV), there are still plenty of ways to participate and catch the Olympic spirit.

Olympic Flags

BT Live

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events

What is with all of this Pink?!

August 1, 2012

A few days before we left for the Games, a friend posted a picture of the Olympics gymnastics competition floor, and it was bright pink – I mean BRIGHT pink.  I shared the picture on Facebook with the comment “wow, that’s a lot of pink”, and a few friends posted things like “It hurts my eyes” and “I am sure the men love that”.  However, now that we have seen a gymnastics competition on that bright pink floor (and have learned that pink is the color scheme of the games), I think it was a brilliant move by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games).  Everything, and I mean everything a spectator would need to be able to identify, is pink – flooring at many of the venues, signage, volunteers uniforms, the big foam fingers that the “directional” volunteers hold to point spectators in the right direction, barrier coverings, etc.  It is so easy to identify Olympic Games features as they are all pink and stand out.  My overwhelming opinion of the London 2012 Games is how organised and well thought out they are – at least from a spectator’s perspective.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events

Where is all the Merchandise?

July 31, 2012

I came to the London 2012 Olympic Games ready to spend a good amount of pound sterlings on goodies for me, my family and our friends at home.  The problem is I can’t find an official retail outlet!  I came with the assumption there would be a make-shift merchandise shop around every street corner, but we have only found one so far, in the Greenwich Arena (site of the gymnastics competitions). They had sold out of many items on day two of the gymnastics competition and were limited in sizes for what they did have for sale.  I was shocked!  We then headed to badminton that afternoon at Wembley Arena, clear on the other side of London and a ways out, so I guessed they’d have another store with more stock. Again I was disappointed.  The 10 minute shop from the Wembley tube station to the Arena was lined with shops for food and merchandise, but as you can see in the sad picture I took, all of the merchandise shops were closed up tight.  And this is only day two of the games!  My only thought is, “What were they thinking?!”

Beth Hecquet, CMP

Director of Meetings and Events


Volunteers a Plenty

July 30, 2012

Upon our arrival in the UK in the early morning hours, we had our first taste of the Olympic spirit within steps of departing the plane. Two volunteers dressed in their bright pink and purple shirts stood at the top of the jet bridge with a welcome sign. A few steps further down the path to baggage reclaim (as they call it at London’s Heathrow Airport) we encountered scores more of friendly and helpful volunteers. And this was only the beginning. On every street corner where Olympic spectators could wander, they will find at least two volunteers; at every tube, bus and train station, there are at least two volunteers as well (and many times upwards of six to eight). All are there to make getting in and around London and the Games as easy and stress free as possible. In the London 2012 official programme (spelling is correct, this is the UK) they make sure to state there are 70,000 volunteers organized by the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee Olympic Games) there to help. And help they have, as well as given spectators a welcome feeling to a city that can be very overwhelming.

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events

Tomorrow’s News, Today (2012 NASC Sports Event Symposium – 4/16/12)

April 17, 2012

Each day of the 2012 National Association of Sports Commissions Annual Symposium, we will publish a daily blog with highlights from the programs and activities.

Get Social with NASC: #NASC12 Follow all of the news from the 2012 Symposium on Twitter @NASC_News, using the hashtag: #NASC12 Check us out on Facebook @National Association of Sports Commissions

“Heard” on the Show Floor

“Passion and Perseverance” by Paul Assaiante, Trinity Squash Head Coach Passion and Perseverance: Those are the two words that describe Trinity Squash Head Coach Paul Assaiante, and two messages that he conveyed during the CSEE (Certified Sports Event Executive) Spring 2012 Module discussion that helped kick off the National Association of Sports Commissions Sports Event Symposium this week in Hartford, Connecticut. Coach Assaiante and his men’s squash team at Trinity just came off a 13th consecutive perfect season in 2010-2011. A 14th perfect season ended this year with a 5-4 loss to Yale, the first team to defeat Trinity in 252 matches, a streak that goes back to 1998. That winning streak is the longest in intercollegiate records. Assaiante’s message to CSEE attendees was a simple one: If you have the passion and perseverance to do something that you like, you can achieve anything. Using the example of a duck that looks calm on the surface of the pond but is paddling furiously below the waterline, he mentioned a match when his Trinity squash team was losing to a rival. “I’m thinking Chinese,” he told his team during a timeout. When they didn’t quite understand what he was saying, he said again, “After this match, I think we should go for Chinese.” The message? When the leader is calm, everyone else around them will be calm as well. The team went on to win the match.

Industry News: Sponsorship The Spring Module for the Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) program today discussed sponsorship trends and was led by Jim Kahler from Ohio University Sports Administration and AJ Maestas from Navigate Research. With sponsorship fees totaling $17 billion in North America last year, it was a hot topic among the 200+ in attendance. “We’re all in the business of selling or persuading,” said NASC’s Executive Director Don Schumacher. “In our industry, those of you that can sell have tremendous value in your organization.” Kahler and Maestas shared the top 14 reasons for why companies sponsor events according to IEG. They include: 1) Increase brand loyalty among customers 2) Create Awareness and Visibility 3) Change/reinforce image 4) Drive Retail Traffic 5) Showcase community responsibility 6) Drive sales 7) Sample/display brand attributes 8) Entertain clients 9) Narrowcasting 10) Recruit/Retain employees 11) Incenting retailers, dealers and distributors with pass-through rights 12) Differentiate product from competitors 13) Combat ad budgets of larger competitors 14) Achievement of multiple objectives The CSEE Program is a certification program open only to NASC members. Since its inception, the NASC has been dedicated to raising the standards of professionalism in the industry. The NASC Staff and Professional Development Committee assist presenters in preparing sessions and case studies to ensure that the needs and concerns of the sports event industry are addressed. Members may enroll in the program at anytime. CSEE participants are provided with cutting edge knowledge about topics based on the CSEE Core Curriculum during modules held twice per year. Modules cover a variety of topics that increase participants efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace and enable them to earn the designation as a “Certified Sports Event Executive.” Modules are fours hours in length and include both instruction and practical application. To learn more, visit

Congratulations to the CSEE Graduates The following NASC members will be recognized at Symposium for their completion of the Certified Sports Event Executive program. Congratulations to all!

Jay Allen, Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau

Heath Aucoin, Jackson Convention Complex

Demp Bradford, Greensboro Sports Commission

KP Clements, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing

Tom Coleman, Central Wisconsin/Stevens Point Area Sports Commission

Randy DuTeau, Augusta Sports Council Eric Engelbarts II, West Michigan Sports Commission

Michelle Fakler, CMP, Discover Kalamazoo

David Gyza, Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau

Jim Hilb, Associated Premium Corporation

Sue Hollenbeck, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Dallas Howard, Clermont County Ohio Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ray Hoyt, Tulsa Sports Commission

 Troy Killian, Louisville Sports Commission

John Larsen, Rochester Amateur Sports Commission

 Jennifer Miles, Amateur Athletic Union of the United States

Monica Paul, Dallas CVB Sports

Scott Powers, Columbia (SC) Regional Sports Council

Jason Puckett, Sarasota County Sports Commission

Holly Shelton, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Linda Smith, Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Kelly Wells, Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

Marc Zimmerman, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing

Growth Opportunties in the Sports Event Industry

March 27, 2012

Host communities are wise to look for non-traditional sports. Kevin Smith of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission makes a number of interesting observations on what some of these opportunities can be.