Posts Tagged ‘Community Relations’

Building Community Relationships

February 23, 2016

 

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.

How do you begin?

  • Visit all prospective venues in your area. Get to know everything about them, build a relationship with their staff and learn who books their events.
    • Why?
      • A venue is usually the most critical component to a successful bid.
      • Their customers may become prospects and customers of yours.
    • Get to know all of the local clubs and sport organizations.
      • Where to find them?
        • Local news
        • Referrals
        • Google Alerts and Search Engines
        • Relationships with local venues
        • Club listings on national websites (i.e. National Governing Bodies)
      • Why?
        • They are the experts in their sport and invaluable resources in areas such as event management, vendor relationships, volunteers, and they may also have relationships with venues.
      • Reach out to local government; they may grant access to venues, provide support services, and/or offer financial support that could be essential to a successful proposal.
        • Parks and recreation departments
        • Police, fire and EMS
        • Department of Transportation
        • Elected officials such as a Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners
      • Be sure to include the business community in your outreach as they can may provide sponsorship opportunities and a pool for volunteers.

What tools are available to build and support your relationships?

  • Social media
  • Volunteering at sports events in your community
  • Join and/or serve on a board or committee for a club, organization or association
  • Create an event to bring your local sports community together to foster discussions and promote networking amongst themselves.

Bonny Bernat, CSEE
Senior Sports and Events Sales Manager
Visit Winston-Salem
Bonny@Visitwinstonsalem.com
NASC Mentoring Committee

 

 

Sports at its best

September 21, 2015

So it seems as if we’ve talked a lot about the bad stuff that’s happened in high school games recently. Here’s a feel-good story of what youth sports CAN accomplish.

Northwest High School in the Cincinnati area recently had its second Breast Cancer Awareness soccer game. It started with a player whose aunt was battling the disease and he wanted to do something to show his support. As the team planned its first awareness game, they found out that another soccer player’s mother also was dealing with breast cancer.

At this year’s game the varsity team wore pink socks and jerseys to support those fighting the disease, and to honor those who are no longer here. Fans were encouraged to wear pink and to donate to the cause, and they chipped in hundreds of dollars.

Another area club team, Cincinnati United, raised almost $9,000 through the sale of t-shirts and donated the money to CancerFREE Kids to recognize Childhood Cancer Month.

It’s a cause that many high school and youth sports teams have picked up in recent years. The “Volley for a Cure” among volleyball teams has raised thousands of dollars, and on the college level both men’s and women’s basketball have special breast cancer awareness games.

With headlines dominated recently by high school players behaving badly, it’s good to see youth teams that are thinking of their community and how to help others. It’s a good lesson to learn both on and off the court, the field, or the pitch.

Photo courtesy Northwest High School

Photo courtesy Northwest High School

Finding funding: Sometimes it comes to you

July 28, 2015

So you have a great idea for a new event for your facility: It would bring in hundreds of athletes who would stay multiple days and bring in thousands of dollars to the local economy.

Or, you’d like to expand your facility, adding fields or courts, which would allow you to bring in bigger, better events. All sounds good, but the bottom line, as they say, is the bottom line: How to pay for all of this?

It’s a universal issue that all organizations, rights holders, facility operators, high school and college athletic departments or team managers face. You may have great ideas, but you don’t have the resources to fund them. Where does the money come from?

As a sports corporation or CVB, you might ask your sales staff to acquire more sponsorships or partnerships. (what your sales staff says after you leave the room, well, that’s out of our control)

We already know that more colleges and universities, especially those outside the “Power Five” conferences, are looking to beer sales at games to help fund the athletic department. A year ago, there were 21 on-campus football stadiums where any fan of legal age could grab a brew. That’s more than twice as many as five years ago.

Troy University Athletic Director John Hartwell estimated that beer would account for $200,000 in commissions for the season. According to its contract with concessionaire Sodexo, Troy receives 43 percent of gross beer sales at its 30,000-seat stadium, or better than $2 for every $5 beer.

But sometimes the money comes to you, through an endowment. A trend that started in the Ivy League and spread to other schools is now becoming the new way to save that school from paying a salary.

The most recent example? Richard Corbett, a Florida real-estate executive who served as the business manager of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign, gave $35 million to the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1960.

Of the total, $25 million will go for a new building to house the anthropology and psychology departments and a digital-media center. He also directed $10 million of the gift to endow the university’s head football coach position.

In another case, Xavier’s men’s basketball coach, Chris Mack, is now the Sedler Family Men’s Head Basketball Coach after Tom and Genny Sedler provided Xavier with the endowment to fund Coach Mack’s salary. The endowment basically allows the university to take the money that would go to salaries and use it somewhere else.

The academic side has been doing this for decades, as donors have funded the “so-and-so-chair for chemical engineering research” at universities around the country. So how can you get the endowment idea to work for you?

It might come in the form of a civic-minded philanthropist who wants to fund a new soccer or basketball complex, or a company that can use foundation dollars to help a community cause while getting its name out in public.

This is a time we all have to be creative to find sponsorship and partnership dollars. Doing a form of an endowment might be the way to get your project from the drawing board, into the community.

ball field

How to Incorporate Community Service Projects Into Your Events

June 11, 2015

Join Michelle Haider, Meetings & Event Services Manager, VISIT Milwaukee, and Mike Guswiler, President, West Michigan Sports Commission, as they discuss incorporating community service projects into events. They will also share details about the creation of the Sports Legacy community service project that was launched in Milwaukee, WI during the 23rd NASC Symposium.

Register Now.

If you are unable to join Michelle and Mike on the 23rd, you can download their presentation from our webinar archives page on http://www.sportscommissions.org.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with the NASC Sports Legacy Fund

December 2, 2014
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
What better way to celebrate #GivingTuesday than by donating to the NASC Sports Legacy Fund? Donors will receive logo recognition for your organization on the Sports Legacy Fund website and in the Symposium program. Plus, the organization whose donation raises the most money during the 2015 fundraiser will receive a complimentary registration for the 2016 NASC Sports Event Symposium.
How to Donate
1) Make a cash donation when you renew your 2015 membership or register for the 2015 NASC Symposium
2) Donate a silent auction or raffle item
3) Sponsor a silent auction/raffle table ($100 per table)
4) Donate basketball equipment
5) Purchase an “old-fashioned” during the first evening of Extra Innings or the NASC Sports Legacy Fund Reception
6) Bid on a silent auction item at the NASC Symposium
7) Purchase raffle tickets at the NASC Symposium
8) Volunteer
 for NASC C.A.R.E.S.: Sports Legacy Committee Park Clean Up
Running Rebels Community Organization announced as 2015 beneficiary
Since 1980, the Running Rebels Community Organization has been dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically, and spiritually.  By offering youth programs that focus on education and recreational activities, Running Rebels provides Milwaukee’s youth with positive alternatives to gangs and substance abuse.
The proceeds raised for the 2015 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward the Running Rebels basketball fundamentals program which will expand the number of youth served and aide in the development of year-round programming.  Funding will off-set operating expenses for the program including gym rental and referee fees, equipment, transportation, training for older youth to become certified referees, and healthy snacks.  This will allow the program to become much more than a fundamentals program; utilizing young people’s love of basketball to benefit them physically, socially, and academically.
Watch a short video to learn more about Running Rebels.
Questions? Contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership & Marketing at Elizabeth@SportsCommissions.org or call 513.281.3888.

NASC Sports Legacy Committee Announces 2015 Beneficiary

November 10, 2014

The NASC Sports Legacy Committee is pleased to announce the selection of the Running Rebels Community Organization as the 2015 beneficiary.

RRlogoSince 1980, Running Rebels has been dedicated to developing Milwaukee’s youth mentally, physically and spiritually. By offering programs that focus on education and recreational activities, Running Rebels provides Milwaukee’s youth with positive alternatives to gangs and substance abuse.

The proceeds raised for the 2015 NASC Sports Legacy Fund will go toward the Running Rebels basketball fundamentals program which will expand the number of youth served and aide in the development of year-round programming.  Funding will off-set operating expenses for the program including gym rental and referee fees, equipment, transportation, training for older youth to become certified referees, and healthy snacks.  This will allow the program to become much more than a fundamentals program; utilizing young people’s love of basketball to benefit them physically, socially and academically.

Watch a brief video about Running Rebels.

RR1

How you can help
1) Renew your 2015 membership or register for the 2015 NASC 2) Donate a silent auction or raffle item
3) Sponsor a silent auction/raffle table ($100 per table)
4) Donate basketball equipment
5) Purchase an “old-fashioned” during the first evening of Extra Innings
6) Bid on a silent auction item at the NASC Symposium
7) Purchase raffle tickets at the NASC Symposium
8) Volunteer for NASC C.A.R.E.S.: Sports Legacy Committee Park Clean Up

New Community Service Project Announced for 2015

The NASC Sports Legacy Committee will be launching a new community service project at the 2015 NASC Sports Event Symposium in Milwaukee, WI.. In addition to providing the 2015 beneficiary with a cash donation, this hands-on community project is a way for sports tourism professionals to give back to the host city of the annual Symposium and leave a lasting impact in the cities we visit.

Symposium attendees are invited to join the NASC Board of Directors and Sports Legacy Committee help improve Washington Park, a Milwaukee County Park. Volunteers will assist in painting picnic tables, mulching around trees, cleaning up the playgrounds, and renovating soccer fields. Breakfast, transportation, and a t-shirt will be supplied. Event details are below.

Space may be limited, so sign up now!

Monday, April 27, 2015

6:30am – grab and go breakfast at Hilton Milwaukee and Hyatt Regency
7:00am – departure from both hotels
7:00 am –  10:15am – volunteer for needed tasks at Washington Park
10:30am – arrival back to hotels

About the NASC Sports Legacy Fund

Originally created by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund awards an annual grant and sports equipment donation to an organization in need in the host city the NASC Symposium.

An emphasis is placed on donations to not-for profit organizations that provide individuals, particularly at-risk youth, veterans, or physically or intellectually disabled individuals, opportunities to participate in sport and encourage healthy lifestyles. This contribution is part of the legacy the NASC leaves in each host city.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, the NASC Sports Legacy Fund made a donation of $14,000 to Oklahoma Cleats for Kids.  “The Sports Legacy grant is helping Oklahoma Cleats for Kids with opportunities to help more kids,” said Stacy McDaniel of Cleats for Kids. “We have purchased four bins for sporting goods collections and will be purchasing three permanent outdoor collection bins for locations around the Oklahoma City area. Also, our programs director, who has been a part time employee, has moved to full time. This is making a big impact on C4K’s ability to reach more kids.”

For more information about how you can help leave a legacy, contact Elizabeth Young, Director of Membership and Marketing, at Elizabeth@sportscommissions.org.

NASC Sports Legacy Committee Selects Oklahoma City Charity as 2014 Sports Legacy Fund Beneficiary

October 2, 2013

The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) has selected the Oklahoma Cleats for Kids program as its Sports Legacy Fund beneficiary at next year’s NASC Symposium in Oklahoma City, to be held March 31-April 3, 2014.

logo - shield color

The Sports Legacy Fund, originally developed by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission as an equipment donation program, is a way for members of the sports tourism community to make a personal and lasting impact on the lives of underprivileged youth sports programs throughout the country. Each year the NASC partners with the host city of the NASC Sports Event Symposium to donate the proceeds from the Sports Legacy Fund to a worthy organization in the community.

Oklahoma Cleats for Kids collects, recycles and distributes new and gently used athletic shoes and equipment to kids in need. In its first year of operation in 2012, Cleats for Kids delivered more than 5,000 pairs of shoes, clothing and equipment to

Oklahoma kids in need. underprivileged youth sports programs throughout the country. Each year the NASC partners with the host city of the NASC Sports Event Symposium to donate the proceeds from the Sports Legacy Fund to a worthy organization in the community.

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Cleats for Kids

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Cleats for Kids

“We are looking forward to our partnership with Oklahoma Cleats for Kids,” said Ed Hruska, CSEE, executive director of the Rochester (MN) Amateur Sports Commission and chair of the NASC Sports Legacy Committee. “NASC always looks for an organization committed to reaching the community, and we feel Cleats for Kids does that for deserving youth throughout the state.”

“It is our honor to be chosen by the Sports Legacy Committee as the Sports Legacy Fund beneficiary for the 2014 NASC Symposium,” said Stacy McDaniel, president of Oklahoma Cleats for Kids. “Our vision for Cleats for Kids is to support every child’s right to develop a healthier lifestyle and build character by helping them get what they need to play and stay involved in sports. The NASC partnership will help support our mission.”

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Cleats for Kids

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma Cleats for Kids

Since its inception, the Sports Legacy Fund has made sporting goods contributions and monetary donations to youth sports programs in Lexington, Kentucky; Dallas; Omaha; Denver; Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro; Hartford and Louisville. Grants may be awarded throughout the year to communities in need as approved by the Sports Legacy Committee.

 

For more information visit www.sportscommissions.org.

Here with just a few of our closest friends

August 3, 2012

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

 

Beth Hecquet, CMP
Director of Meetings and Events
NASC

Partnerships with a Host City and Sporting Events

March 22, 2012

Much has been said about the importance of community support when bidding on events. Listen and watch as Gary Alexander of the Nashville Sports Council describes just how they work with the city and other organizations to support their events, both big and small.

A Super Host City: Indianapolis

February 6, 2012

By Jackie Reau, Game Day Communications
NASC Member

On Friday, I traveled over to Indianapolis to visit Super Bowl Village in downtown Indianapolis. I had no intention of going to the game but did want to see first-hand how the Super Bowl 2012 Committee was coordinating the fan fest opportunities. I had been keeping tabs on the planning and festivities through the Committee’s terrific website and regular email reports.

In a word to describe Indy’s Super Bowl efforts: Wow!

Sure the game was great (congratulations to the New York Giants) and the commercials were fun to watch, but the true winner in Super Bowl 46 was the city and people of Indianapolis.

Here are a few observations from Indianapolis that we can all think about when planning our next event—big or small.

Engage and Empower Volunteers

Who knew what the power of a blue and white scarf would be? More than 13,000 volunteers helped orchestrate the activities in and around Super Bowl Village and they were recognizable by their blue and white scarves—all knitted by volunteers.

Everywhere you turned, you saw a friendly smiling volunteer ready to help. They were at Monument Circle taking free photos on their iPads, greeting fans at The Huddle, the indoor merchandise shop and working the lines for fans to get their photo with the Lombardi trophy (a 25-minute wait which moved fast).

But the best part of the volunteers who embodied the spirit of “Hoosier Hospitality” was how they would finish a sentence: Have a Super Day! It was evident that the volunteers have been properly trained in customer service and had been positioned in areas that best suited their experience and interest.

Make It Fun

Free concerts, an 800-foot zip line, corn hole and stadium food. The Super Bowl Village in Indianapolis was fun! It was the state fair for football fans, and fans from around the world traveled to see it. As you walked the blocks of Georgia Street from the Stadium to the Convention Center, you would see fans in jerseys from many NFL teams, including those not even playing in the Super Bowl as well as soccer jerseys from the UK and Mexico.

The NFL Experience, with its $25 ticket (very reasonable), featured interactive exhibits from NFL Draft Day to photos with the Lombardi trophy and the live set for the NFL Network.

The pros from Wilson were making footballs just as they would at the factory. XBox and the Cartoon Network entertained the youth fans while the merchandise area offered everything a football fan could imagine.

It Takes a “Compact” Village

The best part of the Super Bowl Village was the proximity to the stadium and the convention center. The six-block, Block Party was filled with food, beverages, two live music stages, games for adults and kids and sponsor exhibits.

<Map link of Super Bowl Village: http://www.indianapolissuperbowl.com/files/SuperBowlVillage_Map_FINAL.pdf>

Fans could park once at their hotel or garage and easily walk up and down Georgia Street to the various activities.

Indianapolis has set the bar for future Super Bowl celebrations! While New Orleans, a seasoned party throwing city, knows how to manage such celebrations, I am sure their planners were taking notes on some new improvements.

Congratulations, Indianapolis! Job well done.

The Importance of Locally Created Events

May 13, 2011

I have had many opportunities to study home-grown soccer tournaments. Each was developed originally by a small group of individuals or a local club. Because they were created locally they use existing sites. Very recently I have learned a good deal about the events in one city. In fairness I am not going to reveal the name except to say it is in the Midwest.

Prior to this year, four annual tournaments took place. These included several age groups and spanned just about all levels of skill. The smallest event has been drawing 350 teams and the largest 525! This year, two new fall events will join the calendar and both are targeted at about 350 teams. The credible estimates I have seen put the number of visiting teams at fifty percent or more. This means more than 1000 visiting teams a year. If you assume 30-40 people per team, the numbers get interesting.

Please remember these are locally created. No bids, no guarantees, but lots of room nights!

It became clear to me a number of years ago that local events are much more adept at using multiple sites. The organizers know the local area and are willing to spread competition over a 20 or more mile radius. Event owners looking for host communities are less able to adjust to these conditions.

The fields themselves are usually large expanses of turf with moveable goals. These permit sizing the fields to suit varying age groups. Most fields are not lighted, and few have scoring systems, team bench areas or permanent seating. The city in question has complexes that can hold from 35 to fewer than 10 fields. Some are public facilities, and all of these are under the care of a park and recreation department. A surprising number, however, are private including the 35 field complex. These are owned by the clubs themselves.

One such complex opens this spring. It has fifteen new fields…no lights, no scoring, but plenty of parking and the ability to size the fields to suit each week’s schedule.
Many of you have heard me speak about the value of youth soccer. Most players demonstrate uncertain skills, and most will give up the game before they reach 14. One of the most attractive things about youth soccer is the simple fact that most players are of average ability. There are lots more average players than elites.The events they enter are designed to provide competition experiences outside the norm in their home communities.

What’s my point? We may be spending too much time worrying about how many full size (70 by 110 yards or larger) fields we have and not enough time thinking about how many youth teams need or can play on fields that size. I believe that if you think about it you will conclude that large expanses of good turf will serve best in your quest for visitors and their spending.

Many of you are fortunate to have multiple field complexes with lighted fields and electronic scoring. These, of course, are the kinds of complexes everyone would like to have. I have been able to visit scores of such places, and they are sights (sites?) to see!

I cannot help but think, however, that the cost of developing and maintaining complexes like these may be out of the reach of many communities…and success can be achieved by using something more like a polo field!

What do you think?

Kind Regards

Don

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