Archive for the ‘sports careers’ Category

More than 200 sports tourism professionals in attendance at NASC Market Segment Meetings and CSEE Fall Module Held in Conjunction with USOC Olympic Sportslink

October 2, 2014

More than 200 NASC members gathered in Chicago, IL for the NASC semi-annual meeting from September 22-23, 2014. Hosted in conjunction with the USOC’s Olympic SportsLink conference, programming for the semi-annual meeting included: CSEE Fall 2014 Module, NASC Market Segment Meetings, and NASC Board of Directors meeting.

Daniel Diermeier, Ph. D., from the University of Chicago, presented the four-hour CSEE module on Crisis Management to 126 NASC members.  It focused on the key issues in a crisis situation and managing the flow of information.  After a 90 minute keynote presentation, attendees participated in a team activity that thrust them into a real-life crisis issue that grew beyond personal safety to include emotional issues and competing points of view. The session ended with a mock media conference and debriefing.  At the conclusion of the module, nine participants earned their CSEE credential.

Fall 2014 CSEE Graduates

Laura Garratt, CSEE, San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau
John Giantonio, CSEE, Casper Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pete Harvey, CSEE,  Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
Nick Hope, CSEE,  Al J. Schneider Company
Gen Howard, CSEE, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Alison Huber, CSEE, Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau
Lisa Pacheco, CSEE, Sports Williamsburg
Matt Robinette, CSEE, Richmond Region Tourism
Marva Wells, CSEE, High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau

The most recent class of certified sports event executives joins an elite group of only 140 sports tourism industry professionals across the country who share the CSEE credential. The next module will be held Monday, April 27th in Milwaukee, WI in conjunction with the 23rd annual NASC Sports Event Symposium.

The NASC Market Segment Meetings, created in 2006 to offer destinations with similar market size and organizational structure a platform to share ideas, was led by professional facilitator Adrian Segar. Over two days, 178 NASC members participated in discussions on the hottest topics  including local organizing committees, hotels, sports services, marketing/sponsorships, the bid process and bid fees, industry trends, facilities & facility management, economic impact, and creating your own events.

Additionally, the NASC Sports Legacy Committee announced Running Rebels Community Organization as the 2015 beneficiary of the NASC Sports Legacy Fund and kicked off the annual fundraiser with a 50/50 Split the Pot Raffle, raising nearly $500. The Sports Legacy committee’s goal is to raise $20,000 through a variety of activities to take place over the next six months with an emphasis placed on the silent auction and raffle to be held at the upcoming NASC Symposium.  Learn more about Running Rebels or how you can help leave a legacy.

At the conclusion of the Market Segment Meetings, the NASC board of directors held their monthly meeting. The agenda included reviewing the summer board action items, hearing updates from the retained earnings and hall of fame ad-hoc committees, sharing ideas and input on the marketing of the association to event rights holders and reviewing the 2014 mid-year membership survey results.  The NASC Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis via conference call and three times a year face-to-face.  If you are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 NASC Board of Directors to help lead the industry’s only not-for-profit association visit

Current plans are to hold the 2015 NASC Market Segment Meetings in conjunction with the 2015 USOC SportsLink Conference. Dates and times for next year’s meetings will be announced in winter of 2015.

National Association of Sports Commissions’ Compensation Study Shows Wide Pay Gap Between Sports Markets

April 21, 2014

The average sports events professional at the CEO level makes around $115,000 annually in salary and benefits, especially in the larger U.S. sports markets, according to a study by Enigma Research commissioned by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC).

In this study, for which 226 sports professionals were surveyed late last year, nearly two thirds said they give high priority to professional development, while more than half thought it was meaningful work to give back to the community through sporting events.

The survey also shows that, on average, the heads of sports commissions make about $85,000 in salaries and benefits a year. A sports professional at a “C” level (CEO, CFO) averages about $115,000 annually while directors average $73,000 a year.

Salaries in larger population markets of two million or more residents averaged higher, around $112,000, for top executives while in smaller regions, salaries for sports executives were around $64,000 annually.

The survey also looked at what sports professionals felt were the biggest challenges to their careers and how eager they would be to look for other job opportunities within the industry.

The entire survey is available in the Members Only section of

Grab Them at the Start, Leave Them Wanting More!

February 6, 2014

Whether you’re speaking to clients at trade shows, or presenting to your Board Members…. conducting meetings with your Hospitality Partners, or appearing before civic groups or Sports Event Owners… Each time you speak, you have the “one-time-only” chance to grab your listeners’ attention right from the start.

Unfortunately, many presenters miss this valuable opportunity: they begin in a predictable, boring way that the audience has heard many times before. They miss their chance to “hook” their listeners with their opening words.

Yet while starting out strong is critical, it’s not enough. Once you grab your listeners’ attention, how do you hold onto it? Research shows you must change the energy in the room every ten minutes. Otherwise, you lose your audience. Here’s the good news: you CAN maintain their attention throughout your entire talk, if you know how to use proven energy-changing techniques.

Now you come to the end of your presentation. Is it compelling? Memorable? DOES IT GET YOU WHAT YOU WANT? Most speakers end by thanking their audience and opening it up for final questions. This is a predictable way to end, and it fails to leave a lasting impression that inspires your listeners to action.

BEGINNING. MIDDLE. END. Key components of every presentation. In this session, you’ll learn to START in a way that surprises and delights; MAINTAIN YOUR AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION through energy-changing techniques; and END in a way that is memorable and achieves your desired results.
By using these tools and techniques, you’ll have more fun giving your presentation, and your audience will have more fun hearing it.  And, who knows? You might just become that speaker who is “back by popular demand” …again and again!
Candace BelAir is a Presentation Skills Expert who helps business and community leaders EXCEL in high-stakes communications. She has earned the highly-competitive designation of “Professional Speaker” from the National Speakers Association, and is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, formerly with CNN, Newsweek, United Stations Radio Network, and KIRO-TV (Seattle’s CBS affiliate). Her clients include Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, AOL and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Jackass” Sports May Be the Future

February 6, 2014

Longtime NBC Sports anchor Bob Costas caused a bit of a stir in January when, as he was asked about the new winter Olympic sport of Slopestyle, called it “Jackass stuff.”

Now, he wasn’t throwing out a slur, but instead he was making a reference to the Johnny Knoxville “Jackass” movies, where people do unconventional stunts and sometimes (well, most of the time) fall on their faces.

For the record, slopestyle is a competitive event for freestyle snowboarders, as well as skiers that involves an athlete performing tricks in the air as well as on rails and boxes. You’re judged on style and difficulty, just like figure skating.

So what’s the controversy? The Olympics moved into this end of freestyle sports in 1998, when snowboarding and its affiliated competitions were added to the winter Games in Nagano. Not only did the sport bring in a new genre of athlete (think X Games) but just as importantly, a new genre of Olympic fan.

Let’s face it, it’s probably difficult for your 16-year-old to watch curling or ice dancing. But snowboarding might draw him or her to the TV. The Olympics is expanding its audience by expanding its sports.

That’s something that ESPN learned in 1995 when it launched the summer X Games, (Extreme Games) and then the winter version in 1997. A case study of the 2010 X Games in Los Angeles, conducted by the economic research firm Micronomics found that the games had a $50 million economic impact on the city.

Starting in 2014, the summer games will go to Austin, Texas for four years, and while it costs about $20 million to stage the games, the economic impact (along with sponsorships and financial incentives) is seen as a worthwhile investment.

For the winter X Games, the economic impact for the host city has been estimated to have generated $500,000 per day for the games, including the music fests, interactive X-Fest village and other activities.

On a smaller scale, the Dew Tour action sports tour still means a major economic impact for its host areas. The summer Dew Tour brings in an estimated $11 million to $13 million in economic impact, and the Ocean City Dew Tour won the Maryland Economic Engine Tourism Award with an estimated 103,000 attendees making an $11.5 million economic impact to the area and the state.

In addition to the economic impact, being the host of an extreme sports tour or event adds a certain ‘coolness’ factor for the young professionals in your area. For any region trying to retain, and attract, the YPs (see Austin), this kind of event, with its ancillary music, tech and festival components, can pay off.

So Bob Costas may not be wrong in his assessment of “jackass” sports, but the bottom line is that extreme athletes, events and their fans can bring in a significant (if not ‘extreme’) payoff for the host communities.

Jackie Reau

Game Day Communications
700 West Pete Rose Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45203

(513) 929-4263, office

(513) 708-5822, mobile
(513) 929-0245, fax

LinkedIn: JackieReau

Facebook: JackieReau



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.

Five Questions with Mark Lewis, Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances, NCAA

April 24, 2013

Mark Lewis, who has been in the role of Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances, NCAA, for exactly one year, is spending time at the 2013 Symposium meeting with the membership of the organization.

In June, the NCAA will distribute the bids collectively for the 89 annual championships facilitated by the NCAA. NASC_News asked Mark Lewis a few questions about his role at the NCAA.

Q: You have been in your role for one year now. What are some of the accomplishments in which you are most proud?

A. Each year, we host 89 championships for our student athletes to compete at the highest level, and to create lasting memories for them. Our men’s tournament this year celebrated its 75th anniversary with a terrific tournament that included some of the best match ups in the history of the tournament, record TV ratings and terrific attendance. We also launched our Division II Championship Festivals for the first time. We received great feedback from our member organizations as well as our student athletes for the overall experience from our host cities and member organizations.

Q: What are three tips you can share with potential host cities?

A: First and foremost, all potential host cities need to develop close working relationships with our members, the colleges and universities in their market, to submit the bid. Secondly, it’s important to complete the bid per the specifications but also be creative. We want to see some community spirit and passion in the bid. Lastly but probably most important, we want to see how the host community and member organization are going to create a positive experience for our student athletes.

Q: What are you most excited about at the NCAA?

A: I get excited going to work every day. Interest in college athletics is at an all-time high as evidenced by the TV ratings of the men’s basketball tournament–the highest since the 90s. But every time we award a championship trophy, it’s a magical moment, and we get to do it 89 times a year.

Q: How are you looking to grow strategic alliances for the NCAA?

A: With 94 percent of the annual revenue for the NCAA coming from men’s basketball, I think about growing revenue opportunities with the other championships every day. Only five of our 89 championships are self-funding (men’s basketball, men’s hockey, baseball, men’s lacrosse and wrestling). We are constantly looking for ways to grow revenue while providing additional exposure to our student athletes. For example, we will broadcast the men’s and women’s golf championships on the Golf Channel this year.

About Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis was named the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances in April 2012.

Lewis oversees the administration and operation of 89 championships in 23 different sports, including ticketing and marketing operations. Lewis also is responsible for managing the broadcast partnerships with CBS, Turner Sports and ESPN, as well as the Association’s corporate partners.

Before joining the NCAA, Lewis was president of Jet Set Sports, a leading hospitality and event company with highly successful partnerships with various local and national Olympic organizing committees. As president, Lewis focused on managing partnerships with Olympic entities in the areas of accommodations, event tickets, catering, ground transportation, management and many other services.

Prior to his position at Jet Set Sports, Lewis was vice president of sponsorship at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) where he was responsible for the oversight of all aspects of global Olympic and NFL sponsorships for General Electric, including working with various business units of the company to increase sales.

Lewis also previously served as president and chief operating officer of Olympic Properties of the United States in Salt Lake City, a joint venture of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and the United States Olympic Committee. This joint venture raised more than $1.5 billion in sponsorships with more than 70 corporations.

Lewis is a former Division I student-athlete who played football at the University of Georgia, where he received his undergraduate (accounting) and law degrees. He is married to Dawn Allinger Lewis, a former Pac-10 basketball player at Washington State and a 1996 Olympian in team handball.  They have two children, Peyton and Dylan.

What my NASC membership means to me?

April 11, 2013

Being a veteran in the Sports Tourism Industry for 20 years, I can remember back when I first got involved with the NASC.  You see, I just came of the coaching world of college baseball and now I found myself in a new career path.

I attended the NASC Annual meeting, yes it was not the NASC Symposium yet, not knowing what to expect or even what the conference was about.  My first experience can mostly be related to the “TEAM” aspect that has been part of my life for over 45 years.  I found myself surrounded with individuals who, just like me, wanted to absorb everything anyone had to offer.  I was so blown away by the willingness of my competitors to share and help me learn about the industry.

I view my NASC membership as being part of that “TEAM” again.  I have been literally involved at all levels the NASC from serving on the committees, being a board member, being part of the Executive Committee and eventually the Chairman and I can honestly say every minute I spent working on projects for the NASC has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the industry and as well as provide me the tools to be successful.

The membership benefits are great, opportunities to get involved are numerous and the payoff is fantastic.  I am very glad to be part of the National Association of Sports Commission and I look forward every year to reconnecting with my all my old friends and meeting my new “competitors”.

As once said by a very famous coach to his team….”You can only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.”

Rick Hatcher web  Rick Hatcher, CSEE
Director of Business Development
536 Chapel Hills Drive, Suite 146
Colorado Springs, CO  80920

Rick Hatcher has over twenty years of experience in the Sports Travel  & Event Management Industry. He is currently the Commercial Development Director of PSA in Colorado Springs, CO.  Prior to joining PSA, he was Sports Marketplace Coordinator for Collinson Media and Groups, President and CEO of the Lexington Area Sports Authority in Lexington, KY, Executive Director of the Tallahassee Sports Council and Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Tallahassee, FL.

While serving as the President and CEO of LASA, he also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) for three years, the Executive Committee for four years and as the Chairman of the NASC for one year.  Rick also served on numerous committees for the NASC and is a standing member of the NASC Leadership Council and a graduate of the Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) program.

You Get What You Give. What You Put Into Things Is What You Get Out Of Them!

March 8, 2013

Every year when April rolls around I’m totally exhausted and ready for a break from the realities of the work place. I’m tired from all the sending of emails, answering phone calls and labor intensive weekends out working events. To be honest I’m in need of a pick me up, a change or even a vacation, NASC Symposium just so happens to take place at this exact time every year and for me puts the excitement back into my job and gets me fired up for the second half of the year.

This just doesn’t happen you have to go into the Symposium with an open mind and desire to learn something new. The best advice I can give to a new attendee or even a veteran is to be open to new ideas and put yourself out there. Don’t stay in your room and hug the wall! Jump in head first and be willing and ready to walk away after the week is done with that, hey I never thought of doing that or we have to try that back home or even a new contact or two. You can’t be shy when it comes to the Symposium, the networking opportunities are invaluable! Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and introduce yourself or attend an extra innings lounge by yourself. Chances are the person you are walking up to has been in your shoes before and will welcome you into conversation. The Symposium has so much to offer but if you hide under a rug and don’t embrace everything that is in front of you, you will head home after the week with an inbox full of emails and a phone full of voicemails to catch up on and be right back to where you started.

Don’t be shy and just remember you get what you give. What you put into things is what you’ll get out of them.

Meghan CarmodyMeghan Ziehmer, CTA, is a Michigan State University graduate and proud Spartan. Meghan now serves as the Manager of Sports Events for the Greater Lansing Sports Authority where she has been since October 2009. In her time with the GLSA she has served on the local organizing committee for March Magic Hoopfest, two USA Hockey National Championship events, the 2012 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships and is currently serving as the Chair for the 2014 Midwestern Sectional Figure Skating Championships.

2013 NASC Symposium

February 26, 2013

Every year our organization looks forward to April, not only is it when the lacrosse season really starts to heat up, but it’s when the NASC Symposium occurs.  We’ve identified the symposium as one of our premier opportunities to connect with fellow rights holders and learn about best practices, trends and emerging event planning thinking.  We’ve also identified the symposium as an opportunity to connect with cities that would be interested in hosting our national events.

As a rights holder, it can be intimidating to sit at a table and look at a schedule that includes between 40-80 appointments with cities and sports complexes and just like speed dating, first impressions are everything.  It’s easy to quickly rule out a city as a potential host if they come unprepared for the meeting.  Just as it’s easy for a city to assume that a rights holder is not an expert event manager if they are unprepared.

Our team has found that we can eliminate a ruined opportunity by providing as much information up front as possible.  Basically, we believe in doing our homework.  We make sure that we fill out our profile and in it, we include our must haves for any host city (120×70 yard field are hard to find!).  When a city sits down, we ask them if they have reviewed any of our RFP’s on the NASC website and we ask them if they have looked at our minimum requirements.  When the answer is yes, we are ready to have a great conversation.

When the answer is no….well….it gets….a….little….awkward…..

We’re not perfect, but we try and respect people who also try.  At US Lacrosse, you get an A for effort.

And most importantly, if you can’t meet our requirements and you know it, but still want to ask us how to get your community more involved in supporting our sport, we are happy to help.  As the National Governing Body for the sport, our job is to provide people with information on how to start a league, how to find officials and how to grow the sport.  We want lacrosse to continue to grow and we are always seeking allies to help us with that.

Photo: John Strohsacker / LaxPhotos.comBeth Porreca

Beth holds a BS in Sport Management from Daniel Webster College and a Master of Education in Sports Administration from Temple University.  She is currently the Director of Events at US Lacrosse where she is responsible for the planning and execution of 11 distinct national events annually.  She is also responsible for the planning and execution of the 2014 Federation International Lacrosse Men’s World Championships.  Beth leads US Lacrosse’s efforts to develop organizational strategy to direct the overall events platform, including evolving current events and developing new events.  Beth previously held positions with both Disney Sports Attractions and the US Olympic Committee.  She is currently enrolled in the CSEE program.

Come Often & Come Hungry to Louisville

February 26, 2013

When people think of Louisville, the Kentucky Derby or Louisville Slugger usually come to mind, but people might be surprised to learn Louisville has a vibrant and eclectic food scene. It is how we earned nods like being named one of the “Best Foodie Getaways around the World” by Zagat and the “Top 10 Tastiest Towns” by Southern Living two years in a row.

Locals are very proud of our great eats and it is easy to see why.  Louisville has a wide variety of restaurants offering farm-to-fork foods with award-winning chefs boasting the use of “Kentucky Proud” products.  A group called “Louisville Originals” features more than 30 unique restaurants, showcasing what real Louisville eating is all about. Far from what you might expect, Louisville has flavors from all over the globe including Ethiopian, Vietnamese, French and of course good old fashioned Southern comfort food.  There really is something for everyone.

We are also the “Gateway to Bourbon Country” so you can’t leave town without sampling America’s only native spirit.  This is a town that knows a thing or two about cocktails. The Old Fashioned was actually created right here in Louisville. Our bartenders also have a passion for pouring. As a matter of fact, Louisville bar MEAT was named one of the “World’s 50 Best Bars 2012” by Drinks International. They are just one of many bars in Louisville to quench your thirst.

We like to say “when it comes to food, Louisville brings a lot to the table.” You will find that it is absolutely true. Your biggest problem will not be finding a place to eat, but choosing where and what to eat. So come often and come hungry!

Gen Howard Headshot
Gen Howard

Gen Howard is the Senior Sales Manager for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She is responsible for selling Louisville as a premier sports destination and generating room nights for the city.  Howard has been with the Louisville CVB for over 4 years and has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years. Prior to joining the Louisville CVB, Howard was the Sales & Marketing Manager for the Hard Rock Café at 4th Street Live.  While at the Hard Rock Café, she assisted with opening the Louisville restaurant and managed all events, concerts, and marketing for the brand in the region for 5 years.  Howard started out her career at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, where she worked in various marketing & sales positions to promote and sell the Six Flags brand. Howard attended Western Kentucky University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications & Marketing. Howard grew up in Louisville and is very passionate about the city and everything is has to offer both residents and visitors.  When she is not selling Louisville, she enjoys running, biking, gardening, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Don’t Have an Appointment, Who Cares?!

February 19, 2013

The NASC Sports Marketplace is an invaluable networking opportunity, so make sure to do your research! Your first priority is to study up on participating event owners, so you know their needs and wants. Then, make your selections and prioritize them.

You will receive your appointment schedule in early April, which will outline who you will be speaking with at the Symposium. Didn’t get matched up with everyone you wanted to meet? Don’t stress! The 2013 NASC Symposium schedule is packed with networking opportunities, so there is no reason not to hit everyone on your “must-see” list.

Read on for more tips on how to make connections during the 2013 NASC Symposium.

  • Meals:
    Everyone has to eat, right? Make plans to meet with potential clients during the continental breakfast or sit next to one another at lunch. In fact, Tuesday’s lunch is specifically planned as a networking opportunity on the Marketplace floor.
  • Receptions:
    The Symposium’s evening receptions are organized specifically to give attendees the opportunity to network, so make sure you attend! These events are the perfect time to introduce yourself to that rights holder or the host city your group would love to go visit.
  • Rapid RFP Review Sessions:

New in 2013, this structured opportunity will allow attendees to spend eight minutes with participating event owners in small groups.  You’ll be able to hear details about events currently up for bid, ask questions and share business cards.

  • Reach out early:

Contact event owners in advance and use your downtime wisely. Make plans to catch up at with someone at one of the general sessions or during a break.

  • Extra Innings:

Before calling it a night, stop in and enjoy your favorite drink with a fellow attendee or potential client. Exchange a business card and make plans to follow-up the next day or when you return home.

There are opportunities around every corner during the Sports Event Symposium, so take advantage of the event and don’t worry if you don’t have an appointment!


Laura Gurreri is the Director of Sales at the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau where she has been since 2002.  After a facility audit in 2007, Laura was instrumental in developing Sport York, a brand dedicated to promoting York County as Pennsylvania’s Premier Sports Destination.  This renewed focus on sports tourism was key to securing numerous state, regional and national events including the Keystone State Games, South Atlantic Figure Skating Championships and the National Horseshoe Pitchers World Tournament.