Community Relations

Discover Long Island - 2018

Goodness out of tragedy

 Posted on: January 18 2017
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 supports and em...

A time for community

 Posted on: October 17 2016
We talk a lot about youth sports and amateur associations here—but let’s digress a bit this week and talk about how professional teams reach out to their communities. The trigger for the discussion is this week’s Hometown Huddle project by the NFL, United Way and others. The annual Hometown Huddle is an NFL/United Way initiative that happens in all NFL markets on the same day, geared toward promoting volunteerism and creating a lasting impression in the community. This year it’s on Tuesday, October 18, when coaches and players will go to a community building, a playground or similar facility and spend the day painting, landscaping and overall making the facility one that the entire community can use. That’s just one example of how professional teams look to give back: Besides the individual NBA teams planning events in their cities, the NBA itself has an “NBA Cares” all-star day of service; MLB teams often have community funds as a part of the...

The Importance of being a Community Partner

 Posted on: October 11 2016
Community partners for you can come in many forms. They could be board members, advisory board members, universities, hoteliers, downtown alliance groups, professional teams, facility owners, volunteers, sponsors, etc. The one thing they need to have in common is the buy into your organization’s mission and vision. With this buy-in, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to understand and navigate political landscapes, fundraise, accomplish organizational goals and take your organization to new heights. Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Most of your community partners’ primary business is not tourism, but their willingness to help and understand tourism’s contribution to the community is what makes them unique.  Most sports commissions or sports tourism departments are very small staffs, which lead to lots of travel, long hours and many weekend events. All of this ...

Caring for the young athlete

 Posted on: October 10 2016
As a rights holder or event site manager, you are very familiar with the rules and regulations of holding an event, as well as the insurance and liability coverage that you need to follow to make sure the event goes off smoothly. As a matter of course, most events are required to have medical personnel on site, in case of injury. Often, the medical provider will also be listed as a sponsor of the event. But how do you know that the medical personnel on hand are the ones who can treat the young athlete? According to a 2014 ESPN sports poll, more than 87 percent of parents worry about their children getting hurt while playing sports. Injuries, from a knee scrape to more serious fractures and tears, are not uncommon in youth sports. Getting the proper treatment quickly is important, both for the athlete and for you as the event provider. In a recent ESPNW article, “Helping your athlete kids recover from injury the right way,” author (and mom) Sharon Van Epps shares a conver...

Do-it-yourself coverage

 Posted on: October 4 2016
If there is a universal complaint heard from many event organizers, it’s this one: “No one ever comes to cover my event.” You can fill in the blank as to who “no one” is—local newspaper, television stations, etc. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter who that media entity may be. There is a good chance, unless you’re holding a national or state championship or a huge community event (think marathon weekends), the media coverage is more than likely to be sparse. Why is this? The quick answer is, media doesn’t operate the way it used to. The longer answer is, most media outlets have fewer people feeding more media channels. That means whatever story they’ve been assigned to do, they have to contribute a report to the ‘traditional’ media (TV newscast, print newspaper) as well as to the website and social media channels. So they’re doing a lot more with one story. That leaves little time to cover several stories i...

The NFL is for kids, too

 Posted on: September 14 2016
With the NFL now in full swing this week, it’s a good time to highlight some of the initiatives the NFL has in place to get kids active and eating right. In fact, you may have seen one of these programs in action if you attended an NFL pre-season game this summer. Probably the most visible is the “NFL Play 60” program, which is really the umbrella title for several youth initiatives, including Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school program emphasizing good nutrition along with activity; NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, the long-time national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15; and NFL Flag Football, a youth football league for boys and girls ages 5-17. NFL Flag Football partners with recreation commissions in cities around the country to form leagues—at last count, more than a thousand leagues across the country. The highlight of the year for many of these teams is playing at halftime during an NFL game—and many were able to do just tha...

Top 3 Takeaways When You Attend NASC Market Segment Meetings

 Posted on: August 30 2016
Have you experienced challenges with how to track room night information better, or do you wonder if others pay bid fees and, if they do, where do they receive the money?  Well, you are not alone with challenges or issues we may face in the sport tourism industry.  The upcoming NASC Market Segment Meetings in Indianapolis, October 25-26, 2016, is a great meeting to attend for the opportunity to discuss your challenges/issues and to share best practices in the sport tourism industry. NASC Market Segment Meetings are very beneficial.  Here are three top benefits for attending these meetings in Indianapolis. 1.         Learning Opportunity.  Market Segment Meetings are an excellent opportunity for you to sit down with your colleagues and share challenges or questions you may have.  Learn best practices, trends, strategies, ideas or solutions in small group discussions.  You will be discussing with organizations similar ...

Schools’ losses could be sports community’s gain

 Posted on: August 15 2016
Olympic fever, albeit short term and every four years, can be a big driver in sports facilities. As we’ve seen Team USA excel in the pool and in gymnastics, expect little boys and girls everywhere (and their parents) to have visions of gold medals dancing in their heads. These expected booms in these sports (and more) can mean an increase in building these facilities—to meet the demands of more people who want to use state-of-the-art equipment and venues. An article in the South Bend Tribune reflects that demand—in the case of two northern Indiana cities, Elkhart and Plymouth, their schools’ facilities are aging (and a YMCA has closed) but those pools could be replaced by larger sports complexes to be used not just for students but for regional meets. If plans go through, northern Indiana would become home to two sports centers that could draw a variety of athletes, from soccer players to swimmers to fitness buffs. Both cities are planning to include a pool that...

Got mud?

 Posted on: August 2 2016
The challenge venue owners often face is what to do with all that space when your primary sport is no longer in season. In particular, a space as big as a racing oval has to find an activity as big as the space to bring in revenue in the off season. That’s why you’ll see, for example, multi-day concerts at race tracks. The growth of extreme sport challenges, like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and similar obstacle events has given these race tracks and other large venues, something to host on off weekends. And Michigan International Speedway has taken that idea one step further.  The Childrenz Challenge at MIS is in its third year and is in record territory. The muddy obstacle course for 4 to 13 year olds at Michigan International Speedway is looking at a record 2,200 participants on Aug. 13. After having about 1,300 kids last year, the 1,500-kid limit for the Childrenz Challenge already was reached by Feb. 29 this year, Scott Vitale, founder and president, told mlife....