Posts Tagged ‘Convention and Visitors Bureau’

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

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.

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.

Website Launched for 23rd Annual NASC Symposium

September 10, 2014

The NASC is pleased to announce the launch of the new website for 23rd annual NASC Symposium, scheduled for April 27-30, 2015 in Milwaukee, WI., hosted by VISIT Milwaukee. 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.

“The NASC board of directors, staff, and Symposium Committee are all very excited about the way the 2015 NASC Symposium is coming together,” said Beth Hecquet, CMP, CMM, Director of Meetings and Events.  “We are taking the feedback provided by our members and previous attendees and letting it guide us every step of the way.  You won’t want to miss it!”

On the website, you can download registration forms, view the preliminary schedule, find hotel & travel information, learn about sponsorship opportunities, and more.  Online registration will open for NASC members at the end of September.

Complete details are available at www.SportsCommissions.org/Symposium.

 

About the NASC

As the only trade association for the sports tourism industry, the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) is the most trusted resource for sports commissions, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), and sports event owners.

Since its establishment in 1992, the NASC has been committed to increasing the effectiveness of nearly 700 member organizations and more than 2,000 sports tourism professionals.

Our promise is to deliver quality education, ample networking opportunities, and exceptional event management and marketing know-how to our members and to protect the integrity of the industry.FINAL INFOGRAPHIC_091014

 

 

2013 Year in Review and 2014 Membership Renewals

December 5, 2013

The 2013 membership year is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been!   The NASC staff and board of directors thank you for your involvement DSC_4118and hope your organization values its membership as much as we value your continual support! Renew today to continue to take full advantage of all the benefits and resources that are available to your organization as a NASC member.

2013 Year in Review

What a year! As the two bars graphs so clearly demonstrate, NASC membership and annual symposium attendance continue to grow. Revenues kept pace as well, and the financial security of the association has never been better. And, if our conversations with members are any indication, the exceptional benefits of a member directed association have become important to each of you.

membership growthsymposium growth

The steady growth in membership is particularly encouraging. Our progress has remained steady and sure, encouraging your board of directors to feel our emphasis on member services has been the proper course to follow. After all, the NASC is the only not-for-profit member directed association serving the industry.

It is quite obvious that the 21st annual NASC Sports Event Symposium “hit it out of the park” in terms of year-to-year growth. It may be interesting for our newer members to know that the symposium is the oldest and longest running conference in the sports event travel industry!

This past year was also a record year for revenues. A result? Your board of directors is currently reviewing a number of options that will result in even more services, which will produce greater value for your membership.

When you combine growing membership with an understanding of the recession resistant nature of our business, we become attractive to those who wish to read the books we have written and get up to speed on what has been happening.

As we continue to grow our membership, build upon our considerable resources, and provide ever more value 365 days each year, it is not surprising outside interests would want to capitalize.

After all, membership in an association provides very different and much more

extensive benefits than can be provided by a two or three day conference. In terms of value, our members pay less than half the registration fee it will take for another 2014 industry conference…and get an annual membership and a symposium registration in the bargain!

Think about it: A full year of membership benefits plus a registration to the industry’s oldest and longest running conference for half of what you would pay for just three days somewhere else! Talk about value!

In a recent staff meeting, we came up with a list of NASC “firsts” that we think you will find interesting:

  • First and only industry association
  • First industry conference (and will always be the longest running)
  • First event owner marketplace (and the only one that focuses on the needs of
    destinations and event owners)
  • Only professional certification program (soon to be offered online)
  • First online economic impact calculator in the industry and the only one offered as part of your annual membership, saving many members at least $3000 a year
  • Only organization driven by the needs of its membership; we are, after all, yours
  • Only organization available 24/7, 365 days a year with premium on-line member services
  • Only organization that stands for industry best practices and protects the integrity of the industry

The more we think about it, the more we believe the NASC can be thought of as the National Governing Body for the sports event travel industry!

This is a proper role for a member directed not-for-profit national association: education and professional development for everyone in the business.

Please know that your staff and board of directors are dedicated to delivering what you need to be continually successful.

DSC_2241

A Look at What’s Ahead in 2014

As we look ahead, we are delighted to share exciting new initiatives and programs that will be launching 2014.

  • Online module for Certified Sports Event Executive Program
  • Printed NASC Playbook to be mailed quarterly to each member organization
  • More customization for your online account
  • Personalized communication preferences to ensure you receive information about the benefits and services that are most important to you
  • New forums on the online message board based on membership type

If you have any questions about your organization’s membership, please contact the Member Services Department.

NASC unveils new capabilities for Economic Impact Calculator to measure $8.3 billion industry

July 12, 2013

The National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) today announced that it is launching an improved Economic Impact Calculator to guide its membership in measuring the $8.3 billion U.S. sports events industry.Image

The Economic Impact Calculator model and Event Spending data are based upon studies completed by Sportsimpacts at over 50 events within the last decade spanning various market sizes and event types, and a 2011-2012 Consumer Spending study conducted by the University of Arizona Sports Management program that analyzed daily visitor spending trends at 30 events spanning various market sizes and event types.

Dr. Pat Rishe, Executive Director of Sportsimpacts, a national sports consulting firm, originally developed the calculator in 2007, which offers a consistent approach to calculate and report economic impact results. When used properly, the calculator allows NASC members to approximate the total direct spending stemming from all non-local sources, and report upon such findings in an accurate manner.

“Our goal with the Economic Impact Calculator is to simplify the process of estimating the economic value of an event and its return on investment,” said Don Schumacher, Executive Director of NASC. “The improvements made to the calculator are based on extensive research to offer accurate results and ease of use. It is a valuable tool that is available for free to all NASC members.”

One new feature of the calculator is a Spectator Survey that allows members to gather data required for inputs. This survey will give insight to visitor spending behavior, which will enable members to itemize and localize spending estimates for greater authenticity.

The updated calculator also offers two options for approaches to determine a final impact number. The itemized approach ensures greater accuracy for spending estimates based on research gathered through the Spectator Survey. The aggregate approach provides a more general overview of the flow of visitor spending.

In addition, three sets of calculations are put forward permitting members to choose any or all of them depending on the data desired: Spending by Event Spectators, Spending by Event Participants, and Spending Stemming from Other Non-Local Sources.

Access to the calculator is offered to all NASC members as a benefit of membership and will be available starting Monday, July 15.

What NASC Means To Me

November 13, 2012

“I would not have a job in the sports travel industry if it weren’t for the National Association of Sports Commissions!” 

This is a pretty strong statement, but true!  I was hired by the Cedar Rapids Area CVB to pursue convention and meeting business.  After experiencing success for several years, our city began losing its share of this market in the late 1990s when our competition began building shiny, new convention centers.   The largest facility Cedar Rapids could offer the meetings market was a hotel connected to a 6000-seat arena.  During this same time period, our city began developing a new minor league baseball stadium, 20-field soccer complex, and ice arena for the benefit of local residents.

As I was struggling to adjust to the changing landscape of the meetings market, I became aware of the National Association of Sports Commissions through Denny Gann who was President of the Sioux City Sports Commission, one of NASC’s twelve founding organizations.  He gave a series of seminars describing the sports market as a new, emerging market segment.  He explained how hosting a sports event was very different from hosting a convention; and he encouraged membership in a young organization, the National Association of Sports Commissions.

The Cedar Rapids Area CVB became a member of NASC on February 1, 1997, and I attended my first Symposium that April in San Antonio.   I felt like a sponge as I attended one session after another and gained new knowledge from other attendees.  As I absorbed the information shared, I realized that Cedar Rapids could be a legitimate contender for tournaments!

In the fall of 1997 I was ready to bid on my first national tournament.  I prepared my proposal but wanted a more knowledgeable individual to review my work.  Once again NASC came to my rescue!  I asked Denny Gann to mentor me.  As a result of his suggestions, I was able to strengthen my proposal; and Cedar Rapids was awarded the 1999 AAU Taekwondo Youth and Adult National Championship!

The story doesn’t end there, however.  In July of 1998, 1000 athletes and their families spent 5 days in Cedar Rapids competing in the tournament, exploring the area, and spending money at our restaurants, hotels and retail outlets.   Our city council was so pleased with the economic benefits generated, they gave our CVB funding to add a full-time person dedicated to attracting more sports events to our area!

Today NASC continues to be as vibrant and important to me as it was 14 years ago.  Volunteering on committees has given me more insight into the industry and more professional contacts.  I continue to learn from my peers at Symposium and at Market Segment Meetings.  I am very proud of my CSEE and the respect my clients have for the designation.  I find that the appointments with sports organizers at Symposium and the information about their events on the website are invaluable!

I urge you to take advantage of all that the National Association of Sports Commission has to offer!  I promise it will positively enhance your success in this industry!

Mary Lee Malmberg, CSEE
Director of Sports Tourism
Cedar Rapids Area CVB

Mary Lee joined the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1989. The bureau’s Sports Tourism Department was established in 2000 and Mary Lee has served as the Director of Sports Tourism since that time. The Sports Tourism Department has helped bring a number of state, regional and national competitions to the Cedar Rapids area including the American Legion World Series and NCAA Division II and III National Wrestling Championships. Mary Lee has attended each NASC Sports Symposium since 1997 and has served on the Member Mentoring Committee since 2001. Mary Lee received her Certified Sports Event Executive certification in April 2006. She has served on NASC’s Board of Directors since 2008.

Room Block in Louisville

November 1, 2012

Every year at the NASC Symposium we have various sessions on how to track hotel pickup.  We all dream of the event where every team stays within their hotel room block and tracking is a breeze. The same can be said of our association’s annual gathering.  We have the opportunity to support NASC by staying at the host hotel (Louisville Marriott Downtown) or the overflow hotel (Hyatt Regency Louisville).  And both hotels are steps from the Kentucky International Convention Center!  Check out the Hotels page on the NASC Symposium website to book your room. See you in Louisville…..

Heath Aucoin, CSEE

Event Manager/Sports Sales Manager

SMG/Jackson Convention Complex

Why It’s Important to Never Burn Bridges

October 25, 2012

It may sound cliché, but in this industry especially, you have to be very careful about not burning any bridges with clients or peers.  The longer you stay in this industry, the more you realize that there is a high retention rate amongst the key players.  Some of them stay in the same organization for years, while others may switch companies or go from a supplier to a buyer.  But just remember that a lot of people in this industry aren’t necessarily in it for the money, they’re here because they have a genuine passion for the industry and their unique skills have allowed them to sustain a successful career.  Each of you can probably think of a handful of competitors that you go up against time and again.  It’s worth asking yourself, how well do I treat those rivals?  Do I avoid them or am I cordial and friendly with them?  If that person turned into a potential client someday, would they trust me enough to call me for help?

A few years ago I was working for a different CVB, and we made the short list for a large youth hockey tournament.  We were bidding against an intra-state rival CVB.  I knew their sports guy pretty well, as we both attended the NASC Symposium for several years, and we were always friendly with each other.   As we met prior to this bid opportunity, we both made a conscious effort to wish each other good luck and offer to help each other out on future bid opportunities.  I was sincere with my words of encouragement and a few years later, I realized that he was too.

Two years later, I accepted a position for Meet Minneapolis and found myself having a lot more venues to sell and was in need of new clients to help fill the funnel.  Then one day, I received a call from that same rival, letting me know that he had recently left the CVB world to start a career as a third party planner for sports groups.  It made perfect sense for him because he had such a vast knowledge of clients that needed housing help.  And best of all, he wanted to work with me to book some business!  Since that day, we’ve booked several groups together with significant room nights.

So when you’re at the NASC Symposium, don’t forget about the value of networking with your peers, even your competitors.  NASC does a really good job of allowing time for you to interact with your fellow attendees.  Try not to get caught up in only talking to “clients” because often times, your peers can provide valuable information that may help you someday.  Plus, you never know when a rival might become one of your best clients!

Matt Meunier
National Account Executive
Meet Minneapolis

Q and A with Domico Rodriguez – 1st registered attendee for 2013 NASC Sports Event Symposium

October 18, 2012

We conducted a brief Q&A with Domico Rodriguez, Sports & Events Sales Director for the Rapid City CVB, who was the first officially registered attendee for the 21st annual NASC Sports Event Symposium to be held in Louisville, KY April 22-25, 2013. Domico shares his thoughts on why he attends the Symposium and how his attendance has benefited his organization.

NASC: How many Symposiums have you attended?
Domico Rodriguez (DR):I have attended three symposiums. The first one I attended was in Columbus and it was my first time in Columbus and it was AMAZING. I will forever remember the activities at Ohio State and meeting the THEN Coach Jim Tressel.

NASC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve learned (from a peer, in an education session, etc.)  at a Symposium that you have attended that you were able to implement at your organization?
DR: A lot of the process of this business and recruiting events is the relationship part. So much of the time it takes a few years of building the relationship to get your foot in the door, be patient and honest with the process.

NASC: What is the biggest selling point for you to attend the Symposium?
DR: The business answer is… First and foremost it is the education aspect of the Symposium, you can learn so much from how other communities work that you can take some of that with you and adjust how you do things in your community.
The sports fan answer is… All of the activities you get to do; as a sports fan these are once in a lifetime opportunities and to get the opportunity to do these things as part of work are priceless. Touring the Ohio State University team locker rooms at the 20120 Symposium in Columbus, OH is an example of these unique opportunities.

NASC: How has your organization benefited from your attendance at the Symposium?
DR: We have been able to start the relationship process with the events and have been able to lay the groundwork for hosting events from rights holders at the Symposium.

NASC: Tell us about some of your past events or upcoming events and how you have been able to improve those events (increase attendance, increase participation, book more rooms, bring more awareness to your community) as a result of your Symposium attendance.
DR: We hosted a first time Amateur Men’s Basketball tournament in our slowest month for hotel rooms, April 2012. The local organizer had never hosted an event but had the idea and because of hearing some of the trials and tribulations from other communities in helping with events I was able to jump in and help the tournament coordinator with so much of the event process. From all aspects of the event from Sponsorship, working with hotels and marketing, I was able to help him. This was my first event getting that involved with as I even officiated during the event and this led our CVB to the discussion as to whether or not to get more involved with events to ensure they are reaching their full potential as many of the event coordinators are volunteers and might not fully understand all that goes into events.

NASC: Anything else you’d like to share?
DR: I truly look forward to the Symposium and out of all of the shows that are out there I still feel this is the best hands down, none of them offer the education aspect that the NASC Symposium does. We cannot take for granted these opportunities because, with the ever changing sports industry, we need to evolve with it.

Working with your Parks and Recreation Departments Effectively

October 17, 2012

We all know how important our Parks and Recreation Departments are for our events.  In many cases they have some of the best facilities in our communities.  However, sometimes it is difficult to get to those facilities.  While many Parks and Recreation Departments are faced with the fiduciary responsibility of making those facilities be revenue generators in the way of tournaments and events, some are solely concerned about the local leagues and constituents, or so it seems.  In the paragraphs that follow, I will give you an insight in to what worked for Bryan-College Station and leave you with some ideas for working with your Parks and Recreation Departments as well.

First, allow me to give you the set-up.  In Bryan-College Station we are blessed to have two cities, so two Parks and Recreation Departments and City Councils.  One of the first things I noticed when I began working for the Convention and Visitors Bureau 8 years ago was that there was not a strong relationship between the CVB and the Parks and Recreation Departments from either city.  So, the first thing that took place was a meeting with the Directors of both cities.  This was key.  I simply explained to them what exactly my goal was in bringing events to the community.  I asked about the leagues and the usage of the facilities.  Since they were first and foremost concerned about the local groups and users, it was a learning experience trying to be creative in explaining how tournaments, while they are wear and tear on fields, could really benefit the local leagues and park users.

The Directors are also an important part of our Advisory Board.  As we are not a stand-alone sports commission, we have an advisory board made up of key facility managers in our community.  Through the interaction with them on this board, the Directors grew to understand the purpose of the CVB and the reasons the events were so important to our community.  They quickly learned that bringing these events in could be great revenue generators for them and community.  These events create more sales tax expenditures in our communities which in turn affect the general funds of the city.  The events would help create more funding for the Parks and Recreation Departments.  In our situation, our Parks and Recreation staffs both had some great experiences in the Amateur Softball Association.  That really helped our cause as they see the impact that large tournaments can make on the community.

Our issue was soccer.  As I stated earlier, our Parks and Recreation Directors’ main concern is the local leagues and local users.  Knowing this, I contacted them to get to the soccer clubs and leagues in our community.  We scheduled a meeting with them and talked about our purpose of bringing these tournaments in to our community.  Our soccer leagues thought we were bringing competitors in that would take field time away from them.  However, during the meeting we explained that we would like these tournaments to be fundraisers for them and we would like to give back to the community by doing so.  The key to getting that going was having the backing of the Parks and Recreation Directors and staffs.

Our business is built on relationships.  It is not just the relationships that we build with event rights holders or suppliers.  It is also about the relationships we build with our own partners in our communities.  We try to meet regularly with our Parks and Recreation Directors for them to share their calendar with us and for us to talk about the possibilities of tournaments and events that we can bring to their facilities.  Once we are all on the same plan and after the same goal, we can accomplish great things.  It all boils down to the key to working with your Parks and Recreation Departments is all about the relationships you establish and maintain.  Once those relationships are in place, you and your community can successfully work together to host and create memorable events for your local groups and the visitors to your community.

Submitted by Kindra Fry, CSEE, SMP
Bryan-College Station CVB |Vice President of Sales & Marketing