Salem Virginia to host 100th NCAA Event this December
Salem, VA Hosts 100th NCAA Event New Digital Badging Program Growing the U.S. Polo Association Mentoring Community Revival A Closer Look at the Ryder Cup Experience How AI Is Already Impacting Sports & Entertainment
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National Headquarters 9624 Cincinnati Columbus Road, Suite 209 West Chester, OH 45241 Telephone (513) 281-3888 www.SportsETA.org Staff John David, President & CEO Janis Breedlove, CMP, STS, VP Events & Experiences Meagan Grau, Director of Marketing & Communications Michelle Wessels, Director of Membership & Engagement Rebecca Myles, Sponsorship & Advertising Carol Courtney, Special Projects Coordinator
Letter from the President & CEO and Board Chair ..................................................................................... 1-2 Member Services News & Updates ..................................................... 3-4
Board of Directors Officers Chair: Ray Palmer, STS, President/CEO, Pensacola Sports Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Frank Lett, STS, President and Chief Tourism Officer , Visit Kingsport Secretary: Matt Libber, Executive Director, Maryland SoccerPlex Immediate Past Chair: Don Dukemineer, STS, CHSP, Director of Sports Development, Decatur Morgan County Tourism
2024 Membership Renewal ..................................................................... 5
Directors Phil Andrews, Chief Executive Officer, USA Fencing Rob Coggin, Director, League Operations, National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Cindy Cowart, STS, President, Coward Sports Events Chad Culver, STS, Senior Director of Sports Commission, Visit Knoxville Sports Commission Tammy Dunn, STS, Executive Director, Snohomish County Sports Commission Jason Gewirtz, Vice President, Sports Division, Northstar Meetings Group, Executive Editor and Publisher, SportsTravel, Northstar Meetings Group/SportsTravel Lawrence Hamm, Senior Director of Business Development, Sports and Entertainment Division, Events DC Jerrine Lee, Vice President of Sales, Richmond Region Tourism Chris O’Brien, Director of Sports Marketing & Special Events, Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. Jonathan Paris, STS, Executive Director of Sports Tourism, Myrtle Beach Area CVB Clay Partain, STS, Executive Director, Sports Salt Lake Hank Pivarnik, STS, Global Accounts Director - Sports, Sonesta International Scott Powers, STS, Executive Director, Experience Columbia SC Sports Ryan Strickland, STS, Vice President, Treasure Coast Sports Commission Melissa Thompson, Chief Community Officer, Indiana Sports Corp Katy Tigchelaar, STS, Vice President of Operations, West Michigan Sports Commission
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Board of Directors Application ................................................................. 6 4S & Rights Holder Summit Recap .....................................................9-12 Salem, VA Hosts 100th NCAA Event ..................................................15-16 New Digital Badging Program ...........................................................17-18 Growing the U.S. Polo Association ................................................... 21-22 2024 Sports ETA Events ........................................................................... 23 Chief Executive Summit ......................................................................... 27 Mentoring Community Revival ............................................................... 28 A Closer Look at the Ryder Cup Experience ................................... 31-32 Sports Events Entertainment Network ................................................ 33 Women’s Summit ................................................................................... 34 STLI on the Horizon ........................................................................... 35-36 Symposium ........................................................................................ 39-42 How AI Is Already Impacting Sports & Entertainment ................... 45-46
Looking to share your expertise? Information-sharing is a founding principle of Sports ETA, and the industry knowledge among the Sports ETA membership lends itself to unprecedented expertise. Sports ETA encourages members to share information with their peers. Contact Meagan Grau, Director of Marketing and Communications, at Meagan@SportsETA.org to learn more about how you can contribute to a future edition of the Sports ETA Playbook. To include your news in our weekly Get in the Game eNews, send press releases and articles to firstname.lastname@example.org. Distribution Date: Thursdays. Deadline for content: Wednesday at Noon ET before distribution date.
Letter from the President and CEO Dear Sports ETA Members, Every day, we lace up our shoes, adjust our headgear, and step onto the field of sports tourism, ready to take on new challenges, score remarkable wins, and celebrate unforgettable moments. The latest edition of The Playbook stands as a testament to the extraordinary journey we’re on and the incredible community that propels us forward. Our 4S Summit in El Paso, a high-octane event, embodied the spirit of our collective effort. With a 25% year-over-year surge in attendance, it wasn’t just about the numbers – it was a powerful reminder that our impact on the sports tourism industry is undeniable. The overwhelmingly positive feedback in our post-event surveys proves that our innovative educational strategy is working, and that we are making a real difference. Another incredible story that fills these pages is the collaborative milestone achieved by Visit Salem and Salem Parks & Recreation. Hosting 100 NCAA Championship events is not just a feat for Salem but a triumph for the entire Sports ETA family illustrating the true power of collaboration between tourism and Parks & Recreation. Salem is now proudly known as Virginia’s Championship City. This accomplishment led by Carey Harveycutter and John Shaner is a testament to the dedication and passion that drive us. And here’s something that will fire up your competitive spirit – Sports ETA’s brand-new badging program. This initiative is all about engagement, recognition, and growth. As members, you have the opportunity to earn digital badges, showcasing your commitment to our association and the sports tourism industry. So, challenge yourself to earn them all and share them like medals of honor! But what truly sets us apart is the community that binds us together. This edition features an engaging Q&A with the Co-Chairs of the Sports ETA Mentoring Community, Rachel Rogers of Cobb Sports Alliance and Lance Fite of Visit Mesa. They’re reinvigorating the mentoring program for new Sports ETA members, reinforcing the power of collaboration and support within our association. As we dive into the pages ahead, remember that we are all a part of something truly special – a dynamic, passionate, and forward-thinking family of sports tourism professionals. Let’s keep pushing the boundaries, achieving milestones, and celebrating our successes together. Thank you for being an integral part of the Sports ETA journey. Together, we lead the charge in sports tourism. Yours in Sport,
John David President and CEO Sports Events & Tourism Association
Letter From Board Chair Welcome to the fall edition of the Sports ETA Playbook. After a brutally hot summer, the temperatures are starting to drop across the country, but I am thrilled to report things continue to heat up here at SETA! The 4S Summit in El Paso last week was a huge success with tremendous attendance, great educational sessions, world class hospitality, and the usual connecting with friends and making new ones that truly make our industry so special. As I mentioned in the previous edition, our industry always amazes me with the friendship and camaraderie shown between our members. Our members’ willingness to share their knowledge and expertise with each other for the betterment of our entire industry is amazing. Thank you to all who attended, and I hope you had at least half as good of a time as I did! Thank you to Destination El Paso for your hospitality and Go Chihuahuas! Our membership and partnership opportunities continue to grow thanks to the hard work of our staff, but also to each of you who have provided leads. Each of you are truly the secret sauce to helping grow the organization as you are the ones out in the field working with our potential new or former members. Please keep up the great work. Our next major event is the Chief Executive Summit in beautiful San Jose, CA, February 20-21, 2024. I understand the programing is top notch for the top leadership positions in your organizations. Look for more information on the Sports ETA website, as well as registration information. As we approach the end of 2023, I wish you all the very best and hope you can finish the year with a strong close. Work hard, stay focused but never forget to keep those priorities in order and to stop and smell the roses. Happy Holidays to you all!
Ray Palmer Sports ETA Board Chair
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Member Services News & Updates Help us welcome the organizations who have joined Sports ETA in 2023: Destinations
• Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland / TEAM Maryland • Bill Noble Park • Chesterfield County Administration • City of Florence Athletics/Sports Tourism • Colorado Springs Sports Corp • Columbus, IN Parks and Recreation • County of Prince George • Discover Schenectady • Explore Newnan-Coweta, Inc. • Green Bay Packers / Lambeau Field • Iowa Travel Industry Partners • NRG Park Houston • Peachtree City CVB • Plover Area Convention and Visitors Bureau • RP Funding Center • Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources • Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill • Visit Bellevue • Visit Overland Park • Visit Pueblo • Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau • West Monroe Sports & Events
• AAU Baseball • Athletes Unlimited • DS Sports Events • ETC Sport Group • Golf Coaches Association of America • H3 Athletix Sports Group • International Teqball Federation • International University Sports/ World University Games • King Kat Tournament Trail • Maccabi USA • MLTT LLC • National Crappie League • National Cycling League, INc • Official Strongman Games • Our Vision Sports Education Foundation, Inc • Players Way, LLC • Powerlifting America • Premier Ultimate League • Prep Network (Prep Hoops, Prep Dig, Prep Girls Hoops, Prep Redzone, Prep Soccer) • Press Play Dance Convention, LLC • Professional Bowlers Association • Prospect Select Baseball Inc • Richard M. Brodksy Foundation • SlamBall LLC • SportEra Events • Stage 8 Dance • Steel Sports • Team USA Golf Events • Tier 1 Elite Hockey League • Top of the Bay Sports • USA Patriots Athletics • USA Table Tennis • USA Team Handball • World Long Drive
• Alison Strange & Associates, LLC • AMI Graphics • Byrne & Jones Sports Construction • Candid Color Systems • Choice Hotels International • Competition Travel • First Place Collectibles • Hotel Engine • Jetr Global Partners • L5 Management and Consulting • Leslie Jordan, Inc. • pc/nametag • RADD Sports • Sentral • Sonder • Strickland Event Management, LLC. • Success Awards • Tempest • VolunteerLocal
2023 Membership Chart 685 TOTAL (as of 11/8/2023)
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Member Shoutouts Congratulations to all of our members who have been recently promoted or started a new job within the sports events and tourism industry! Your growth and achievements inspire us all. We are proud to have you as valuable members of our association and are thrilled to see you take this step in your career journey. Promotions: • Stephonie Broughton, STS, Director of Sports, Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission • Katy Tigchelaar, STS, Vice President of Operations, West Michigan Sports Commission • Susan Hlavacek, President and CEO, National Senior Games Association • Amanda, Fox, CMP, Vice President, Operations & Events, Rochester NY Sports Commission • Ainsley Harris, Chief Experience Officer, Travel Source
New Role: • Rebekah Bryant, Director of Business Development, EventPipe • Shelbey Morris, CTP, STS, Tourism Project Manager, North Little Rock Tourism • Amanda Ford, Sports and Entertainment Tourism Manager, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau • Dean Polk, Business Development Director, Ripken Baseball • Brittany Loving, Sports Events Manager, Richmond Region Tourism S P O R T S E TA
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Recently added to their organization’s Sports ETA membership: • John Coppins, Senior Director of Operations, Harris County - Houston Sports Authority • Daniel Gotera, Senior Director, Harris County - Houston Sports Authority • Lauren Chard, Sports Sales Manager, Visit Manhattan • Kara Davis, Sales Manager, Rockford Area CVB • Katie Hardell, Community Engagement & Special Events Manager of Sports, Visitation & Entertainment, Chesterfield County Administration • Matt Mullen, Events & Operations Manager, Chesterfield County Administration • Jordyn Almendarez, Sports Sales Manager, Austin Sports Commission • Mike Denton, Retail & Merchandising Director, Ripken Baseball • Emily Frost, Senior Sales and Services Manager, Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce
2024 Membership Renewal All of us at Sports ETA extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued support and loyalty throughout the past year. Your commitment has enabled us to grow, adapt, and consistently provide exceptional business development and educational opportunities to you, our valued members. A few years back, we introduced the term “EARN” to encapsulate the essence of our association’s work: Education, Advocacy, Resources, and Networking. We’re constantly working to re-imagine, re-invent, and implement these pillars to better serve our community in the sports events and tourism industry. We invite you to explore the diverse range of programs and services implemented and tailored for your benefit.
As a reminder, 2024 membership dues are listed below: • Destinations – $1,195/organization • Industry Partners - $1,195/organization • Rights Holders - $250/organization
2023 memberships are valid through December 31, 2023. We encourage you to continue taking full advantage of the benefits and resources available to you and your organization as a Sports ETA member by renewing your membership. Renewals can be done effortlessly through one of the following methods: 1. Pay online - Click here, then select your name from the drop-down menu, add 2024 dues to your shopping cart, and proceed to the final checkout stage. 2. Mail payment - Click here, then select your name from the drop-down menu, add 2024 dues to your shopping cart, and proceed to the final checkout stage. Print invoice and mail to address listed on the invoice. 3. Email our member services team at Info@SportsETA.org. We are thankful for your ongoing commitment and support and hope that you will continue your membership with us in 2024.
Board of Directors Application To achieve continued growth and success, Sports ETA requires strong leadership from our dynamic members. Board members serve as representatives of Sports ETA’s 650+ member organizations and help guide the future direction of the Association. The Nominating Committee is accepting applications for five (5) open positions on the Sports ETA Board of Directors. The open positions include: • Executive Committee – Secretary • Four (4) Directors representing the Sports ETA Destination category serving a three-year term expiring June 2027. Submit your application today! The deadline for submitting applications is January 19, 2024, at 11:59 P.M. PT.
NOMINATING PROCESS STEP 1
All Sports ETA members are invited to apply for a position and/or suggest potential candidates for consideration by the Nominating Committee. Applicants considered must embody the highest standards of personal and professional integrity and ethics, and are committed to advancing the sports events and tourism industry. In evaluating candidates for nomination as a director, the Nominating Committee thoroughly reviews each application received and considers criteria including the candidate’s experience and engagement with the association, previous board experience, diversity including age, gender, ethnicity, race, disabilities, and geography, understanding and forward-thinking as it relates to the association’s mission, vision, and values, ability to think strategically, articulate a point-of-view, assess financial viability, identify strategic opportunities, and monitor risk. Current or prior C-level experience is preferred. View board of directors job description. Apply today! STEP 2 Candidates selected to move forward in the nomination process, will be contacted to set up a phone interview with the Nominating Committee. Phone interviews will last approximately 20 minutes.
The Nominating Committee will then recommend a qualified applicant for each position to present to the full Board of Directors. Nominees will be notified by a member of the Nominating Committee regardless of their selection to the final slate. STEP 4 The person(s) selected will then be nominated and put forth before the membership, for a general membership vote at the 2024 Annual General Membership Meeting on April 23, 2024, in Portland, Oregon. STEP 5 The new board term begins July 1, 2024.
TIMELINE *Subject to change
January 19 – Nomination Portal Closes February 5 – February 23 – Interviews Take Place March (TBD) – Proposed Slate presented to Board of Directors March 18-20 – All nominees notified of selection. March 22 - Notify membership of the proposed slate via distribution of the Annual General Membership Meeting Packet. April 23 – Vote to approve proposed slate during the Annual General Membership Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
QUESTIONS? Don Dukemineer, STS, CHSP, Nominating Committee Chair, email@example.com
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Special thanks to our 4S Summit Host
4S & Rights Holder Summit Recap The annual 4S Summit was held in El Paso October 24-26 drawing over 150 members for the two-day event to share sports and events tourism trends: Strategies, services, sales, and sponsorships. The bustling event was hosted by Visit El Paso, and supported by a network of sponsors, including Chattanooga Sports, Fort Worth Sports Commission, Florida’s Sports Coast, Traveling Teams, and Visit Myrtle Beach.
“We thank El Paso for hosting our annual 4S Summit where we convene our members serving the sports events and tourism industry,” said John David, President & CEO of Sports ETA. “We enjoyed a productive week of meetings and programs in this great city to discuss best practices, new trends and business opportunities.” With a lineup of more than a dozen educational sessions and networking opportunities, the 4S Summit featured engaging discussions on the resilient journey of the El Paso Chihuahuas and MountainStar Sports, as well as the profound community influence of one family through sports. Participants also delved into effective strategies for cultivating a positive city image while effectively addressing national media misinterpretations.
Sports Tourism Strategists Convene: Cultivating Creative Leadership One of the highlight courses at the 4S Summit was the “Cultivating Creative Leadership” session, specifically designed for the 40 members actively pursuing their Sports Tourism Strategist (STS) designation or seeking to maintain their existing credentials. Led by renowned expert Kyle Stark from Game On Nation, the STS designation equips professionals with cutting-edge content tailored for the sports events and tourism industry, offering top-tier certification programs.
Our event sponsors:
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Celebrating Excellence: Recognizing
In a moment of celebration and recognition, the 4S & Rights Holder Summ organizations in destination branding & marketing and exceptional event The distinguished honorees are as follows:
DESTINATION BRANDING & MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
DESTINATION BRANDING & MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
Population 500,000 and above
Population under 500,000
Catch Des Moines
With a banner year for sports in 2023 in Des Moines, Iowa that included the return of March Madness and the AAU Junior Olympic Games, along with highly anticipated stops by the Savannah Bananas and RAGBRAI, Catch Des Moines needed something to encapsulate the excitement on the horizon and the legitimacy of our region as an all-star host. The Catch Des Moines created a hype video entitled, “Let’s Gooooo” to share with visitors and locals alike.
Building off the momentum of a reinvigorated post-pandemic travel industry, Visit Frisco created a marketing campaign that would leverage Frisco’s sports as a way to promote all aspects of Frisco’s travel and tourism offerings and grow our brand awareness. The campaign leveraged traditional tactics including extensive market research and target market development. The Visit Frisco team approached the branding concept through the lens of prior misconceptions about the city as a sports-only destination to provide viewers with our enlightened view of Frisco, one that highlights the city’s vibrancy through its array of destination-making things to see and do. Taking something that Frisco is known for—sports—the campaign shows that there are many ways to play in Sports City USA Welcome to Frisco: The City That Plays.
mit highlighted the remarkable achievements of four member marketing campaigns.
The Sports ETA Member Awards program, which annually honors individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the industry, is powered by Team Travel Source.
EVENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
EVENT MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
500,000 and above
Population under 500,000
Tulsa Sports Commission
Erie Sports Commission
The event marketing campaign’s primary purpose was to welcome, inform and encourage the exploration of Tulsa during the event. The objectives were simple; empower athletes, coaches and fans to create an unforgettably positive and unique experience in the city—while ensuring the quality of life for Tulsans wasn’t negatively impacted by the visitor traffic. This close proximity of these massive wrestling events in one community was the driver behind the non-traditional unbranded campaign “Welcome Wrestling Fans.”
Referred to as Erie County, Pennsylvania’s largest all-cycling weekend for all cycling lovers, Lake Erie Cyclefest is an annual event that benefits local Erie nonprofits. In 2022, the event grew from four to six rides, all taking place July 28-31, and added a sixth nonprofit partner. In addition to raising awareness and participation in cycling in Erie County, the event’s aim is to raise money for its nonprofit partners.
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A comprehensive and aggressive marketing plan was activated April 1, 2022, with a goal to generate public interest and attain 700 total event registrations (an increase from 625 in 2021). As a result of the Erie Sports Commission’s marketing plan, a total of 908 registrations were received, a 45% increase, along with nine individual instances of earned media coverage, an 80% increase.
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Salem, VA Hosts 100th NCAA Event
Carey Harveycutter Director of Tourism for Salem, Virginia’s Championship City
John Shaner Director of Parks & Recreation, Salem, Virginia’s Championship City
A conversation with Carey Harveycutter, Director of Tourism, and John Shaner, Director of Parks & Recreation, both with SALEM, Virginia’s Championship City. “Virginia’s Championship City,” also known as Salem, Virginia will host their 100th NCAA event, the DIII Women’s Soccer Championship game at Kerr Field, Roanoke College, on Saturday, Dec. 2 thanks in large part to a successful partnership between Carey Harveycutter on the tourism side of business and John Shaner on the Parks and Rec side.
Salem, Virginia will host th the DIII Women’s Soccer C at Kerr Field, Roan Salem’s strategic approach to hosting collegiate events dates back 30 years and the city will mark their diamond milestone this December. In 1993, Salem hosted the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, its first NCAA event as they were looking to host a college football game in their high school football stadium with a capacity of 8,000. “We were trailblazers in what has become Sports Tourism, no one thought of Sports Tourism in small cities in 1993,” said Harveycutter, who has held his role for the past decade and has also served as a civic leader in Salem since the early 1980s. “After we hosted the football championship, we saw a bid for softball and we won that bid. Then it was men’s basketball. That’s how we got our start in hosting NCAA events 30 years ago.”
Success is a team effort, according to Harveycutter and Shaner, who has also served the city of Salem for nearly 30 years. The pair recalled “that one time in December 2009 when Salem was hit by an epic snowstorm that brought two feet of snow just in time for the NCAA Division III Football Championship Game, Stagg Bowl XXXVII.” Practically, the entire city pitched in to help clear the snow and the game was only delayed by a few hours. For Carey and John, relationships at the NCAA along with partner conferences and colleges are key. “We have great partner co-hosts in Old Dominion Athletic Conference for DIII and WVIAC now Mountain East for DII. We also work with Roanoke College where we host many events that fit best for their facilities.” For our region, it’s important that we bid on events that work for our community and for the specifications of the event or championship. “We meet annually with the NCAA committees and Championships staff in Indianapolis to show them our continuing commitment.”
heir 100th NCAA event, Championship game noke College.
Another key focus for Salem is on the student-athletes competing in the events they host. “We try to bring in crowds with excitement for the games we are hosting. Our network of host families, who open their homes to our studentathletes is dedicated and this helps tremendously. We always keep in mind that we are planning championships for the student-athletes and they should be special.” On behalf of Sports ETA, congratulations to Virginia’s Championship City on hosting its 100th NCAA event this year. If your destination has a story that you would like to share, let us know. We would like to showcase the success of our membership.
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New Digital Badging Program Elevate Your Sports Events & Tourism Career with Sports ETA’s Industry Leading Digital Badging Program! The Sports ETA Digital Badging Program is a dynamic and engaging recognition system designed to celebrate your active participation and contributions within the Sports ETA community. It’s a fun way to earn digital badges to symbolize your involvement across various Sports ETA activities. These badges showcase your commitment, expertise, and dedication to the sports events and tourism industry, all while adding an enjoyable gamified aspect to your journey with us. You can earn digital badges by completing specific criteria associated with each individual badge as you engage with Sports ETA. Badges can be earned in each of the four badge categories: Education, Advocacy, Resources, and Networking.
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In a world where first impressions are crucial, digital badges are your secret weapon, making sure your capabilities are showcased, recognized, and celebrated. Welcome to the future of professional recognition and growth!
So what’s next? Wondering how to get started? We’ve got you covered. Where do I find my badges? You can find all the digital badges you have earned on your member profile page. Once you have logged in to your Sports ETA member account, navigate to “My Account” in the top menu bar. Then select “My Badges” along the left side of your screen. Here, you will find all your digital badges. Digital badges can also be seen in the Member Directory. Here, you can search for and see your and other Sports ETA members’ profiles and earned badges.
How do I enroll in the digital badging program? As a Sports ETA member, you’re automatically enrolled in the digital badging program. It’s our way of adding an exciting dimension to your membership and encouraging active engagement within the Sports ETA member community.
Can I earn badges for past achievements or completed activities? Yes, you will notice that your member profile should already reflect past achievements and completed activities, such as Symposium attendance, STS designations, and many others. Please note that the Sports ETA Digital Badging Program started summer of 2023.
What if I’m missing a badge? If you feel that you are missing a digital badge for a past achievement or activity, please get in touch with us at Info@SportsETA.org.
Remember, this program is totally free and was created to increase engagement in your association, while tapping into your competitive side. So let’s have some fun! We look forward to seeing you elevate your game with Sports ETA’s Digital Badging program.
Get started EARNing today!
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11/3/21 3:24 PM
U.S. Polo Assn.’s J. Michael Prince focuses on growing the global, multi-billion-dollar lifestyle brand with strategic partnerships Over the last six years, J. Michael Prince has served as President & CEO of USPA Global, the entity that manages and oversees the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand, which is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA). As the national governing body for the sport of polo, the USPA, dates back to 1890, comprises nearly 200 member clubs with thousands of individual members and oversees 40 national tournaments.
with a reach to millions of viewers and multiple platforms. The sport’s iconic U.S. Open Polo Championship®, which is broadcast by ESPN, now sits alongside the elite company of The Masters and Kentucky Derby as one of the country’s most prestigious spring sporting events.
The Duke Business School grad held leadership roles at Converse, Nike and Cole Haan before joining USPA Global in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2018. Prince has led the explosion of the brand’s popularity around the globe, thanks in large part to strategic partnerships with ESPN, growth in digital content and media along with the acquisition and re-branding of the International Polo Center in Florida when it was purchased by the USPA in late 2022. Last year, the sport-inspired U.S. Polo Assn lifestyle brand., surpassed the $2 billion mark with $2.3 billion in global retail sales for 2022. “We were able to exceed our 2025 goal of $2 billion three years early and have now set a new target to hit $3 billion and 2,000 U.S. Polo Assn. stores before 2030,” added Prince. Prince and his team have been focused on growing the brand globally across 190 countries in over 1,200 U.S. Polo Assn. stores, thousands of other locations including over 50 e-commerce sites in more than 20 languages, and numerous traditional department and sporting goods stores along with independent retailers. According to License Global, the U.S. Polo Assn. now ranks among the top 5 largest global licensed sports brands in the world, in elite company, alongside the NFL, NBA and MLB.
An Expanded Partnership with ESPN A partnership with ESPN and enhanced digital presence has also contributed to the considerable growth of the sport of polo’s footprint and global audience reach. Earlier this year, Prince signed a multi-year global deal with ESPN, through the company’s broadcasting entity Global Polo Entertainment (GPE), providing exposure to a massive global audience, extending to many parts of the world
The brand was also focused on its digital strategy, resulting in the tripling of its digital business over the last several years. U.S. Polo Assn., built on its successful digital strategies to generate record growth in e-commerce with some 50 brand sites in 20 languages, continues to grow its digital presence and global momentum on social media, with some 7 million followers worldwide.
About U.S. Polo Assn. and USPA Global U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), the non-profit governing body for the sport of polo in the United States and one of the oldest sports governing bodies, having been founded in 1890. With a multi-billion-dollar global footprint and worldwide distribution through some 1,200 U.S. Polo Assn. retail stores and thousands of department stores as well as sporting goods channels, independent retailers and e-commerce, U.S. Polo Assn. offers apparel for men, women, and children, as well as accessories and footwear in more than 190 countries worldwide. U.S. Polo Assn. was named one of the top global sports licensors alongside the NFL, NBA, and MLB, according to License Global. Visit uspoloassnglobal.com and follow @uspoloassn.
USPA’s Acquisition and Re-branding of the International Polo Center In the Summer of 2022, the USPA purchased the worldrenowned International Polo Center (IPC), now renamed the USPA National Polo Center (NPC), the sport’s premier destination in North America. Located in beautiful Palm Beach County, Florida, the venue spans 160 acres, encompassing multiple grass polo fields, fine dining, tennis courts, stadium seating, a swimming pool, and luxury retail shopping. The very first games played on the U.S. Polo Assn. Stadium Field were the historic XII Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship games, held in the United States for only the second time in the tournament’s history and sponsored by U.S. Polo Assn. FIP is the international federation representing the sport of polo, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The polo season concluded with the most prestigious of all North American high-goal tournaments, the U.S. Open Polo Championship®. Both games, among many others, were presented to sold-out crowds and broadcast on multiple ESPN platforms.
“We continue to look for avenues and partnerships to expand into new global markets as well as new and innovative areas of business. The combination of these factors, alongside our authentic connection to the sport of polo and outstanding global brand marketing, is the key to our success,” concludes Prince. S P O R T S E TA
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USPA Global is the for-profit subsidiary of the USPA and manages the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand, providing the sport with a long-term source of revenue. Through its subsidiary, Global Polo Entertainment (GPE), USPA Global also manages Global Polo TV, which provides sport and lifestyle content. A historic, multi-year, global arrangement between USPA Global and ESPN, now showcases many of the top championship polo games in the U.S., enabling millions of sports fans and consumers to enjoy the sport across ESPN’s broadcast and streaming platforms. For more sport content visit globalpolo.com.
About the United States Polo Association® (USPA) The United States Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. Founded in 1890, the USPA is the national governing body for the sport of polo. The USPA is currently comprised of almost 200 member clubs with thousands of individual members and oversees 40 national tournaments. For more information, please visit uspolo.org.
2024 Save the Date Sports ETA Events
Photo courtesy of DJ Johnson on Unsplash
Hosted by San Jose Sports Authority
April 3-5, 2024
CLEVELAND, OH Hosted by Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Photo courtesy of Cole Keister on Unsplash
SAN JOSE, CA
Feb 20-21, 2024
April 22-25, 2024
Photo courtesy of Chad Madden on Unsplash
Hosted by Travel Portland & Sport Oregon
Nov 12-14, 2024
CHATTANOOGA, TN Hosted by Chattanooga Tourism Co.
The 2024 Sports Calendar FEB FEB January 15-28: ............................... Australian Open in Melbourne
AN PR PR
FEB MAY MAY March 19-April 8: ......................... NCAA’s March Madness Tournament (men’s and women’s)
PR UL UL
MAY AUG AUG
UL CT CT
February 11: .................................... Super Bowl in Las Vegas
April 8-14: ......................................... The Masters, Augusta, Georgia May 4: ................................................... The Kentucky Derby, Louisville, Kentucky May 16-19: ........................................ PGA Championship, Louisville, Kentucky May 20-June 9: .............................. French Open, Paris May 26: ................................................ The Indy 500, Indianapolis, Indiana
June: ...................................................... NBA Finals
AUG NOV NOV
June: ...................................................... NHL Stanley Cup Finals July 1-14: ............................................ Wimbledon, London July 12-16: ......................................... MLB All-Star Game, Arlington, Texas July 26-August 11: ...................... Summer Olympic Games, Paris
August 26-September 8: ........ US Open Tennis, New York, New York
September 10-15: ....................... Solheim Cup, Gainesville, Virginia October: ............................................. MLB World Series
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IT’S GEAUX TIME Louisiana’s Capital City is the home of fierce competition. Whatever your sport and however you compete, Baton Rouge is brimming with professional and recreational venues that are ready to take your event to the next level. When it’s time for your next event, Baton Rouge will transform it into an unforgettable experience. Our dedicated team will work with local partners to get the best available rates and provide complimentary assistance from our destination experience department.
WHO PLAYS HERE Baton Rouge has been a host city for a variety of sporting events that attract crowds from around the country. • The Louisiana Marathon • US Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships • Baton Rouge Block Party Volleyball Tournament • Tiger-Rock Martial Arts World Championship • United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships • USA Track and Field Masters Outdoor Championships • Marucci World Series at Alex Box Stadium • National Pro Fastpitch Softball Championship Series • National Collegiate Waterski Championships Whatever game you’re playing, you can find something to root for here in Baton Rouge!
EXPLORING THE CITY
With numerous facilities that can accommodate sports ranging from baseball and soccer to track and golf, the Red Stick takes sports and recreation to the next level. With both indoor and outdoor facilities ready for competition, Baton Rouge is ready to play – no matter what your sport. In addition to professional venues, Baton Rouge offers several recreational options through various parks including skating, biking, boating, and kayaking, to name a few. With a number of restaurants, multi-functional event spaces and hotels — from boutique hotels to major brands you love — our city has the capacity to host all of your participants and ensure they’re getting the most out of their trip.
Once the race is over, it’s time to #ExploreBatonRouge! Your guests will revel in the opportunity to discover all that the Red Stick has to offer, and there’s something for everyone. From history buffs to foodies, if visitors are staying downtown, they can easily walk to cultural attractions along the Mississippi River, including Louisiana’s Old State Capitol and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. Just down the street from these popular treasures are bars and restaurants that locals love, serving up Louisiana fare like poboys and shrimp etouffee — perfect for fueling up before an event or celebrating a job well done.
RACING All year long, Baton Rouge hosts events for national audiences; with multi-race courses that feature fast, flat, runner-friendly paths. The ease of our courses are ideal for all varieties of runners and races, including full marathons, 5Ks and fun runs. From the weekend-long Louisiana Marathon to the festive Mardi Gras Mambo and Tiger 10K, there’s no shortage of races for athletes in Baton Rouge. 25
We’re ready for you to Come play in Baton Rouge! To learn more about hosting in Baton Rouge, get in touch with Visit Baton Rouge today! Head to VisitBatonRouge. com/sports, or contact Jason Suitt, Director of Sports Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
with a capital F. At the end of a day full of competition, enjoy some of the most mouthwatering meals that have ever touched your tastebuds. Combining the best bits of Louisiana’s colorful cuisine, there’s nothing quite like a feast in Baton Rouge – Louisiana’s Capital City. VisitBatonRouge.com/Restaurants
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February 20-21, 2024 San Jose, CA
s r e d a Le
the intersection of sports leadership and technology
Chief Executive Summit
WILL: • Equip you with the tools necessary to advance your organization’s mission • Present high-level topics, including office culture, operations and leadership, crisis management, achieving goals, and more
Presidents | CEOs | Directors Do you report directly to a board of directors? If so, we want to see you at CE Summit!
San Jose Marriott 301 South Market Street San Jose, California 95113
Member Rate: $799 Non-Member Rate: $999
Contact info@SportsETA.org to register. 27
Mentoring Community Revival Rachel Rogers Vice President of Sports Sales & Engagement Cobb Travel & Tourism
Lance Fite Director, Sports Sales, Visit Mesa
Tell us about the Mentoring Committee and the goals for this coming new year? The goal in relaunching the Mentoring Committee is to create a space where best practices can be shared freely and openly. We hope to facilitate opportunities where everyone feels comfortable asking questions, takes advantage of growth opportunities and encourages one another. Our goal is simple, we want to support members both professionally and personally.
Why is the Mentoring Committee so important for Sports ETA, especially for new members to the association? The Mentoring Committee hopes to foster a space where intentional investment in the future of our industry, and its greatest asset- it’s people – can happen. As our industry continues to define itself in the world of events and tourism, having solid constructive opportunities for growth is a vital part of the success of our industry. Hopefully, new members will use this opportunity as resources for guidance in navigating the business and networking side of things.
Can you share a story about a mentor you have had personally and how it helped your career? Rachel: Over the years, I have had several mentors who have supported me, encouraged me, taught me the ropes, and reminded me to find the good in failures. For me, the most important quality for a successful mentor/mentee relationship is mutual respect and trust. Once you have that foundation, it’s building blocks after that. And time, time is your best friend! Lance: Like Rachel, I was fortunate to have many mentors and industry veterans take me under their wings in different capacities. I was lucky enough to have my predecessors still in the industry who pointed me in the right direction with long term partners I needed to know to be successful. Other newly formed friendships from destinations and rights holders both proved valuable as a first timer and over the years has resulted in new business opportunities and irreplaceable resources and friendships.
For those interested in joining the committee, what is the commitment and responsibility? Starting in 2024, the mentoring program will run for one year. Each relationship will look different, so you can customize to fit your schedule. There are opportunities to mentor multiple individuals or have a single mentee. As a committee, we recommend a 30 minute biweekly/monthly standing check in with your mentee. Additionally, we will host bi-monthly webinars where everyone can share best practices, hear from respected industry professionals, and provide helpful resources. Interested in serving as a mentor? Maybe you’d prefer to have a mentor instead? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Learn More
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WE CROWN CHAMPIONS.
National Championships. Buzzer beaters and goal-line stands that live forever. Miracles. History. It’s all made here. At the Arlington Sports Commission, we take inspiration from the athletes who come here to compete. For them, success is a product of preparation and perspiration. Which is why we’re known for always giving 100 percent.
To learn more, visit arlington.org/sports
Arlington, Texas: We Crown Champions Arlington, Texas, is where champions are crowned! Super Bowls, national championships, buzzer beaters, and goal-line stands that live forever. Miracles and history are made in Arlington at some of the biggest sports venues on earth. Most know these iconic sports cathedrals from the games being broadcast into living rooms and bars across the nation. However, beneath the surface and past the seats, is another side of these stadiums that most people don’t know about – event venues every bit as spectacular as the playing field. These versatile venues host events of all sizes with incredible support staffs, easy logistics thanks to a city built around these venues, and super-convenient air travel. Since Arlington is centrally located in northern Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth, it is extremely easy to fly into DFW International Airport or Dallas Love Field. Arlington also sits at the crossroads of five major interstate highways, so driving into the city is no problem at all. If you are coming to Arlington for your team event, our trusted partners are available for a variety of options for reliable, safe group transportation. Before you leave, make sure to check out AT&T Stadium as it is a must-see marvel as the country’s largest domed structure and the largest stadium – by seating – with a retractable roof and a 175-foot-wide HD screen!
ON THE HARDWOOD AND BEYOND If you love basketball, we have you covered too. All your hardwood dreams can be found at College Park Center on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. The storied location has been home to both the WNBA’s Dallas Wings and the NCAA Division I UT Arlington Mavericks. The incredible facility includes an 8,400-square-foot arena floor as well as two practice courts and can seat up to 7,000 fans. UT Arlington also has you covered when it comes to track and field with the 12,000-seat multipurpose Maverick Stadium. For the freshest courts in town, head to the brand-new Arlington Athletics Complex where you’ll find a 1,200-seat arena hosting basketball, wrestling, volleyball
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and gymnastics. The new complex also has a 1,000-seat competitive swimming facility with a 50-meter world-class Myrtha pool built in Italy.
GO BIG. REALLY BIG. Are you planning something that needs a stunning, state-of-the-art facility that’s nearly 100,000 square feet? Our Esports Stadium is the perfect fit. Connected to the Sheraton Hotel, this world-class venue can host sports such as fencing, martial arts, and more. This state-of-theart gaming center also includes the largest esports arena in North America.
THE BOTTOM LINE There is simply no sports city like Arlington, Texas. No city has devoted more time and resources to become a host of dazzling sporting events large and small. For decades, we’ve worked to align our hotels, infrastructure, support staff and culture behind sports. At the Arlington Sports Commission, we take inspiration from every athlete who comes here to compete. For the athletes, success is a product of preparation and perspiration. They give it all in their pursuit of something greater than themselves. This isn’t just an example for other athletes – it’s been a guiding example for us as well. Every year, we get an up-close look at the dedication it takes to be the best, and that’s what you get when you hold your sporting event in Arlington.
Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau Matt Wilson, VP of Sports and Events “With versatile venues capable of hosting events of all sizes, we take inspiration from the athletes who come to compete, which is why we’re known for giving 100 percent off the field while you give 100 percent on it.”
817.704.7585 Matt@arlington.org 1717 E. Randol Mill Rd. #101 Arlington, Texas 76011
A Closer Look at the Ryder Cup Experience B Y B E T S Y R O S S , G A M E D AY
The Ryder Cup, the biennial matchup between the best golfers in the U.S. and the best of Europe, is one of the most highly anticipated events on the golf calendar. The 2023 edition, played at Marco Simone just outside Rome, had the Americans as early favorites to win on foreign soil, something they hadn’t done since 1993.
Instead of a tightly contested match, however, what we saw was a Euro victory lap. While the U.S. vs Europe Solheim Cup the week before in Spain came down to an exciting faceoff on the final afternoon of the final day, the Ryder Cup was a blowout from Day 1, despite a late charge by the Americans. Not surprisingly, the results were reflected in the viewership. NBC’s coverage attracted 1.41 million viewers on Saturday, 1.32 million on Sunday—a drop from 2.12 million and 2.47 million, according to Sports Illustrated, when the event was played in France in 2018. One reason was NBC’s live coverage was mostly overnight and early morning. The other reason, of course, was the non-competitive nature of the event.
NBC Sports is paying a reported $440 million over 15 years for the U.S. rights to the Ryder Cup, or $55 million per event. The next chance the network has to recoup some of its investment is when the competition comes to New York’s Bethpage Black in 2025. The Ryder Cup finances run on a four-year business cycle—the previous cycle from 2015-18 brought in more than $80 million in gross revenue. The current cycle (five years, to account for the COVID year) is estimated to bring in around $120 million gross revenue. The increase in revenue can be attributed to more worldwide partners, from one in Paris to seven in Rome, but much of that is taken up by increased expenses, supply chain issues, etc. Finances aside, the Ryder Cup experience is one not to be missed if you’re a golf fan, and this year’s Euro edition was very fan-friendly. From the regular emails to ticket holders, exclusive hotel deals, and convenient parking and transportation, to an interactive app and abundant signage at the Marco Simone course, the experience was an easy one to navigate. Premium hospitality opportunities, from the Captain’s Club to the Founders Lounge to the BMW Owners Lounge, were prevalent. (On the grounds, separate from the hospitality areas, beer was going for around €8 and a burger for €19,90). If the Ryder Cup is on your bucket list, mark your calendar for September of 2025 at Bethpage Black in New York.
NBC Sports is paying a reported $440 million over 15 years for the U.S. rights to the Ryder Cup, or $55 million per event. S P O R T S E TA
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Sports Events Entertainment Network Whether you’re on the hunt for industry-leading insights, inspiring Sports ETA member programs, in-depth case studies, captivating interviews with industry experts, or anything else related to the world of sports events and tourism, the revamped Sports Events Entertainment Network (SEEN) has got you covered. We’re thrilled to be your ultimate destination for all things sports tourism in video and podcast formats. Tune in every Saturday as we roll out a fresh episode, each clocking in at under 30 minutes. So whether you’re sipping your morning coffee, shuttling your kids to practice or games, prepping for a weekend tournament, or simply going about your day, you can easily stay connected with all the latest in sports events and tourism. SEEN is here to accompany you on your journey.
SERIES 1 SCHEDULE: September 30
Episode 1: What’s Your ‘Why’?
Episode 2: Let’s Play!
Episode 3: The Best City In North America
Episode 4: Terrific Times In Tulsa
Episode 6: Bowling For Big Business
Episode 7: What’s New In Tempe?
Episode 8: The Draw Of Dupage County
Episode 9: Ready For A Refresh
Episode 10: An Extra Set Of Hands: Learn From The Best At Gamechangers Consulting
Episode 11: Visit Charlotte, The Sports Tourism Organization Of The Year
April 3-5, 2024 Cleveland, OH
t n e m e c n a v ad of women in the Sports Events and Tourism Industry
WILL: • Inspire you to achieve your career goals • Strengthen your community relationships • Empower you to advocate for yourself • Polish your leadership skills
• Women in sports events and tourism at all levels of experience, who want to expand their network and grow in their careers • Sports events and tourism professionals who champion the hiring and advancement of women in the industry
DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown-Lakeside 1111 Lakeside Ave. E Cleveland, OH 44114
Member Rate: $499 Non-Member Rate: $699
Contact info@SportsETA.org to register. S P O R T S E TA
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STLI on the Horizon In the fast-paced realm of sports, staying ahead of the game is essential for success. Whether you’re an industry veteran or a newcomer eager to make your mark, the upcoming online education courses we have in store will empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel.
Get ready to uncover the secrets to success with “The Media Landscape,” a course that will teach you how to build strong relationships with media professionals, explore diverse content delivery methods, and craft compelling story pitches and attention-grabbing press releases. We’ll also delve into the intricacies of social media etiquette and the optimization of destination and event marketing, allowing you to elevate your sports events through strategic media communication and promotion. But that’s not all! If you’ve ever wanted to shine in front of the camera, “Confident on Camera” is designed to help you embrace the spotlight with confidence and finesse. Whether you’re engaging in a crucial Zoom conference, creating captivating YouTube content, acing virtual interviews, or striving to amplify your social media live presence, this course is your ticket to mastering on-camera skills. Benefit from expert insights gathered over two decades of on-camera experience and discover the secrets to exuding authenticity and professionalism in the digital realm, enhancing your virtual charisma and captivating audiences across the ever-expanding media landscape. Both of these courses are your gateway to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the sports events & tourism and media industries. Stay tuned for an exciting journey into the future of sports media education, coming December 1, 2023.
The Media Landscape Led by Jason Gewritz, VP/Executive Editor and Publisher, Northstar Meetings Group This course will also feature a handful of special guest speakers!
Course Takeaways 1. Explore the major forms of media, and analyze the evolving media landscape to identify trends and changes shaping the industry. 2. Learn how to effectively pitch your story ideas to media outlets, mastering the art of presenting narratives that captivate and resonate with journalists. 3. Acquire techniques to craft press releases that stand out in a crowded media landscape, ensuring your sports events garner the attention they deserve. 4. Identify the essential do’s and don’ts of social media platforms, and develop a cohesive social media strategy to enhance your brand’s online presence. 5. Discover the best practices for marketing sports destinations and events, employing innovative techniques to reach a broader audience and drive success.
Confident on Camera Led by Kathrine Nero, Social Media Reporter, Camera Confidence Coach, Content Creator, Media Trainer, Mom, and Wife
Course Takeaways 1. Improve your comfort and confidence on camera 2. Optimize your virtual interview/call setup for the best video, audio and composition 3. Learn ways to enhance connection with your viewer or interviewer 4. Master preparation, promotion and execution of a social media live 5. And so much more!
These courses will be available exclusively through the Sports Tourism Learning Institute in December 2023.
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Where Do We Fit In? BY MA R I A L E N H A R T
While the post-pandemic environment is bringing complex challenges for meetings and events, myriad issues—such as sustainability and representation—remain top priorities for those charged with advocating on behalf of the industry. For many, the key dilemma is to find ways to ensure that business growth does not come at the expense of increasingly urgent environmental and social concerns. In doing so, industry advocates are looking at new ways of doing things, particularly by forming alliances and emphasizing cooperation over competition.
Advocating for sustainability
Advocating for representation
Natasha Richards, a longtime advocacy leader and director of impact and industry relations for the IMEX Group, admits that when it comes to sustainability and social responsibility, the events sector is often seen as more of a problem than a solution.
For Dzidra Junior, who is Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee liaison to the MPI International Board of Directors, working to improve ethnic diversity within the hospitality sector has been a long and challenging goal throughout her career, which has included positions with MGM Resorts, YMCA of the Rockies and now with Renditions Consulting in Las Vegas.
“We really have an identity crisis—where do we fit in the wider economic landscape?” she says. “We really have to talk to other sectors to have a more holistic approach. We need to widen our spectrum and figure out how we can add to global prosperity.” Richards, who heads a new business unit for IMEX called Impact, is charged not only with overseeing advocacy but with advancing an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategy that involves input from across the meeting and event industry. According to a statement from IMEX, a major purpose of Impact is to craft a comprehensive ESG framework, beginning with IMEX’s recently announced net-zero strategy, a plan to deliver net-zero-carbon events by 2030. While acknowledging that “having one single clear voice is a challenge,” Richards says forming alliances and partnerships has never been more important for industry advocacy and that there needs to be less duplication of efforts. “It’s a problem when everyone wants to own the narrative,” s he says. Also crucial is for associations and corporations alike to do a better job of communicating why meetings bring value to destinations, both economically and socially, Richards adds. “This is done by working hand-in-hand in partnerships between the organizer, the venue and the destination,” she says. “What is the value to the local population? How are you advancing the industries in the city or region? Are there policies you can help advance? It’s telling a clear story of why you have a social license to operate. Governments at all levels need to understand the value.”
Junior believes that representation of ethnic minorities in hospitality executive positions is nowhere near what it should be. “When you look at the industries in which minorities are represented by 25% or more, hospitality is not among them,” she says. “The conversation about why we don’t see the advancement of minorities in the industry continues, but we’re not seeing the progress we should.” For Junior, strategies for strengthening EDI in the meeting industry include stronger partnerships between professional organizations, including MPI with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (of which she is president), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and others. Working with college hospitality programs, including those at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), has been another priority. “I often hear people say they just don’t know where to find people, but there are HBCUs out there who have hospitality programs and are great resources,” she says. “It’s a matter of reaching out and forming partnerships with organizations who can help identify the individuals who can be executives.” Convincing young people of color to enter the hospitality industry is not always easy, Junior acknowledges. “When I go to college job fairs, I often find that hospitality is not necessarily a desirable area for students, largely because they don’t understand the industry and what the opportunities are,” she says. “Most grads want to be at Fortune 500 companies, and they don’t associate hospitality in that space. It’s on us to educate people—not just students,
but college administrators. We need to emphasize the positives of working in an industry where you get to create experiences and bring joy.”
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April 22-25, 2024 Portland, OR
S N O I T C E N N CO at one of the largest gatherings of top executives in the sports events and tourism industry.
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re o n ’ u o Ying so com
SEE YOU IN PORTLAND!
R IG H TS HOLDERS
The only sports events & tourism meeting with Rights Holder Exclusive Education. Learn from the best in the industry from RFP creations, hotel rebates, event operations, rights fees, and more!
D E ST I N AT I O N S
Connect with peers, learn from industry experts, grow your network, and generate leads.
D E ST IN AT IO NS Connect with peers, learn from industry experts, grow your network, and generate leads.
FAC I L I T IE S Industry-leading content and education for facility developers, facilities personnel and vendors, destination professionals and sports event owners.
The Sports ETA Symposium is the annual meeting of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), the non-profit I N D U STfor RYthe sports events trade association PA RTindustry N E R S since 1992. and tourism Showcase your brand, Throughout the week, sports destinations develop contacts and meetfuture with hundreds of decision-makers clients, attend responsible for organizing unbeatable education sports events. sessions, and grow your network.
Grow professionally, exchange ideas, and drive more business at one of the largest gatherings of top executives in the sports events and tourism industry.
of attendees recommend the Symposium to a colleague
attendees including over 100 sports events planners
of attendees have a role in decision making
scheduled appointments at the 2023 Symposium
I N D U ST RY PA RT NE R S Showcase your brand, develop contacts and future clients, attend unbeatable education sessions, and grow your network.
EVERY Rights Holder who registers by December 31, 2023
Will receive access to Nike, Adidas and Columbia Employee Stores • Nike and Adidas will be in-store only the week of Symposium • Columbia will be in-store or online **This is exclusive access to stores that are for company employees. Invitations are hard to come by.
Will be entered into a drawing for “Gear For A Year” • $100/month for 12 months at either Nike, Adidas or Columbia (gift cards) (winner announced in January 2024)
R I G H TS HOLDERS The only sports events & tourism meeting with Rights Holder Exclusive Education. Learn from the best in the industry from RFP creations, hotel rebates, event operations, rights fees, and more!
Gift cards used at the employee stores double your spending power
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At all 150+ Drury Hotels locations in 26 states, guests will experience our friendly team members, award-winning service, and best-in-class amenities. Free Hot Breakfast Free Hot Food & Cold Beverages at 5:30 Kickback® Free Wi-Fi Throughout the Hotel Pools & Whirlpools 24-Hour Business & Fitness Centers And more!
Tallahassee | Savannah | Dallas Arlington DRURYHOTELS.COM
OUR FOCUS Sports Complexes Convention Centers Performing Arts Centers Fairgrounds Arenas Stadiums Hotels Mixed-Use Real Estate Higher Education
Customized Concierge Level Service for Your Travel Needs
ONE-ON-ONE CONCIERGE SERVICE Dedicated Travel Director to assist you and your attendees available 24/7
Negotiate & set up all hotel blocks at preferred group rates anywhere worldwide with a rebate / sponsorship paid directly to your organizaton 45 days post event gauranteed or we pay interest
COMPLIMENTARY ADD-ONS Negotiate discounted/ complimentary meeting space & rooms at each hotel that can be provided to staff, officials, or attendees
EASE OF BOOKING Transparent booking system that allows for easy usage by your attendees. Live Back-End Reporting
EXCLUSIVE REWARD PROGRAM Gift Cards to various eateries, retailers and travel partners as a Thank You for your partnership
WWW.TRAVELDESKINC.COM 585.209.0034 | INFO@TRAVELDESKINC.COM
s e i t i n u t r o p op
Contact Rebecca Myles,
Rebecca@SportsETA.org, today about advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
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How AI Is Already Impacting Sports & Entertainment B Y J A C K P E T R I D E S , M A N A G E R , C O N T E N T S T R AT E G Y & C L I E N T S E R V I C E S , N AV I G AT E
Artificial intelligence is becoming more main stream in business, life, and throughout the sports industry. AI – and its ability to make decisions, analyze data, and even create content – is set to revolutionize the world economy and we’re already seeing significant examples of AI at work within our industry.
To highlight the sophistication and the ease of use for content-creating AI, it’s only fair to let the technology speak for itself. The next several sections of this blog were written using a simple prompt within ChatGPT – the AI chatbot from OpenAI:
Brisk market for generative AI funding rounds
The surge of excitement in the business community is reinforced by significant investment. Per Pitchbook, VC firms in 2022 invested $1.37B in private AI companies, nearly as much as was invested in total from 2017-2021 ($1.69B).
Source: PitchBook data *As of Dec. 23, 2022
“Write a blog post about the role of AI in sports marketing.” As AI technology continues to advance, it is likely to have a significant impact on the sports industry, including in the realm of sports marketing. One known use case for AI in sports marketing is the ability to analyze vast amounts of data to provide valuable insights. By using machine learning algorithms, AI systems can help teams and brands better understand their audience and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. Another potential use for AI in sports marketing is the ability to create personalized content and recommendations for individual users. By analyzing a person’s preferences and interests, AI systems can recommend relevant content and advertisements, potentially making the experience of engaging with a sports brand more enjoyable and effective. In addition to these uses, AI could also be used to automate certain marketing tasks, such as creating social media posts or sending email campaigns. This could save time and resources for sports teams and brands, allowing them to focus on more high-level strategies. Not bad for 15 seconds of work. It’s become clear that tasks that were once thought to be uniquely human endeavors, such as writing, art, and critical thinking, are quickly becoming automatable. While the implications are vast, and potentially a little intimidating, the near future will yield impressive uses of AI for content-creation, marketing personalization, and 45
sponsorship activation that have the potential to increase productivity across the board. It’ll be important for sports organizations to prepare for a rapidly changing landscape, and to seek help in understanding how AI, paired with human ingenuity and preparation, can yield incredible results.
Notable Use Cases in Sports
teams and venues, including the Minnesota Vikings and University of Florida.
In December 2022, the Los Angeles Chargers announced a partnership with MeetKai, a conversational AI that can integrate with virtual reality technology, like an Oculus headset, to transcend the 2D chat interface. Chargers fans will soon have the capability to view all plays that match a requested criterion within seconds, as the bot quickly combs through a comprehensive database of footage from the season. A request like, “Show me all running plays that went for 20+ yards,” becomes a real possibility for anyone with access to the AI. More than just a neat feature for fan engagement, the platform can and will be used by coaching staffs, players, and front offices for film study and decision-making. Social media seems to be one realm that has already undergone a mini AI-revolution. Feeds already prominently feature AI-generated content, and savvy marketers are discovering new ways to incorporate the technology into their social strategies. Companies like WSC Sports and VideoVerse are using AI to analyze game footage and create automated highlights that can be shared across social media. The low-hanging fruit in the space will be using ChatGPT or similar programs to craft copy for posts, or even assist in drafting a monthly schedule. Timelines have become flooded with AI-generated art. Take a look at the feature image in this blog post. The robot imagery was generated using DALL.E, another platform from OpenAI. Other AI initiatives are aimed primarily at enhancing business operations. One example is Satisfi Labs, which powers messaging platforms and virtual assistants for
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Properties like the Columbus Crew and Cleveland Browns have used Wicket’s AI to let fans choose a facial recognition scan rather than presenting a ticket. Wicket also has the capability to monitor crowd density via cameras and alert staff when certain areas are becoming overcrowded. Far more uses are being developed for the competition side of the industry, as far as optimizing athlete performance, scouting, recruiting, and more. Even ChatGPT, if prompted correctly, can help an athlete develop a nutrition and training plan for the offseason. A more controversial example is the Video Assisted Review (VAR) in soccer which serves as an AI referee on stages as large as the World Cup. The NBA recently announced it’ll be implementing Hawk-Eye Innovations (owned by Sony) to create 3D data models of each game, for the purposes of analytics and real-time officiating. The platform is already used in professional tennis, and it’s not long before similar technology is implemented across other popular sports. At Navigate, we are integrating AI systems into our research process, and working with our clients to learn and understand the current technology, while preparing for the imminent next wave of innovation. It’s become clear that when it comes to artificial intelligence, companies need to develop a strategy or risk falling behind. Have questions about AI use cases in sports? Contact Jack@NVGT.com, or ask your favorite chat bot. More insights at www.nvgt.com. 46