US Sports Congress 2020 Program

Page 1

US Sports Congress December 6-9, 2020 Las Vegas, NV

WELCOME US Sports Congress LLC 2018 Genevieve Court Beloit, WI 53511 P: 608-363-0873 Lou Mengsol President Cell: 608-346-6681

Cathy Mengsol Director of Operations Cell: 608-346-6682

Welcome to US Sports Congress 2020! It’s my privilege to welcome US Sports Congress back to Las Vegas for the 2020 session. While this year has been unprecedented and things may look a little different thanks to the health and safety protocols you’ll see throughout the destination, we’re certain you will still find the Only Vegas experiences you’ve come to expect. For more information about health and safety guidelines and requirements, as well as resources and information about getting back to business with confidence, please visit our Meet Smart, Vegas Smart page. Las Vegas has a tremendous sports history. Our evolution into the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is speeding forward this year with the addition of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, who kicked off their inaugural season in September at the state-of-the-art, domed Allegiant Stadium adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. The Raiders have joined the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, MiLB’s Las Vegas Aviators and USL’s Las Vegas Lights FC in making Las Vegas a true year-round professional sports destination, and the 202021 hockey season will bring the debut of the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights. We’re certain you’ll have a great time during the US Sports Congress professional development courses and networking events. Hosting a sports industry event of this caliber is important to our continued growth, and we’re grateful you’ve chosen Las Vegas. On behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, our resort community and the thousands of men and women in our tourism industry, we’re thrilled to welcome you back for all the entertainment, attractions, dining, and other excitement that awaits you here. Sincerely,

Steve Hill CEO and President Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Welcome to the 14th Annual US Sports Congress

Welcome to the 2020 US Sports Congress. After a nine-year absence, we are excited to be back in Las Vegas – a city that is redefining sport. When we selected Vegas, it was a different world. They had been awarded an NFL franchise, Allegiant Stadium was being built, the 2020 NFL Draft was on the horizon and the NCAA welcomed the possibility that their events could be hosted in this magnificent city. Fast forward to earlier this year, everything changed. The economy had essentially been shut down and for the first time the lights dimmed on the Las Vegas strip. It seemed as if time were standing still as we tried to move forward, not knowing what the next challenge would be. Our organization has been tested in ways we never imagined, and I am betting yours has too. Thankfully, our partners in Las Vegas have been there every step of the way. With creativity, flexibility and a tremendous amount of faith, we are making this happen, just as the lights return to the “Strip,” This Congress and most importantly your attendance here is a testament to that very concept. Our industry has never stopped. We are looking forward to the opportunity to connect, network and work together as we get our industry back on its’ feet. That is what sport event professionals do and we’re proud to be the first and last sports conference of 2020 to make that happen. Enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas! Sincerely,

Louis Mengsol President

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of all the sponsors and organizing partners. Without them, the Congress would not be possible.

T hanky out oal l of ourpas t , pr es ent , andf ut ur eev ent par t ner s . Wec annot wai t t ohos t y ouagai n!

AnOSHACooper at i v e


“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you.� John Wooden We would like to thank The US Sports Congress Advisory Board for their dedication, sacrifice and candor. This year, we have met as a group several times and in private, individual calls innumerous times. Their guidance has helped us to stay strong and true to our conviction of having the only in person sports conference in 2020! Please feel free to offer constructive criticism and useful suggestions to them about the conference so we can continue to improve the quality of the US Sports Congress.

If you have an interested in serving on our Advisory Board, please contact our office

Jenny Bundschuh Las Vegas CVA Sports Marketing and Special Event Manager

Mike Chandler Altitude Event Consulting CEO/Founder

Rob Coggin National Collegiate Roller Hockey Director of League Operations

Josh Dill Frisco CVB Director of Sports and Events

Jarrett Dowling Columbia, SC CVB Sales Manager

Gary Ewen Lee County Sports Development Business Development Director

Brian Graham Greater Augusta Sports Council CEO

Pete Harvey Buffalo-Niagara Sports Commission Director of Sport Development

Terry Hasseltine Maryland Sports Executive Director

Bill Kelly Virginia Beach Sports Marketing Sports Marketing Sales Manager

Rick Mack ACES Chief Executive Officer

J.C. Poma Richmond Region Tourism Director of Sports Relations

Sunday December 6, 2020 11:00am-7:00pm


Group Desk, Conference Level


PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION Ahern Hotel By Invitation only Buses will load at 5:00pm at the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level. Buses will leave to return to M Resort at 7:30pm



Lux at M Resort

For all Registered Attendees

On Casino Level

Monday December 7, 2020 8:00am-11:00am


Group Desk, Conference Level



Use vouchers at Vig Deli and Baby Cakes Casino Level


SESSION 1 Inside Sports Conversation Lawrence Epstein & Steve Hill




Marche Pramenade


SESSION 2 Xs & Os of Success D.J. Allen



LUNCH This will be a plated meal.

Milan Ballroom (2,3,4)

Monday December 7, 2020 Cont. 1:45pm-3:15pm

WORKSHOP The Orleans Bowling Center Working With Special Olympics; Terrance Thornton Buses will load at 1:15pm at the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level.


TRADE RECEPTION Destinations and Industry Suppliers in booths




Vue at M Resort Casino Level


Ravello Lounge at M Resort CONGRESS AFTER HOURS Live Music by South Casino Level Caroli-na’s own Prettier Than Matt

Tuesday December 8, 2020 7:00-9:00am


Use vouchers at Vig Deli and Baby Cakes Casino Level


SESSION 3 Data to Details Kevin Bagger, Arnie DiGeorge, Todd Gillins



GOLF OUTING Revere Golf Club Buses will load at 10:15am at Lunch on Course the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level.


MOB MUSEUM TOUR Lunch at Chef Rex Bernales’ Buses will load at 11:00am at Project BBQ the Surface Parking Entrance Mob Museum on the Conference Level.


JEEP TOUR Lunch at Westgate Buses will load at 11:00am at Jeeps will pick up after lunch the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level. OPEN EVENING FOR NETWORKING

We highly suggest making Reservations for dinner. Most venues will have a limited seating capacity.

Wednesday December 9, 2020 7:00-9:00am




Use vouchers at Vig Deli and Baby Cakes Casino Level

#1 Molise (2, 3)

Review; Russ Yurk #2 Redefining Measures of

#2 Molise (4, 5)

Success; The Collective Best

#3 Pandemic Strategies for

#3 Modina (1, 2)

Rights Holders; 10:30am-11:00am




Marche Promenade

#4 Men’s Involvement in Fos- #4 Molise (2, 3) tering Leadership Development for Women in

Sports Tourism; Patrick Higgins #5 Prepare to Thrive; The

#5 Molise (4, 5)

Collective Best #6 Making Your Office Resili- #6 Modina (1, 2) ent; The Collective Best 12:00pm-1:00pm


Milan Ballroom (2,3,4)

This will be a plated lunch.


Trade Reception


Destinations and Industry Suppliers in Booths 4:00pm-6:00pm


Villaggio Bar on Pool Deck at M Resort (In case of inclement weather, a backup room will be announced)

COMPLEX Tulsa Santa Fe






Ft. Worth Carlsbad El Paso

Fort Smith

Oklahoma City







Dallas Shreveport




Lake Charles

Houston San Antonio N

Lubbock is ready for competition with Texas' premier sports facility, the Berl Huffman Athletic Complex. Contact Lubbock Sports today to learn more about this world-class park, which has the ability to host any sport requiring a flat field, including soccer, field hockey, rugby, lacrosse and much more. #LubbockKnowsSports

Book your tournament today! CALL 8O6.723.8235 OR EMAIL ERIC@VISITLUBBOCK.ORG

US Sports Congress Networking Outings Tuesday December 8, 2020 All outings will be transported by bus. Buses will load at the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level. All outings will take place rain or shine. Please dress appropriately/

SPONSORED BY: GOLF OUTING Revere Golf Club 2600 Hampton Rd, Henderson, NV 89052 877-273-8373 BUS WILL LEAVE AT 10:15 Your golf, cart, lunch and transportation are included in the outing. Clubs are available for rent at a cost of $65.00 +tx Transportation will return to the M Resort at 4:45 pm Lunch will be served on the course



first stop will be lunch at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Jeeps will pick up from Westgate at 12:45pm Water is provided on the tour, but you are welcome to bring your own You will be exploring Red Rock Canyon You will have the opportunity to get out and hike They will make a stop at the gift shop Ask your guide lots of questions, they Love it!

MOB MUSEUM TOUR BUS WILL LEAVE AT 11:00AM First stop will be Lunch at Project BBQ You will walk from Lunch to the museum

You will have the opportunity to tour You will also have the opportunity to do

the museum a Distillery Tour


Pink Jeep® Tours Las Vegas • Sedona • Grand Canyon • Smoky Mountains

Masks Required • See-Through Barriers* • Temperature Checks • Social Distancing • Repeated Vehicle Sanitizing

Stress-Free Entertainment in the Great Outdoors Our bucket list excursions provide excellent options which naturally incorporate social distancing safety measures in the great outdoors

Customize Your Group Event

Catered Events • Team Building • Add-Ons • Incentive Trips

*varies by vehicle

Contact: • 702 - 778 - 3914 • 844-375-7465 • 702 - 778 - 3914 • 844 - 375 - 7465

SportsVirginia Sports Congress Ad 10132020 V3.pdf



4:58 PM









ROCK SOLID DISCIPLINE MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMWORK TOTAL DETERMINATION At Sports Virginia, we are ready to match your game and take your event to glory.

Danish Saadat

National Sales & Marketing Manager 804-545-5543 |

SESSION 1 Monday December 7, 2020 9:00am-10:15am SESSION DESCRIPTION: Inside Sports Conversation Two of the biggest news makers in Las Vegas join us for a candid conversation on sport and events. In this session, you’ll discover why sport is playing a vital role in the Las Vegas economy and how the global sport landscape will affect cultural changes and impact events.

IKE LAWRENCE EPSTEIN SENIOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Lawrence Epstein serves as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization and one of the fastest growing sports brands in the world. Epstein is responsible for all global business operations and for managing the company’s overall performance and growth. Over the years, he has spearheaded the regulatory efforts for UFC, gaining approval in countries around the world, including most recently France. Epstein has also played a leadership role in negotiating UFC’s most significant business deals, including the company’s landmark media rights agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports and the sale of UFC to Endeavor, recognized as the largest sale of a sports property in history. A life-long resident of Nevada, Epstein has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations. In 2016, he was named to the board of directors of the National Fitness Foundation, the official charity of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, which develops corporate partnerships to expand youth sport participation in America. In January 2017, he was named a charter member and Vice Chair of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board of directors, which owns and oversees the city’s new 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion dollar-stadium, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.

SESSION 1 Monday December 7, 2020 9:00am-10:15am SESSION DESCRIPTION: Inside Sports Conversation Two of the biggest news makers in Las Vegas join us for a candid conversation on sport and events. In this session, you’ll discover why sport is playing a vital role in the Las Vegas economy and how the global sport landscape will affect cultural changes and impact events.

STEVE HILL Chief Executive Officer/President Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Steve Hill is the Chief Executive Officer/President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the destination marketing organization that promotes and attracts tourism, conventions, meetings and special events to Las Vegas and throughout Southern Nevada. The LVCVA also owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). Under Mr. Hill’s leadership, the LVCC is currently undergoing a $980 million expansion as well as the development of the Convention Center Loop, a first-of-its kind underground transportation system in partnership with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, which will whisk convention attendees throughout the 200-acre campus in less than two minutes. The convention center expansion, scheduled for completion in December, will add 1.4 million additional square feet of exhibition and meeting space to the existing campus for a total of 4.6 million square feet throughout the entire facility. Mr. Hill owned Silver State Materials from 1987 until its purchase by CalPortland in 2008 where he served as Senior Vice President until 2011. He was then appointed director of the newly established Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) by Governor Brian Sandoval where during his tenure he lured numerous businesses to the state, including Tesla, Apple, and HyperloopOne. Mr. Hill also serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association, the national advocacy association that represents the travel and tourism industry. Mr. Hill also serves as chair of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, having overseen the construction of the nearly $2 billion Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Know the feeling.

SESSION 2 Monday December 7, 2020 10:45am-11:45am SESSION DESCRIPTION: X’s & O’s of Success D.J. Allen has combined his love for business with his passion for sports. Allen is the founder of Xs & Os of Success – a leadership, organizational and professional development company which uses the platform of sports and its teachings to help individuals and teams maximize their potential in business and life. He serves as a performance & communication coach for business leaders, sports teams, coaches and athletes throughout the nation.

D. J. Allen, MBA

Xs & Os of Success – Performance & Communication Coach, Speaker & Author D.J. Allen has combined his love for business with his passion for sports. Allen is the founder of Xs & Os of Success – a leadership, organizational and professional development company which uses the

platform of sports and its teachings to help individuals and teams maximize their potential in business and life. He serves as a performance & communication coach for business leaders, sports teams, coaches and athletes throughout the nation. He has worked with first round draft picks as well as AllAmericans at both the college and prep levels. In addition to his role as a performance coach with business leaders and athletes, Allen has served as a keynote speaker/leadership presenter for such organizations as: Life is Beautiful, Vegas Golden Knights, American Cancer Society, Utah Jazz, MGM Resorts International, IMG College, Buffalo Wild Wings, BNY Mellon and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Allen is co-author of the book The Xs and Os of Success: A Playbook for Leaders in Business and Life with current University of Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger, who is the only coach in history to win an NCAA Tournament game with five different programs (Oklahoma, UNLV, Illinois, Florida & Kansas State). Allen has also been involved with Coaches vs. Cancer for over a decade. Coaches vs. Cancer is a national partnership between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and American Cancer Society. Allen is the former Sr. Associate Athletics Director of External Affairs for UNLV Athletics overseeing the department’s marketing, communications and community outreach efforts. During his time

SESSION 2 Monday December 7, 2020 10:45am-11:45am Cont D. J. Allen, MBA

working with the UNLV program, the Runnin’ Rebel brand returned to national prominence. Under his direction, local interest – and attendance – jumped to its highest levels in two decades as UNLV led the West Coast in attendance and reached the Top 15 nationally in average attendance (out of 350 Division I programs).

A native of Southern Nevada, Allen established himself in the business community as the founder of Imagine Communications, a Nevada-based public relations and advertising firm, which was named the 2009 Small Business of the Year by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, Imagine Communications was named the Best Midsize Agency in the market by the Las Vegas Business Press. In his time with Imagine, Allen was named the SBA’s 2005 Small Businessperson of the Year for Henderson and was honored by In Business Las Vegas (2004), Las Vegas Business Press (2007) and Nevada Business Journal (2010) for being one of the top professionals in Las Vegas under the age of 40. He is the past chairman of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and is a past recipient of the Chamber’s Outstanding Member of the Year award. Allen is a

graduate of the Leadership Henderson Class of 2002 and later served as co-chair of Leadership Henderson’s Steering Committee. Allen is also an active member of the Las Vegas Bowl executive committee as well as UNLV’s Lee Business School Alumni Board (where he serves as president). He is a founding board member of the Henderson Community Foundation & Friends of the Henderson Libraries. He also serves (or has served) on boards for such organizations as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, UNLV Alumni Association, Clark County School District’s School-Community Partnership, Henderson Development Association, Nevada Basketball Coaches Association, The Salvation Army of Henderson,

Henderson Cultural Arts and Tourism Commission and the Water Street Alliance (for downtown redevelopment). Allen started his career as a sports journalist/columnist for the Henderson Home News and later served as the Director of Media Relations for the Triple-A baseball franchise in Las Vegas (which also operated a franchise in the International Hockey League). He earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and later earned his Master of Business Administration from UNLV. Most importantly, D.J. is married to his beautiful bride of over 20 years – his best-friend Stacey –

and has two children, Bailey and Daniel. He has also coached youth basketball, baseball and softball.

MORE COURTS. MORE FIELDS. MORE WAYS TO win. Now open for your next training program or competition, Wiregrass Sports Campus of Pasco County is an unbeatable destination for cheer, martial arts, volleyball, basketball, soccer, wrestling and other sporting events. Learn more at


FSC-0248 - Sports Event Magazine - FP October Issue_v3.indd 1

9/8/20 10:34 AM

WORKSHOP Monday December 7, 2020 1:45pm-3:15pm Bus will leave at 1:15pm to go to The Orleans Bowling Center Buses will load at the Surface Parking Entrance on the Conference Level.

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Working With Special Olympics

1:45 p.m. – Terrence welcoming remarks and talking about Special Olympics Nevada and how attendees can get involved in their local chapter and thanking the group in attendance for their support 1:55 p.m. – Terrence introduces the four SONV athlete ambassadors and walks the attendees through how we start/kick off games SONV-style 1:57 p.m. – SONV athlete to perform Pledge of Allegiance and SONV athlete to recite the Athlete’s Oath 1:59 p.m. – Terrence asks the athletes to join him in a ceremonial roll (each of you would roll a bowling ball down your assigned lane)

2:01 p.m. – Terrance declares “The Bowling for Champions” event open

Terrence Thornton is the executive director for Special Olympics Nevada, a statewide nonprofit organization that offers free year-round training and competition programs for 3,253 athletes, who compete in more than 60 competitions in 10 sports annually. Special Olympics Nevada promotes inclusion through Unified Sports and leadership training, bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play as teammates. In his role, Thornton is leading efforts to expand the organization’s financial base; further enhance inclusive programming for people with intellectual disabilities; as well as establish Special Olympics Nevada as an independent chapter

SESSION 3 Tuesday December 8, 2020 9:00am-10:00am

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Data To Details How understanding your travelers, participants and fans translates into increased revenue and attendance.

KEVIN BAGGER Vice President of the Research Center Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Kevin Bagger is Vice President of the Research Center for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). The LVCVA is the destination marketing organization for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, and its mission centers on attracting visitors by promoting the destination as the world’s most desirable destination for leisure and business travel. The LVCVA also owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center. A lifelong Las Vegan, Mr. Bagger grew up immersed in tourism and has administered marketing programs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) since the mid-1990s. Dating back to his teen years working as a lifeguard at the Las Vegas Hilton, Mr. Bagger has been fascinated by the diversity of the travelers visiting his hometown and has devoted his career to tourism at both the resort and destination level. Mr. Bagger monitors local, national and global market trends of the tourism and convention industries, and assesses Southern Nevada visitor behaviors and characteristics to steer strategy and messaging across the disciplines of sales, marketing, advertising, PR, digital and convention center operations. Before joining the LVCVA, Kevin’s experience spanned consulting for gaming industry and advertising clients, including financial and operational analysis for several iconic resorts of Las Vegas. A proud graduate of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in finance, Kevin has served on several industry boards and committees including the board of directors of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), the research council for the Center for Exhibit Industry Research (CEIR), the research sub-committee of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and the Destinations Council board of advisors for the U.S. Travel Association.

SESSION 3 Tuesday December 8, 2020 9:00am-10:00am

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Data To Details How understanding your travelers, participants and fans translates into increased revenue and attendance.

ARNIE DiGEORGE New Agency Animal What is a new agency animal? What is Arnie? He is the former executive creative director of R&R Partners and, sometimes, still is executive creative director. Other times, he is a creative strategist, and still other times, he’s just a problem solver … someone good to have in the room. In other words, he wears many hats. He wears a few of those hats for Las Vegas and What happens here, stays here. He helped develop the world-famous campaign creatively and strategically. He was also instrumental in the 1 October crisis response. His work has been recognized by the One Show, Communication Arts, Cannes, and the usual award suspects. And he still works daily on the account. He has been a part of, or has overseen, most of the work that’s done at R&R Partners, including campaigns for Las Vegas, Allegiant Air, Blockchains, LLC, numerous hotels and resorts, Busch Gardens, and many more clients, in everything from power to hard drives to heath care. One of the things that makes Arnie hard to classify, and helped create his wild, new title, is his diverse background in the business. From copywriting and storytelling, to branding, media buying and account services, he has done it all … which is incredibly rare for a creative guy. What else makes Arnie unique for a creative? He loves to listen to consumers, immerse with them, and touch them emotionally with the work. He knows that emotional connection is what makes a great brand. But, if you really want to try and understand this new agency animal, you’ll have to enter his habitat. It’s filled TO THE BRIM with books, objects, packaging, wine, toys, cards … ANYTHING THAT INSPIRES. Feel free to feed him. He is always hungry.

SESSION 3 Tuesday December 8, 2020 9:00am-10:00am

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Data To Details How understanding your travelers, participants and fans translates into increased revenue and attendance.

TODD GILLINS Vice President/Research When it comes to understanding human behavior and motivation, Todd is a research maestro, having spent the last two decades directing an experienced and innovative research team dedicated to helping clients uncover new revelations about their brands. The best evidence that we aren't overstating is the gleaming David Ogilvy Award that he won for creation of a trademarked metric platform that measures the success of an advertising campaign, to effectively judge if and how brand messaging moved the needle. Rather than taking an assembly-line approach to research, Todd looks at each challenge as a unique opportunity to discover new perceptions, identify barriers and better understand attitudes and motivators, drilling down to the rational and emotional connections that drive choice. His portfolio of quantitative, qualitative and secondary research projects spans domestic and international markets in sectors as varied as banking, health care, travel and tourism, gaming, retail, entertainment, utilities, education, theme parks, insurance, election campaigns, ballot initiatives and, well, many more, but you get the picture.

2/18/20 3:28 PM

ROUND TABLE #1 Wednesday December 9, 2020 9:30am-10:30am SESSION TITLE: NCAA Bid Updates & Review

Russ Yurk Russ Yurk is president of 129 Sports, an Indianapolis-based sports consulting firm, in business since 2015. A 25-year veteran of sport event and project management, highlights of Russ’ career include the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. More recently, after spending eight years at the NCAA managing five different championships, Russ worked with the 2017 World Rowing Championships and USA Football. Russ is currently supporting the NCAA in managing its next host site selection process as well as USA Baseball serving as the tournament director for 2021 U-18 Baseball World Cup. Russ received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his MBA with a sport management concentration from Robert Morris University.

ROUND TABLE #4 Wednesday December 9, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm SESSION TITLE: Men’s Involvement in Fostering Leadership Development for Women in Sports Tourism

Patrick Higgins Patrick Higgins, Vice President at Connect, spent over a decade in various CVB sales capacities in Reno-Tahoe, Palm Springs (California), and Salt Lake City. In 2009, he left the CVB world to assist organizations such as the Department of Defense, USA Volleyball, USA Fencing, and the National Senior Games with their meeting & events. In 2012 he joined the Connect executive team to launch Connect Sports Marketplace, magazine, and digital media platform. In 2016 Higgins was tasked with leading Connect’s meetings & events portfolio which has grown from 3 annual events to over 44 scheduled events in 2020. Connect events attract over 5,000 planners and 7,000 hoteliers, CVBs, and service providers annually. In his current role, Higgins assists destination marketing organizations in the successful design and implementation of business development strategies, planner focus groups, hospitality advocacy campaigns and more. In reaction to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Higgins leads the Connect Back to Business DMO Task Force preparing DMOs and planners from around the country to lay foundations within their respective communities for a quick path to recovery and meetings & convention bounce back. He and his wife Ashley have been married for 16 years and call Reno-Tahoe home. Together, they have three children and he enjoys coaching baseball, playing basketball, and fly fishing the rivers and streams of the sierra Nevada mountains.

Premier Youth Sports

Housing Service

Leading the Way


Customer Satisfaction


Full Service

Beginning to End

Premier Youth Sports Housing Partner

ROUND TABLES #2 Redefining Measures of Success #3 Pandemic Strategies for Rights Holders 9:30am-10:30am ROUND TABLES #5 Prepare to Thrive #6 Making Your Office Resilient 11:00AM-12:00PM

MIKE CHANDLER Mike forged his sports and events career as a grass-roots event director with USA Volleyball, and vaulted his passion for solution-oriented programs into an award-winning career, spanning over 30 years. His succession of innovative ideas and national tournament programming for juniors and adults yielded success as a senior executive with the USAV governing body, where he led the landmark development of the Junior Olympic Championships, USA Volleyball National Team development of international tournaments, and the USAV National Championships. He leveraged his two-decade success with USAV to form Altitude Event Consulting as a sports marketing solutions-based firm that excels in developing multi-market and multi-event platforms to assist Rights Holders/ and Event Organizers, CVB’s and Sports Commissions in creating both positive events and positive investments in their communities. Chandler is industry-recognized for his extensive large-scale event expertise, including detailed bid-toreconciliation processes, event refresh and re-organization, revenue development, venue and site feasibility assessments, and development of local and regional event strategies.

RAVI RAJCOOMAR Ravi is a recognized leader in the experiential event, content and athlete marketing space. He has created and produced Emmy award-winning sports marketing experiences, events and broadcasts on six continents for nearly every major action and adventure sport, from Red Bull’s live broadcast properties to the X Games and both the Summer and Winter Olympics. His experience has helped lead some of the world’s best athletes, brands, and organizations to deeper engagement with their audience. Highlighted clients include Red Bull, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, BMC Software, Polaris, Specialized, CAA, USOC/IOC, Toshiba, Wasserman, Seagate, William Morris, Zipp, Niner, IMG, Cannondale, Octagon, Clif Bar, Wells Fargo, Jeep, ESPN, several NGBs, and multiple state and regional DMOs.. Rajcoomar specializes in delivering the complete audience experience. His consultative approach and ability to bring leaders together has yielded some of the most impactful sports and entertainment campaigns in the industry. He also leads a successful executive coaching practice and mastermind for high achievers built on his Hero Maker and Moment of Glory axioms.

ROUND TABLES #2 Redefining Measures of Success #3 Pandemic Strategies for Rights Holders 9:30am-10:30am ROUND TABLES #5 Prepare to Thrive #6 Making Your Office Resilient 11:00AM-12:00PM KEVIN SMITH Kevin has been a poignant catalyst for the growth and success of sports and tourism internationally and across the country over three decades. Additionally, he continues to be a fundamental change agent for the industry in the State of Florida. As the CEO of OnPoint Sports Strategies and the former Director of the St. Petersburg Clearwater Sports Commission (CVB) for 17 years, he has envisioned and assembled a team of high-achieving, deeply credentialed and passionately experienced sports and tourism professionals that collectively contribute to a new decade of world-class business development. That vision has been personified by founding the Collective to advise organizations to inspire purpose of engagement across their communities, and he was recently elected to the Sports Events & Tourism Association's Hall of Fame. His legacy of leadership has secured events like the St. Petersburg Rock & Roll Half Marathon, the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship, created the Big East/BIG TEN Baseball Challenge, and he has served on the National Association of Sports Commissions’ Board of Directors for nine years. He has held executive leadership roles with the Outback Bowl for 28 years, playing a pivotal role in efforts that have contributed over $1 billion in economic impact for the Tampa Bay region as a premier college football bowl game. He served as the Outback Bowl chairman in 2015. Smith co-founded the Sports Legacy Program in 2004 and it has grown in scale as a part of the National Association of Sports Commissions, providing donated sports equipment, education and generating financial support in NASC host communities. KRIS SMITH Kris’s passion to teach urban planning and development turned into a hand’s on career when he transitioned his love for community outreach into a compelling role with the Hampton Virginia Visitors Bureau, forging his craft in tourism and hospitality, heading up Sports Hampton. He accelerated that passion in Detroit where he spent the better part of a decade in leadership roles with the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, most recently as the Director of the Detroit Sports Commission. He led the efforts to secure and host national championships for the DMCVB with USA Volleyball, USA Fencing and USA Taekwondo, and hosted the National Association of Sports Commissioners, where he has also served in various board capacities, and advisory roles with Pure Michigan Sports and AAU. Smith cemented his ability to recruit world-class events when he led Detroit’s bid to secure the 2019 U.S. National Figure Skating Championship, an event not seen in Detroit since the infamous Nancy Kerrigan attack at Cobo Arena in 1994. He founded KBS Sports Strategies to augment his efforts in bid planning, feasibility studies, audits, human resources and his ever-burgeoning desire to build and grow urban communities.

While some games may be off for now, Play Greenville, NC Sports is looking forward to hosting your next sporting event when the time is right. We can’t wait for you to compete once again in Greenville-Pitt County. See you soon at


Connect with us for updates and more info

6844_Greenville-CVB_Mask-Up_US-Sports-Congress_Print-Ad_8.5x11_V1.indd 1

11/17/20 9:24 AM

Trade Reception Booths Monday Dec 7, 2020 3:45-5:15pm and Wednesday Dec 9, 2020 1:30-3:30pm Booth # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

First Name Danish William Kevin Will Carlo Mark John Josh Raymond Katie Al Scott Eric Lindsey Randy Consuelo Jenny Jesse

Last Name Saadat Knox Smith Weisfeld Tato Krug Pohl Dill Valles Langland Stauffacher Powers Launer Ketcham Sparks Sanchez Bundschuh Newsom

Organization Virginia Tourism Corporation Grand Park The Collective Best Visit Big Bear Traveling Teams BlueFrame Technology VisitLEX Visit Frisco Destination El Paso Minneapolis Northwest Tourism Twin Cities Gateway CVB Experience Columbia SC Sports Lubbock Sports Visit Ogden Team IP Experience Florida's™ Sports Coast Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Cullman Park and Rec


• Event graphics

COMING BACK STRONG! Source One Digital has been a trusted partner of amateur, collegiate and professional sports for over 25 years, we are here to help you bounce back. Let’s work together to create custom solutions that will stretch your budget, increase your brand presence and strengthen affinity with sponsors and fans.

• Covid graphics • Stadium graphics • Outdoor branding • Custom awards • Custom apparel • Promotional products • And much more

CONTACT ROB NEWTON TODAY! concept | design | printing | finishing | fulfillment | installation Custom Printed Graphics

231-799-4046 |


Heath Aucoin Fort Worth Sports Commission

Jenny Bundschuh Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Josh Dill Visit Frisco

Lindsey Ketcham Visit Ogden

Katie Langland Minneapolis Northwest Tourism

Eric Launer Lubbock Sports

Jesse Newsom Cullman Park and Rec

John Pohl VisitLEX

Scott Powers Experience Columbia SC Sports

Danish Saadat Virginia Tourism Corporation

Consuelo Sanchez Experience Florida’s Sports Coast

Al Stauffacher Twin Cities Gateway CVB

Raymond Valles Destination El Paso

Will Weisfeld Visit Big Bear


Kaiser De Kam BlueFrame Technology

Patrick Higgins Connect Meetings

William Knox Grand Park

Mark Krug BlueFrame Technology

Michael McGill Traveling Teams

Kevin Smith The Collective Best

Kris Smith The Collective Best

Randy Sparks Team IP


water breaks The brand new Sports Center boasts 285,000 square feet, 12 basketball courts, 24 volleyball courts, 200 meter hydraulically banked track and seating for 5,000 screaming fans. Awaken to a sunrise over the ocean, and walk or bike to a tournament at the Sports Center. Take in any number of outdoor adventure and unique dining experiences just blocks away — now this is what we call a sportscation.




SPORTS MARKETING SALES MANAGER WJKELLY@VISITVIRGINIABEACH.COM 757-385-6651 VBCVB_0048_WaterBreaks_SportsEventMag_Oct20_8.375x10.875.indd 1

9/18/20 12:47 PM


Shane Andersen ADRLN Lacrosse

Joshua Borne Pylon 7on7 Football

Rob Coggin National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association

Aaron Del Mar Adrenaline Special Events LLC

Jared Garduno Compete Sports Diversity

Frank Geers American Cornhole, LLC

Chad Hoover Kayak Bass Fishing

Kristie Hoover Kayak Bass Fishing

Pete Isais USA Wrestling

Jason Jones JBJ Events

Kaylee Manns ADVNC Athletes

Angel Natal Perfect Game


Brian Norfleet Victory Athletics Spirit

Glen Patrick EVP Tour

Joe Pickett YBOA

Laura Porth US Quidditch

Ravi Rajcoomar USA CRITS

Carrie Rivera Triple Crown Sports

Kimberly Schaub MCDA Cheer and Dance Championships

Connor Shane USA Racquetball

Matthew Simms USCAA

R. B. Thomas ISSA

Russ Yurk 129 Sports LLC




S P O R T S C I T Y, U S A



Join Us Again Next Year

December 5-8, 2021 Our Host Hotel will be the Brand New Hyatt Regency 2615 Preston Rd Frisco, TX 75034

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.