Our friends at the city of Foley (AL) and Foley Sports Tourism have been making news with their Foley Sports Tourism complex, the major sports venue including a 90,000 square foot indoor events center along with 16 multipurpose athletic fields for outdoor use.
In the December 2016 issue of SportsField Management, the article describes how the complex was designed, despite traditionally heavy rainfall in the area. (For example, Mobile, Alabama, one of the rainiest cities in the U.S., is only 40 miles away) “Project designers rejected the option of using artificial turf for the outdoor portion of the complex, “ the article says, “and instead elected to build all 16 fields using natural grass.
“The goal,” the article continues, “was to deliver a better playing surface that would also minimize injuries. The challenge was to ensure rain-or-shine playability 365 days a year.”
To do that, designers had to come up with a system that would acce...
In theory, you or I could submit a bid for any sporting event. If you want to win a bid, and more importantly host an event, you must start by knowing your product (your local facilities, community and marketing plan) and developing strong relationships.
If you’re not already connected, it’s time to get connected within your community and within the NASC. Meet the management team and staff at each facility; get to know your community members and their interest in the sport(s) you are considering bidding on and build relationships with the event organizer(s).
Dedicate time to research the sporting event; contact friends within the industry that have been hosts and have open, honest conversations with the organizer(s) to establish realistic expectations and to create a mutually beneficial plan. Knowing you and your team (staff, LOC, community partners and event organizers) are positioned to make the event successful takes precedence over bidding.
The recent release of the movie “Patriots Day” reminded us of how sports can converge in the real world with tragic results. As you might remember, it was 2013 when the Boston Marathon (run on Patriots Day) was forever scarred by two blasts that went off near the finish line. The tragedy killed three and injured 264.
Among those killed was 8-year-old Martin Richard, there among the spectators with his family. It’s a timely reminder, because Dave McGillivray, the race director for the Boston Marathon, sent out an email this week on his run to remember Martin.
“Since April 15, 2015, almost every race I’ve run, I’ve dedicated to and run in memory of Martin Richard,” McGillivray writes. “This year will be my 45th Boston Marathon (he usually runs the course after the race has ended). My son, Max, is running his first Boston Marathon this year.
“We both are running on behalf of MR8-the Martin Richard Foundation-which suppor...
Youngsters who are involved in sports, we hope, are involved for the right reasons: Learning teamwork, staying active, honing social skills. A few are athletically gifted enough that they can look forward to a career at the next level, be it high school, college or beyond. Whether you work with youngsters in camps, in AAU-type organizations or at school, the process of playing with one eye on a scholarship is a stressful one.
First, the facts, courtesy the NCAA: Eight million kids are participating in high school sports. Only 480,000 of them (about 6 percent) will eventually compete in collegiate athletics at an NCAA program. And only 56 percent of those athletes will receive “some level” of scholarship assistance, and that amount averages less than $11,000 per student-athlete.
And remember, many scholarships are “partial” scholarships, especially when you are dealing with the so-called Olympic sports of track and field, soccer and the like. Even baseball ...
The NASC is the leader in the sport tourism industry when it comes to providing educational opportunities to its members. The Certified Sports Event Certification (CSEE) is the most recognized professional designation in our industry. The program, having been developed in 2002, has continued to evolve as the needs of the NASC members have changed. Sessions have focused on such topics as Media Relations, Hotel Contract Negotiations, Strategic Planning, Coordination of Volunteers, RFPs and the Bidding Process, and Social Media. Online courses were also recently launched to supplement the live courses.
As a sport tourism professional, I believe it’s important to continuously keep myself educated on what’s happening in our industry. My primary reasons for earning my CSEE include:
1. Knowledge - The world around us is constantly changing and it’s imperative that for us to do the best jobs we can, that we stay informed. CSEE courses provide us with another source of informa...
It may be holiday time, but for many in youth sports, it’s coming up on tournament time. During holiday breaks many teams, whether they’re affiliated with a school or with an AAU-type organization, use the time away from school for traveling tournaments.
So now may be a good time to listen to one of soccer’s legends, Mia Hamm, on how parents should handle their kids in sports.
In a speech recently in Colorado Springs, she offered this bit of advice: “Resist the urge to make excuses for your kids.”
Mia Hamm is now a sports mom herself, and in that role hears other sports parents blame the refs, the coaches, even their kids’ teammates if Johnny or Mary doesn’t have a good game.
“They look up to you,” she told the crowd. “They are so vulnerable after a defeat. They don’t need to hear, ‘Oh, my, if Suzie had just passed that ball to you.’ Or ‘If that ref had a clue. Somebody needs to talk to him....
You know the drill: At youth tournaments, there are row upon rows of trophies, medals, etc. for everyone. Not just the members of the team that won, but EVERYONE. Because we want all the players to feel valued and to get a reward just for participating.
Pittsburgh Steeler’s linebacker James Harrison famously railed against participation trophies, going as far as taking away his kids’ awards, saying he wanted them to earn their trophies.
And now, add Louisville women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz to the list of those who want more of an effort from his players than just showing up. Earlier this season, after a particularly poor showing (his opinion) by his team in a basketball, game, Coach Walz blasted the “participation trophy” mentality of players.
“We just live right now in a generation of kids that are coming through, everybody gets a damn trophy,” he said. “You finish last, you come home with a trophy. Are you kidding me? What...
It should be no surprise that if you are active in Sports Tourism that you should be working very closely with your Parks and Recreation Departments. For the most part they have what Event Planners are looking for----diamonds, fields, courts and green space.
For some of you that may just be one Department and for others---like me---it involves multiple jurisdictions in our large metropolitan area. Each Park and Recreation Department may excel in a particular sport and it is nice to have them as your “go to partner” for that specific sport while others due to their availability and designated space like to branch out and be considered for some “out of the box type events”. No matter how you look at it or approach their space get to know each Parks and Recreation Department Leader. Invite them to lunch, let them know some events that you are working on and who knows----maybe they have heard of an event that needs a nudge or some assistance that you could connect w...
When an acquaintance finds out that you work in the sports industry, there’s a very good chance that his or her first reaction is, “Wow, that’s so cool.” Those of us in sports know that yes, it’s cool, but it’s also a lot of hard work. And it’s not all that easy to break into the business and find the job that you want.
You probably talk with school groups or hear from aspiring sports professionals who might drop you an email to ask, “I’d like to do what you’re doing. How do I get in the sports business?”
Well, we know that there are probably as many ways to get into the business as there are jobs. But recently Kathryn Smith, the first full-time female coach on an NFL team (Buffalo Bills), talked with writer Lyndsey D’Arcangelo about how she got into the NFL, and her advice for others who want to get into the sports business. Among other things, Smith said, “Get in where you can, and do what you can to ...
Member Mentoring is one of the best services the NASC has to offer for new members/partners to the NASC.
Having been involved with the NASC since 1996, I have seen the NASC transform into one of the strongest association in the tourism industry. One of the special aspects of the NASC is the Member Mentoring committee. This committee assists new members to the NASC and helps answer questions, work through issues with event owners or rights holders and helps in creating that fraternity of “been there and done that” so the new member does not feel like they are on an island.
One of my best Member Mentoring stories I like to share from time to time happened several years ago. I was assigned Daniel Rush, Vice President of Global Sports & Event Sales for MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, NV.
Now as first, I am thinking, what do I have to share with the Vice President of Global Sports and Event Sales for MGM Resorts that he has not seen or been thro...