87% of sports events rights holders use Sports Commissions or Convention & Visitors Bureaus. – Source:  Sports Events Survey NASC 2011.

This and other information was garnered at the 2011 National Association of Sports Commissions Symposium in Greensboro, NC.  This stat shows the importance of a strong Sports Commission and CVB.

The NASC features professional development and a marketplace segment.   This year Rebecca Moore, Assistant Director of the Sports Commission and myself, Lance Kettering, Sports Commission Executive Director and CVB Sports Sales Manager, attended along with about 400 representatives from Sports Commissions and Convention & Visitors Bureaus from across the country.

The opening ceremonies were at the Greensboro Coliseum, a facility with a fascinating history.  It has been home to NCAA Championships, the Carolina Hurricanes inaugural season and home to the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships.

At the symposium, Fox Sports Basketball Analyst Mike Hogewood provided a passionate introduction of the history of the ACC, including the origin of many of the ACC schools and their names.  (Google the origin of Duke University and Wake Forest; it is very interesting!)

The facility is also home to the ACC Hall of Champions, which tells the story of sports in the ACC and provides photo opportunities with all of the mascots of the ACC.   The ACC Hall of Champions is well done and worth a visit if you are in the Greensboro area.

The keynote luncheon featured a funny presentation from Jeanne Robertson titled "Humor – A Strategy for Success." Robertson, a 6-feet, 2-inch former Miss North Carolina, is an award-winning speaker who illustrated how humor can be used as an integral part of strategy for success.  If you haven’t heard her speak, do a search for her on YouTube; you will enjoy her humor and speaking skills.

The marketplace opportunities during NASC provided a great opportunity to visit and meet with events rights holders.  Rebecca and I had appointments and meetings with:  Adrenaline Sports Management, GWN Dragon boat, AmeriKids Gymnastics, US Olympic Committee, Orienteering USA, Pinnacle Sports Group, Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation, Elite Tournaments, USA Team Handball, US Table Soccer Federation, FLW Outdoors and Prime Time Sports.  Making contact with these organizations was a great opportunity to showcase Springfield as a possible destination for their sporting events in the future.

Additionally, professional development sessions we attended included:

  • Mid/Small Market Sports Commission Roundtable on the operation of events and executive decision making
  • Creating & Managing a Local Organizing Committee
  • Making the Impossible Possible :  NCAA Event Success Through Partnerships
  • Tools that help you work with colleges and universities

The NASC is a great place for colleagues to network and learn from others.  I found that most are willing to share ideas and past successes or challenges to assist others in the profession. Meeting with representatives of other sports commissions, CVBs and cities throughout the country has proven very helpful.

For more information about the Springfield Sports Commission or the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau's sports sales efforts, contact me at 417-881-5300 or lkettering@springfieldmo.org.