Archive for the ‘Sports Commissions’ Category

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.

Making the Bid

June 15, 2015

basketball courtYou work hard as an event host to bring in events, tournaments and meetings that you think will be perfect for your space. Yes, you may wish you had mega-complexes with dozens of fields, courts and diamonds so you could attract just about any organization that might want to come your way.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring in top-notch events to your area.

Those who have been around the business of sports know that relationships are the key to landing the right event for your area and for your facilities. With an increased number of upgraded venues battling it out for the same events, it’s more apparent than ever that how you work with what you have is the key to landing the contract.

We had an opportunity to talk with a sports corporation director during a site visit for a sports-related meeting. While that particular sports corporation did not have the newest facilities available for meeting space, what the corporation could offer was personal attention to making the bid work.

“I remember the night before one tournament here in town, I made a quick visit to the venue to check out the locker rooms,” she said. “They were a mess, with graffiti, chipped paint and dirty floors. I turned around, called my family, went to the home improvement store and we spent the night cleaning and painting the locker rooms. Not every host organization would do that, but I felt it was necessary to make the best impression.”

The impression worked, as that particular event returned two more times to that same facility. The moral of the story is, a little personal attention goes a long way.

“There have been days that I’ve shuttled participants and coaches back and forth to hotels and the airport,” she said. “Whatever has to be done, we figure out a way to do it. I can’t always offer new courts or rinks but what I can offer is the best service that any sports corporation can give.”

In a tight bid market with all other things being equal, personal service can make the difference in whether you’re successful. In this case, it was: The sports corporation got the sports meeting it was bidding for.

So as you get ready to make a bid to bring in a new event, remember this: We all WANT to offer new, bigger, brighter facilities: We all CAN offer personal service.

NASC Launches New Career Center in the Sports and Athletics Career Network

March 9, 2015

showLogoThe new and improved NASC Career Center launched earlier this month.  The NASC joins the Sports and Athletics Career Network (SACN), which integrates Career Centers of leading industry associations, including the NCAA, NFHS, NJCAA, and NRPA.

Previously, the NASC hosted a static job board on its website with limited functionality.  The new Career Center includes helpful features that allow job seekers to share resumes, receive notifications about new jobs, and apply for positions directly through the job board.  Employers will now pay a nominal fee for important additional features to find the best candidates, including the ability to manage job postings online, monitor activity reports, access a searchable resume database, and receive an automatic email notification when new resumes match job criteria. Employers who post jobs will also have their jobs featured in the NASC Get in the Game eNews once during the 30-day post.

The NASC Career Center is powered by Boxwood Technology.

For more information visit, http://careers.sportscommissions.org/jobs/.

2015 Industry Trends

February 5, 2015

Going to talk today about some trends that we see in the industry in the coming year.  And I think one of the most interesting trends for those of us that have been in the sports commission, and visitor and convention bureau industries, is the fact that park and recreation departments are becoming increasingly interested in membership in the NASC.  I find that particularly interesting, personally because we’re discovering that many park and recreation department actually create, promote, and run their own events, which makes them in the final analysis perhaps even more similar to a sports commission in many cases than a convention and visitors bureau where in the latter case there may be a focus on room nights, which is something we are going to talk about in just a minute or two.  But we welcome additional park and recreation departments to our membership.  We are at something in the range of 20 departments now, and we will be taking some steps during the year to increase that number, because they bring a lot to the table in terms of the dialogue and they’re truly qualified as active members of our association, because they’re so involved with the production of their own events.  So that would be a first trend.

The second trend starts with a question; I wonder how many of us think, what would be the case in terms of room rebates if we didn’t have a focus on room nights?  I wonder if there isn’t a direct tie in between the emphasis that a destination places and the importance that a destination places on developing room nights through sports above and beyond all other considerations.  And if by doing that, that doesn’t encourage event owners to feel that not only can there be room rebates, but the room rebates that could perhaps overtime and with a change in destinations continue to go up.  I remember being surprised when rebates were in the five to ten dollar range; I am shocked that we have managed to get in the 30+ dollar range in some cases around the country.  So I think a one of the cost on a focus on room nights could very well be increasing room rebates.  And from that stand point I think it’s good to look back 20 years ago, when sports commissions were the primary way to bid on events.  These was a tremendous focus on quality of life.  Destinations were looking for events that were going to make something exciting happen in their communities, and yes television exposure was very important.  But in the final analysis doing things like having the USA Volleyball National Women’s Team come to your destination and play another international squad with no visitor spending, was a real focus of a sports commission.  And that kind of focus does not encourage event owners to pursue room rebates, let alone commissions.  Now one the major event owners in the United States, the NCAA, moved to a commission on all room nights for all NCAA National Championships, across all divisions in 2014.  That was a seismic shift and we’ll see how that works out for the NCAA and for the destinations.  And importantly for the very people that are attending these championships, which in the final analysis are the people, all of us are supposed to be more concerned about.

And then I think finally, there is a trend in our industry that has come up at the latter part of 2014, there is a shrinkage and or consolidation of some of the events that take place every year in the sports travel industry.  The United States Olympic Committee recently made a decision to assign the rights to the SportsLink congress to the Connect Sports people, and we’re have to see how that works out.  That is a not-for-profit transfer of rights to a for profit, I rather suspect that that’ll be reflected in the cost of attending that conference, but it’s a market driven economy and we’ll see what happens.

So for the coming year, we see more park and recreation departments getting engaged in the industry, we see this puzzle about room rebates and commissions continual need to be something that we all have to focus on, and finally there some shifts and changes in industry conferences.  I can tell you that the NASC has decided to keep its independence, but we are also going to attend each of the industry conferences this year.  Thanks for your attention.

 

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

NASC Signs Top Sponsors for Sports Event Symposium

November 12, 2014

Cincinnati (November 11, 2014) – The National Association of Sports Commissions welcomes its Elite and Diamond level sponsors for its upcoming Sports Event Symposium, to be held April 27-30 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

Elite level sponsors who have signed on for the Symposium include the host, VISIT Milwaukee, as well as the West Michigan Sports Commission.

Signed Diamond level sponsors include Foley Sports Tourism Complex (Alabama) and TEAM Maryland.

Foley Sports Tourism Complex will sponsor the Keynote Luncheon, TEAM Maryland the Sports Marketplace Aisle Signage, VISIT Milwaukee the Welcome Reception, and West Michigan Sports Commission, the Closing Celebration.

Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Sports Commission will be the host for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium, Monday, April 4 through Thursday, April 7 at DeVos Place, downtown Grand Rapids.

“We are grateful for the support that our Elite and Diamond level sponsors continue to show the Sports Event Symposium each year,” said Don Schumacher, executive director. “Without their help, the Symposium would not continue to be the premiere education and networking event for sports professionals.”

The NASC Sports Event Symposium is the annual meeting for the only not-for-profit association for the sports tourism industry. For more than 20 years, the Symposium has been designed for sports tourism professionals by sports tourism professionals.

Through a combination of industry-leading educational and business development opportunities, more than 800 Symposium attendees learn how to produce measurable ROI for their organization and advance their careers in the industry. To learn more about the Symposium and sponsorship opportunities, email beth@sportscommissions.org or visit www.sportscommissions.org/symposium.

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For more information or an interview with NASC staff, please contact Jackie Reau/Betsy Ross at Game Day Communications, 513-929-4263.

NASC Board Nominations

November 10, 2014

The NASC Nominating Committee is in the process of nominating six (6) new board members for 2015-2016 term (four (4) Active member representatives, one (1) Allied member representative, and one (1) Rights Holder member representative).  The nominating committee is also in the process of nominating one (1) person who has served on the Board of Directors to serve as Secretary.

All nominations must be received by Friday, January 30, 2015 at 11:59pm ET. Complete the 2015 Nomination Form.

If you have any questions, please contact Terry Hasseltine, CSEE, Nominating Committee Chair. You may also contact the NASC Office at 513.281.3888 or nominations@sportscommissions.org.

Discounted SportsBusiness Journal Subscription

October 20, 2014

The NASC is pleased to announce a special subscription rate for Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal as our newest member benefit.

NASC  members who are not current or prior subscribers within the last 6 months, to Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, are eligible to receive a discounted introductory rate of $174. This is $90 off of the U.S. base rate of $264. NASC Canadian and International members who take advantage of this offer will receive a digital subscription, not a printed subscription. Upon the expiration of first subscription term at this special rate, the NASC member’s rate will change according to a SBJ renewal schedule.

To take advantage of this offer simply click here, select the one-year subscription option, and provide your Member ID Number and mailing address.  You can find your Member ID Number on the My Account page of www.SportsCommissions.org or you can request your account number at info@sportscommissions.org.

Please contact the Member Services Department at 513.842.8307 if you have any questions.

Mascot Mania: Making Community Connections

October 6, 2014

A mascot can be more than a tiger roaming the sidelines of a game, it can serve as an ambassador for year-round fan engagement.

Consider this: A couple of weeks ago, Texas A&M’s live mascot, Reveille, a female rough collie, was saved from impending injury when an A&M cadet stepped between her and an SMU receiver and blocked the receiver from crashing into the dog. That got a lot of airplay and, for the cadet, got him a free pair of senior boots worth more than $1,000, paid for by the commandant of the Corps for his heroism. (you can read a play by play breakdown of the best block of the game here: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/9/22/6827349/reveille-texas-am-mascot-ryan-kreider)

So, the mascot earned Texas A&M great publicity and connected the school with the community and sports fans everywhere.

Think about adding a mascot to do the same for your organization?

For example, Kentucky Speedway for years had  ‘Horsepower,’ its community mascot. (pictured) Horsepower would be part of many community events that might not have had a thing to do with auto racing, such as mascot broomball every winter. Horsepower also has led library reading programs, participated in flag football at halftime of NFL games and been part of mascot foot races at Cincinnati Reds games.

Even though Kentucky Speedway is a venue with a handful of events throughout the year, its mascot ‘Horsepower’ helped keep Kentucky Speedway in front of the community, and consumers, throughout the year by having a presence at events.

Libraries have mascot reading dogs. Recycle services have mascot recycle bins (really). The idea is less about developing an expensive mascot, and more about keeping your organization, sports commission or venue in front of the community 24/7, 365.

Remember, it’s your community that supports your group with sponsorships, volunteers and ticket sales. Having a mascot is a fun and simple way to engage the community on a year-round basis.

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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 http://www.sportscommissions.org/About/Board-of-Directors/Nominations.

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.