Posts Tagged ‘event management’

When Society and Sports Collide

January 19, 2015

In the wake of the social unrest we’ve seen in Ferguson, Cleveland and New York, athletes have used their national platforms to express their opinions on the incidents—see the St. Louis Rams’ players coming out for team introductions with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose.

This expression has reached basketball, where professional and college players alike have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, signifying the last words of Eric Gardner, the New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold.I cant breathe

And now, a high school basketball tournament in Northern California has been included in the conversation, after a school scheduled to play in the tournament was disinvited because of concerns its players would wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups.

The athletic director at Mendocino High School was told that neither the boy’s nor the girl’s team would be allowed to participate in the tournament if they wore the shirts.

The boys were reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirt. Too few girl players agreed to not wear the shirts and were not allowed to play.

No surprise here: The parent of the one boy who decided to sit out the holiday tournament has taken the issue to the American Civil Liberties Union. In a written statement, the principal of the host school, Fort Bragg High School, said the school administrators respected the Mendocino teams “for paying attention to what is going on in the world around them” and that the shirts were being banned as a security precaution.

This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, time where the world of amateur and youth sports will collide with First Amendment rights and the desire of young athletes to express themselves.

Have you run into similar issues with your events or teams? If so how did you handle the issue and what advice would you have other rights holders or event planners on how to deal with the issue? Give us your thoughts on our NASC Facebook page. We always welcome comments on best practices.

Lessons from Two Super Bowl Executives: You’ve Got the Bid, Now What?

April 22, 2013

“You’ve Got the Bid, Now What?” with Tara Green and Allison Melangton

Tara Green and Allison Melangton served as back-to-back executive directors at Super Bowls held in Dallas (2011) and Indianapolis (2012). Both co-presented during today’s program for Certified Sports Event Executives at the 2013 Symposium hosted by the National Association of Sports Commissions.

They shared a 13-point checklist that event planners can use in preparing for any event from a bowling tournament to the Super Bowl.

1)      Vision: Get everyone on the same page with 13 check points

Indianapolis realized a $371 million economic impact from hosting the Super Bowl, which was impressive but it wasn’t the #1 goal of the Host City. Their overall goal was to leverage the influence of the international media that comes with the game to improve their community imaging and branding.

Indy also wanted to use the Super Bowl to drive talent recruitment and retention to brand the city as a cool place to work, live and play. Rounding out the community objectives were to drive community spirit and create a “community group hub” while creating legacy projects within the community.

2)      Goals: Do you have the same goals: The Host City and the Event?

Some of the major goals, an event and the host city will want to consider include:

  • Attendance Goals
  • Revenue Goals
  • Local Community Goals
  • Media Exposure
  • Economic Impact

A few goals that were met in Dallas include: the fund-raising of $38 million in two years to fund their Super Bowl with earned media impressions valued at $60 million.

3)      Expectations

What does the rights holder expect from your organization and your community? What does your community expect from the rights holder?

4)      Obligations: Understand all including gray areas!

Ask questions on the front end of the process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and no question is too small or silly.

5)      Responsibility for Event Success

It’s important to discuss responsibility early in the event planning process: Who is responsible for the success of the event? It is singular, shared or shared among groups.

This is important in sharing the success of the event or the challenges of the event. A shared approach is most commonly used among major events like the Super Bowl.

6)      Opportunities for Partnership:

Partnerships help increase the bandwidth and impact of programs, and engage community organizations based on their expertise.

7)      Potential Partners

Identify needs of the event and seek qualified partners such as universities, downtown organizations, civic groups, etc.

8)      Key Constituents are Key

It’s important to determine and engage volunteers, CVBs, politicians, etc. early in the process. Provide a manageable project or task that they can complete and celebrate their accomplishment.

9)      Community Leaders

Think about how who they are (outside of sport), how to engage them, communicate with them and determine cross pollination among the groups?

10)   Community Engagement: Traditional or Non-Traditional.

How can you expand community engagement beyond football fans? How can you engage the community in advance of the event as well as your corporate sponsors with meaningful opportunities and benefits?

11)   Plan for Measuring Success

Clarity is very important in how you will measure success.

12)   Community Strengths

Celebrate your assets around the event. Also, address your weaknesses head-on with creativity.

It’s important to set community objectives that mirror those of existing objectives of interest in the community. In Dallas, the goal was to rally 4500 kids to do 4500 hours of community learning in the Dallas region around the Super Bowl activities. This effort engaged families but also created media opportunities to share the progress of the planning.

13)   Identification of Risks

Indianapolis used the Enterprise Risk Management approach in their planning which was led by a committee of local risk management experts to facilitate a plan to determine all of the potential risks and how to mitigate them. All in all, 274 major risks were identified by the Indy Super Bowl Committee and each was prioritized among the working leadership committees to determine mitigation plans for each.

NASC Member Cities Host 17 of 19 Olympic Trials

July 12, 2012

Recently we had occasion to take a look at the cities that hosted Olympic trials events in preparation for the London Games. As we did, we realized our members have played a huge role in helping to qualify and prepare our athletes.

Of the 19 Olympic sports that held trials for the 26 sports on this year’s program (7 sports select their teams without trials events), 17 were held in NASC member cities. Both of the exceptions are former members where a staff person left the organization prior to this year. This equals 89 percent of the sports holding trials.

Since some of those sports (aquatics, for example) have four sports, there were actually 31 different trials events for the 19 sports. Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo held their events in four different cities.

NASC members hosted 29 of the 31 different disciplines within the sports, or 94 percent of all of the trials events held for the 19 sports on the program for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It could not be any clearer: NASC members play an absolutely essential role in these events.

We are very proud of each host city and look forward to seeing the athletes who qualified medal for the USA in London!

– Don