Archive for the ‘Sports Tourism’ Category

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.

The Growth of Adaptive Sports

November 10, 2015

blog picBrian Davis served his country in the U.S. Navy from 2004 through 2009, including an eight-month deployment to the Middle East. But he admits that after a motorcycle accident in 2008 that left him in a wheelchair, he had moments where he sat at home on the couch and felt lost with an uncertain future ahead of him. With a wife expecting at the same time, Davis was going through rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids not knowing what his next move might be.

It was there, during his rehab, that it was suggested he get involved in wheelchair tennis, just one of the nearly two dozen wheelchair and adaptive sports offered at Mary Free Bed.

“I wasn’t really into basketball or anything like that,” Davis said, “but I really enjoyed tennis. It’s been my outlet going on five years now.”

Adaptive and wheelchair sports have been growing dramatically over the last few years, especially with the influx of an estimated 10,000 veterans and active service members now participating in adaptive sports. The interest in the Paralympic Games has also led to sports fitness facilities built especially for adaptive and wheelchair athletes. For example, the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities in Phoenix is a $13 million facility with fitness and aquatics centers, indoor hardwood courts, a climbing wall and more. It also serves as a venue for local, national and international adaptive sporting events.

The best thing about the program in Grand Rapids, according to Davis, is the competitiveness. “I’ve always been competitive; I’ve always loved testing myself against others. Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t be active.”

Davis and his wheelchair tennis team travel across the country for matches, including one memorable one in Dallas. “I’ll never forget that,” he said, “we were there in the middle of the summer in 98° weather with 90 percent humidity.” Other not-so-humid stops for the team of around 20, plus coaches, have included Fort Wayne and Chicago, among others.

Mary Free Bed’s sports offerings, besides wheelchair tennis, include such sports as wheelchair softball, sports camps, wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, open water fishing and many more. “That’s the great thing about the programs,” Davis said. “It’s a variety, not the same thing over and over.”

And programs keep growing, mainly because of word of mouth, according to Davis. “In tennis we have a banquet, and we show off what we do. The word spreads to other athletes who may want to try it, and we are fortunate enough that we’re exposed to sponsors who want to help out.”

It was because Davis was willing to try this new sport, that he is an enthusiastic supporter of wheelchair tennis. “Getting out and doing is better than sitting at home and feeling sorry for yourself,” he said. “I admit it was a rough patch for me at the beginning, but one, my newborn daughter got me through, and two, seeing others getting involved really encouraged me.”

And his advice to others considering adaptive or wheelchair sports? “Just try it,” he said. “It has added so much to my life. It can do the same for you.”

For more information on the Mary Free Bed sports programs, visit http://www.maryfreebed.com/rehabilitation/wheelchair-adaptive-sports/.

NASC Member Services Update

October 8, 2015

The NASC staff and Board of Directors are happy to announce the hiring of an additional staff member to better serve the needs of our ever-growing membership. With a membership that has grown more than 25% in the last five years, it is of utmost importance that the national office continues to deliver a high level of personal service to each and every one of our member organizations.

Therefore, an additional member services coordinator, Allison Deak, began her tenure with the NASC on October 6, 2015. With this staff change comes some restructuring and shifts in responsibilities of each staff member at the national office to more appropriately handle the volume of daily activity required to service nearly 800 member organizations.

Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, is a founder of the NASC and has been the executive director since 1994. Don develops and implements the strategic plan for the NASC. He also leads NASC strategic consulting services and CSEE.

Lori Gamble, Associate Executive Director, has been an integral part of the leadership team of the NASC since 1994. In addition to her responsibility of managing the annual operating budget, Lori will oversee the sponsorship program and meeting management, including the annual NASC Sports Event Symposium and NASC Market Segment Meetings.

Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, has been on staff since 2007. Elizabeth will continue to lead the membership recruitment and renewal efforts and develop and implement the annual marketing and communications plan. Elizabeth also manages the NASC Sports Legacy Fund and NASC Member Awards, oversees advertising sales, and serves as the editor of NASC publications.

Meagan McCalla, Member Services Coordinator, has been on staff since 2013. Meagan will continue to be the primary point of contact for all Active member organizations (destinations). Active members should expect quarterly service calls from Meagan and contact her for any questions regarding membership renewals, account updates, registration for NASC meetings, or general inquiries about member services and benefits.

Allison Deak, Member Services Coordinator, will join the staff in October 2015. Allison will be the primary point of contact for all Allied and Rights Holder members (vendors and event owners). Allied and Rights Holder members should expect quarterly service calls from Allison and contact her for any questions regarding membership renewals, account updates, registration for NASC meetings, or general inquiries about member services and benefits.

We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of all of our members and remain your resource for the sports tourism
industry for years to come.

NASC Upcoming Webinars – Register Now

September 16, 2015

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!


A to Z Guide to Organizing a Sports Event
Best Practices Webinar
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
2:30pm – 3:30pm ET

Register Now

Join us on Wednesday, September 23rd @ 2:30pm ET as Bill Hanson, CSEE, Author of the A to Z Guide to Organizing a Sports Event, and Jeff Gayduk, Publisher, Premier Travel Media, discuss their top recommendations for organizing a sporting event. Bill will share information on the best way to get started, how to take your event to the next level and what tools are needed to conduct a successful, sustainable event. Jeff will discuss why it is so important for a sports organization to utilize the A to Z Guide when organizing a sports event. If you are unable to join us on the 23rd, you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 5, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

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Join Bert Wells, CEO, Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions and his team as they discuss Sugar Bert Boxing Promotions 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 5th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


USA Archery
Event Webinar Sponsored by MGM Resorts International
Monday, October 19, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

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Join Sheri Rhodes, National Events Manager, USA Archery, as she discusses USA Archery 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 19th, remember you can download the webinar recording from our webinar archives page (login required).


Prospecting for Events
Best Practices Webinar
Thursday, October 22, 2015
2:00pm – 3:00pm ET

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Join Don Schumacher, CSEE, Executive Director, NASC, as he discusses best practices for prospecting events. Don will share his top methods for sourcing events, as well as prospecting opportunities and strategies. If you are unable to join us on the 22nd, 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.

Keeping Spectators Safe

September 2, 2015

Anyone in the events business knows that one big concern is keeping spectators safe. Often the emphasis is at the point of entry: Checking bags and ‘wanding’ spectators is now the norm at professional sporting events, and is happening more and more at the amateur level.

But now, safety issues are shifting to venues themselves. The issue has turned tragic this past week, with the death of a spectator at Turner Field, who fell over the railing of an upper deck. It’s the third fatal fall at Turner Field since 2008. Earlier this month, Justin Verlander and other Detroit Tigers called for baseball to extend netting to protect fans after a fan was struck in the seats at Comerica Park, and that comes after a spectator was seriously hurt at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway.

We know that attending a sporting event carries its own level of risk, as is spelled out on the backs of most of our event tickets. But railing height has been almost as much of an issue as extending the nets down the base lines to protect fans. Atlanta Braves’ officials say the new Braves stadium is designed to have higher railings, even though the present railings meet safety standards. The International Building Code mandates that venues like Turner Field and the Rangers’ ballpark, where, four years ago, a fan reached over the outfield wall to retrieve a tossed baseball and fell 20 feet to his death, have rail heights of 33 inches, increasing to 42 inches at the base of aisles. Those guidelines still have not prevented fan-falling incidents at those parks as well as the Georgia Dome and St. Louis’ Busch Stadium in recent years.

And here are some sobering stats: There are 53,000 foul balls that enter the seats every year, according to Edwin Comber, creator of foulballz.com. And 1,750 spectators are injured every season by batted balls at major league games, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg News.

It will be costly for stadiums to upgrade their facilities, and they’re reluctant to obstruct lines of sight because they don’t want to encourage fans to stay at home where they can get an even clearer, closer view of the game from their HD television. But if it continues to become a major safety issue, something will need to be done, and soon. Don’t wait for someone else to die.

Photo courtesy pa baseball netting.

Photo courtesy pa baseball netting.

Coaches behaving badly…

August 25, 2015

In the regionals of the Little League Softball World Series the big story this past week was a rematch between Central Iowa and Washington for the right to advance in the playoffs. But here’s the back story: Central Iowa, which finished 3-1 in pool play, could have advanced to the semifinals if South Snohomish, Washington, either scored three runs vs. the U.S. Southeast representative from North Carolina or won the game to finish 4-0 in pool play. However, Washington rested its top four players and, according to Central Iowa Little League president Chris Chadd, ordered its players to bunt and reportedly had players swinging at pitches in the dirt. The goal? To prevent Central Iowa from advancing.

The result: North Carolina no-hit the Washington team in an 8-0 victory, and the Central Iowa All-Stars finished in a three-way tie — and out of the tournament. The Central Iowa coach protested to the tournament director, who denied the protest. Iowa then took the protest to Little League International, which didn’t disqualify Washington but did order a one-game playoff between Iowa and Washington to see who’d advance. In what some would say was an act of Karma, Central Iowa won and advanced (but lost in the semi-finals). For his part, Washington coach Fred Miller said he was only trying to rest his starters and his team was unfairly punished.

Now, let’s face it: It’s not unheard of for pro teams to “rest their starters” to get a better draft position, but this is Little League, where the Little League pledge says, in part, “I will play fair, and strive to win, but win or lose, I will always do my best.” Coach Miller says his players were harassed with notes left on their hotel room doors after the game. Coach, it wasn’t the players’ fault—they were just doing what every team member is told to do—follow the coach’s orders.

We’ve talked a lot about the good and bad in youth sports, and the lessons to be learned. Here’s one lesson for all those involved, as former Jets Coach Herm Edwards famously said: “You play the game to win.” Let’s hope so.

Little League Softball

photo courtesy Little League Softball

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.

Investing in Sports

June 11, 2015

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is making a big play to use a $55 million upgrade of its sports venues to attract more events and in turn, bring in millions of new dollars in visitor spending.

According to the Rockford Register Star, a new $24 million sports complex under construction in the downtown area landed its first big ‘get’ last month with the AAU 6th Grade Girls Basketball Tournament in 2018. That will bring an estimated 3,500 people to Rockford, projected to spend $750,000 while they visit.

That sports complex already is paying dividends, months before it is slated to open, as it’s already spurred nearly $120 million worth of development planned for the area, including two hotels.

Rock River Cup Lacrosse RockfordAccording to the paper, the tourism bureau there spends half a million dollars a year on marketing to bring sports tournaments to the region. John Groh, the bureau’s president/CEO, is quoted as saying his agency will need more personnel to capitalize on the downtown venue and a $31 million expansion on tap at Sportscore Two in Loves Park.

The Rockford region plays host to 250 sports tournaments a year, and the bureau’s goal is to attract 60 more a year by 2018. But it’s a competitive market. The 600-acre National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota offers a soccer stadium, more than 50 soccer fields and an eight-rink ice facility. The $33 million Louisville Slugger complex in Peoria has 10 synthetic turf youth softball and baseball diamonds, plus a dome for indoor events. And Westfield, Indiana, already has plans to expand its still-new 400 acre Grand Park youth sports complex with two indoor venues.

Amateur sports tournaments produced nearly $9 billion in visitor spending in the U.S. last year, with 42 percent of those events played in the Midwest, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions. And Groh is quoted as saying the sports tournament business has become increasingly competitive.

“Cities everywhere are building more athletics venues and facilities, but there’s a finite number of tournaments to go around,” he said. “So you have relatively the same number of buyers and more sellers. The buyers are in a relative position of power and can extract more from tournament hosts, so that means we have to be really smart about how we put deals together and market what we have to offer.”

Right now visitor spending tied to sports tournaments brings in roughly $16 million a year to the Rockford region. That figure is expected to double within three years with the indoor athletic complex in downtown Rockford and expansion of Sportscore Two.

For Rockford, the investment in sports is paying off for now, and in the future.

A Hall of Fame Project

June 1, 2015

Ever been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton?

You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the history that the orange juicer-shaped building contains. Canton, of course, was the site of the early Canton Bulldogs, which helped found the National Football League in the early 1900s. The city’s place in NFL history made it a natural site for the league’s most hallowed honor.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pretty impressive now, but if plans come to fruition, it’ll be a major economic driver for northeast Ohio. Last fall the Hall of Fame announced plans for Hall of Fame Village, expanding the area and making it an interactive and educational football attraction.

According to a study conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL),
HOF Village will generate $15.3 billion in cumulative net new total economic output within Stark County, home of the Hall of Fame, over the next 25 years. Additionally, a total of 13,375 new full and part-time jobs will be created within the county during the peak year of the project.

But wait, there’s more.  The cumulative economic and fiscal impact of HOF Village on the State of Ohio estimated over a 25-year period include $4.8 billion cumulating net new personal earnings and $1.0 billion new cumulative tax revenues.

CSL’s analysis is the result of a yearlong study of the project. The methodology of the economic analytics focuses on direct spending that occurs in three ways: construction (materials, labor, design and professional fees), in-facility (direct spending generated by visitors and participation throughout HOF Village) and out-of-facility spending (direct spending away from HOF Village in the city, county and regional areas).

The complex is designed to include the Hall of Fame Museum; the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (Fawcett Stadium is the facility now adjacent to the Museum, where high school and college games are played as well as the HOF game); a hotel and conference center, the Hall of Fame NFL Experience, youth fields, a residential area, the Center for Excellence which will include athletic performance and safety center, coaches’ university and the Institute of Integrity for Officiating and a retail/restaurant/office space area.

Construction costs are estimated at $476 million, according to the Hall of Fame. The project is due to start this summer, with the first phase to open in 2019.

Hall of Fame plans for a Hall of Fame facility that could reshape the face, and the economy, of football-crazy northeast Ohio.

Hall-of-Fame-Village-650

Sports Tourism: A State of the Industry Report

May 18, 2015

At last month’s NASC Symposium, Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti from The George Washington University shared the findings from the 2014 Sports Tourism: The State of the Industry Report to the NASC membership.

The report which can be found on the NASC website provides a helpful reference for our members to share with their colleagues, rights holders and funders. The report provides the following key indicators:

• Industry at a Glance
• Industry Performance Indicators
• Operating Conditions
• Methodology of the Research

Overall, the report shares good news for our industry with visitor spending up three percent over last year at $8.96 billion and total visitors entertained in 2014 was 25.65 million.

Among those NASC members surveyed, the top three community priorities were:

• Visitor spending
• Marketing the region
• Supporting local sports franchises and venues

Once you have reviewed the report, we encourage you to share the link on your website, social media pages and with an email to your supporters and community partners.