Archive for the ‘Sports events’ Category

Is Your Organization Covered—for Anything?

March 21, 2016

The idea of crisis plans for your team, event or venue is to try to think of anything and everything that can happen, and make sure you have a correct response to every scenario you can come up with. auction-gavel-2

But too often, no one takes into consideration 1) demanding parents and 2) litigation at the drop of a gavel.

When his 16-year-old son didn’t get the most valuable player award, Michel Croteau didn’t get mad, he tried to get even. He hired a lawyer and sued his son’s youth hockey league to the tune of more than $200,000. Croteau claimed his son Steve should have been the MVP since he had the most goals and assists in the league. When he didn’t win, daddy claimed that Steve was so embarrassed, he wanted to quit hockey.

This isn’t an isolated case. In the year the Croteau lawsuit was filed, 2013, parents filed more than 200 non-injury-related sports lawsuits against coaches, leagues and school districts in the United States, according to Gil Fried, a University of New Haven professor specializing in sports law.

But wait, there’s more.

The Butzke family sued the Comsewogue, N.Y., school district because their eighth-grade daughter was taken off the varsity high school soccer team.

The Branco family took legal action against the Washington Township, N.J., school district after their son, David, was cut from the junior varsity basketball team.

The Rubin family sued California’s New Haven Unified School District for $1.5 million because their son got kicked off the varsity basketball team.

Marc Martinez sued his son’s baseball coach, John Emme, twice, and both times the suit was thrown out. It all surrounded the fact that Emme removed J.D. Martinez from the varsity roster, and dad claimed Emme did it for spite since Martinez the elder had complained to the school district that Emme was having his son throw too much. Coach Emme then countersued Martinez, a move Emme’s lawyer said was as much about Martinez as it was to send a message to parents around the country.

Most everyone has insurance to cover injury, weather, and other fairly predictable problems. Litigation is a growing issue, though, for many sports organizations, especially youth sports. Make sure you have a plan (and an attorney) in place that can help you out, in case there’s a case brought against you.

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

A “Thank You” to the volunteers

November 24, 2015
judges

Photo courtesy Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation

In this season of thanks and giving, it’s only appropriate that we pause to thank so many people who make sure that our many events come off smoothly.

It’s estimated that about a quarter of Americans, 25.3 percent to be exact, volunteered for an event or cause in 2014. That works out to about 62.8 million people volunteering at least once, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Among volunteers with children under the age of 18, the Bureau says that 46 percent of the mothers and 38.6 percent of fathers volunteered, mainly for an education or youth service organization. Break that down a little more and 9.4 percent of the men who volunteered for sports teams did so as a coach, referee or supervisor, The women were more likely to serve food (think concession stands) and fund raise.

And that’s just the tip of the volunteering iceberg for youth teams: Handling team apparel, taking team photos, making sure everyone gets those all-important snacks, organizing and taking care of facilities, even organizing special fundraising events, all are important and almost all are taken care of, by volunteers. And yes, usually those volunteers are mom and dad.

But there are those who volunteer because they love the sport: Whether it’s track and field, fencing, basketball or gymnastics, those who perhaps played the sport as a youth now give their time and talents to help the next generation enjoy the sport as much as they did.

So in this season of giving thanks, take a moment to thank those who volunteer to make sure your events are professional and safe.

 

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.

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.

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 www.sportscommissions.org.

National Association of Sports Commissions Raises $14,000 for Oklahoma Cleats for Kid

April 15, 2014

NASC Wraps Up Oklahoma City Meeting with Record Attendance

The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC), the governing body of the $8.7 billion sports events industry, celebrated record attendance for its annual symposium held here last week.

814 attendees, including 206 first-timers, participated in last week’s NASC Symposium to elect new NASC leadership, honor members with industry awards and participate in dozens of continuing education programs led by industry leadership.

Also, during the event the NASC Sports Legacy Fund raised $14,000 to benefit Oklahoma Cleats for Kids, an Oklahoma City-based organization that collects, recycles and distributes new and gently used athletic shoes and equipment to kids in need.

Cleats for Kids at NASC

National Association of Sports Commissions Board Chair Kevin Smith presents a $14,000 grant to Cleats for Kids’ Stacy McDaniels and youth beneficiaries of the program at the 2014 NASC Symposium held in Oklahoma City last week.

NASC Announces 2014 Member Award Winners

April 3, 2014

Kansas City award photoThe NASC Member Awards signify outstanding work in the areas of sports events, marketing and promotion. All entries were reviewed by a panel of peers in the association and judged based on the criteria listed for each category. Winners were then announced at the NASC Symposium in Oklahoma City, where more than 800 sports tourism professionals were in attendance.

Award winners include:

  • Inaugural Sports Event Professional of the Year award, Ron Radigonda, recently retired as head of the Amateur Softball Harris County Houston award photoAssociation/USA Softball
  • Locally Created Event of the Year, under $200,000 budget, Hampton Roads Sports Commission
  • Locally Created Event of the Year, $200,000 budget and above, Kansas City Sports Commission
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, $200,00 budget and above, Round Rock CVB
  • Sports Commission of the Year, under $200,000 budget, Erie Sports Commission
  • Sports Commission of the Year, $200,000 budget and above, Harris County-Houston Sports Commission

For more information on the NASC Member Awards program, visit: www.sportscommissions.org/About/Member-Awards.

Deadline to Submit Entries For NASC Member Awards and Board Nominations is January 31st

January 30, 2014

As a reminder, all member awards entries and board nominations are due on Friday, January 31, 2014. Contact Elizabeth Chaney Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, with any questions about member awards or board nominations.

ImageMember Awards

The annual NASC Member Awards recognize the achievements of Active category members in the previous calendar year. For the 2014 Member Awards, activities, events, marketing campaigns, web strategies, etc. must have occurred in 2013.

Click on the each award category to view judging criteria and submission guidelines.

Entries must be received by Friday, January 31, 2014. Submit an Entry.

ImageCall for Nominations

The NASC Nominating Committee is in the process of nominating six (6) new board members for 2014-2015 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.

NASC Board of Directors Job Description

Nominating Committee Guidelines

Nominations must be received by Friday, January 31, 2014.   Complete nomination form.

SportAccord Convention Scheduled for April 6-11, 2014, The Susesi Resort, Belek/Antalya, Turkey

January 30, 2014

What is SportAccord Convention?

SportAccord Convention is the annual platform in which over 100 international sport federations meet face to face with potential host cities of their international events.

“SportAccord Convention helped London secure the 2017 IAAF World Championships, and secure the 2013 ITU Grand Final… SportAccord Convention enables people to come together and helps secure future events for London.” (Ian Edmondson, Head of Major Events, London & Partners)

Who attends SportAccord Convention?

  • Over 100 International Sport Federations
  • Sporting host cities from all over the world
  • Major Event Organizing Committees (incl. Olympic Games)
  • Leading event delivery organizations


Why should I attend SportAccord Convention?

  • Meet face to face with the decision makers in international sport, discuss hosting opportunities for your city
  • Host over 50 meetings with targeted sport federations over the space of one week
  • Learn and share knowledge with other successful sport cities
  • Meet with organisations who can assist your city deliver outstanding events
  • Position your city at the heart of the sports movement


Useful Links

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Exhibitors

Event Schedule

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Register Now

If your city is serious about hosting international sport, you can’t miss SportAccord Convention. Cities from all over the world participate at SportAccord Convention every year in order to achieve their yearly hosting objectives.

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of SportAccord Convention further, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Kilpatrick (tim.kilpatrick@sportaccordconvention.com).

Don’t Depend on Ticket Sales for a Successful Event

January 20, 2014

The first weekend of NFL playoffs saw down-to-the-wire, thrilling games in three of the four contests. It also saw something unusual – a scramble to sell out the first-round playoff games.

In Indianapolis, Cincinnati and, of all places, Green Bay, clubs scrambled, pleaded and cajoled their fan bases to buy tickets to assure sellouts and thus avoid the NFL mandated media market blackouts. To no one’s surprise, enough corporate buyers turned out at the last minute to assure the games would be shown in the home teams’ market.

If nothing else, the scramble for a sellout, and the subsequent publicity surrounding the difficulty to sell tickets, has shone a light on the now-antiquated NFL blackout rule. In fact, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has called on the Federal Communications Commission to eliminate the Sports Blackout Rule, which was instituted in 1973.

Now, many believe that rule has outlived its usefulness, mainly because the NFL now enjoys the richest television contracts in sports—in 2011 the NFL announced a nine-year extension to its TV packages with Fox, NBC and CBS, under which, according to Forbes, the networks are expected to pay about 60% more than under the old contract.

The new deal, which kicks in after the 2013 season, means the networks will pay about $3 billion a year to show games. Throw in deals with the NFL Network, DirectTV and Westwood One, among others, and NFL teams will split nearly $7 billion in media money per year starting in 2014. That’s more than $200 million per team before a ball hits the turf, no matter who’s blacked out where.

The second reason the blackout rule has seen its time come and go: Ticket sales are an archaic measure of fan support.

It has long been the belief, if a city’s fans won’t buy lots of tickets, they must not be loyal fans. In this day of social media connections, 70” flat screen televisions and RedZone updates, just the opposite is true. Fans are SO involved (especially those who play in fantasy leagues) they want to know what everyone is doing in the league, not just their own team. They’re bigger fans than ever, not just of their team, but of the sport overall.

So what does that mean for an event that you want to bring to your region? Just this: Yes, you want people to attend, and if you bring in a sport or an event that has lots of local participants, all the better to bring in attendees and volunteers. But don’t think you’re going to reach your budget goals by selling $5 tickets to a soccer tournament.

You might have one of the top golf participation areas in the nation, but hold a junior golf tournament in your city and you might find out that you can’t sell tickets. It’s not that people don’t love to watch golf, they love to PLAY golf – usually at the same times your junior tournament is being held.

Or maybe you want people to sample your event—watch youth lacrosse for the first time, for example. What better way to encourage people to stop by than to offer free admission.

During the deep freeze of January 2014, the University of Cincinnati women’s basketball program offered free admission to its game with Rutgers, with complimentary hot chocolate and coffee (courtesy of Coach Jamelle Elliott) for those who braved sub-freezing temperatures to come out. The attendance that night was almost twice what a midweek game usually averages.

The bottom line is, the bottom line. Sponsor support is the life blood of your event. Get your costs covered by sponsorship, and don’t roll the dice on ticket sales. In fact, many youth events have free admission—or tickets at family-friendly prices.

The NFL blackout rule is as dated as event organizers depending on ticket sales to pay for your event. Ticket sales are not a measure of support for the sport. The event world knows that—the NFL needs to realize that as well.

Jackie

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

jreau@gamedaypr.com

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