Mary Helen Sprecher 2015-11-03 02:15:41
Honoring the Champions of Our Industry AS YOU READ THROUGH THE CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE, you’ll notice something new – our awards honoring the Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. Event owners and rights holders work hard every day to create the best possible events, and the barometer of success is their economic impact – as measured by their partners, the convention and visitors bureaus and sports commissions across the country. For us, all that was missing has been the ability to honor these contributors for all the energy and attention they bring to sport, and all the economic impact they have on their host communities. And we have it all here – from team sports like softball and volleyball, to individual sports including martial arts, lawnmower racing and triathlon. Join us now in honoring their work and thanking them for all they do for sport. But as you continue reading, you’ll find this issue is filled with all kinds of information to help you every day in the sports business market. Our article on negotiation with hotels, for example, is a gold mine of information and tips. There’s a great discussion of tennis facilities, as well as what it takes for a volleyball event to succeed. The Midwest is our Regional Focus subject. And if there were ever a sport that epitomized multi-discipline and multi-sport, equestrian is it. The Sports Outlook piece on USA Weightlifting also gives excellent insights into the ways that sport has leveraged its relationships with other strength and fitness competitions to achieve maximum growth. We have plenty of other great content in this issue and oddly enough, three of those topics happened to come together in one sports event I was attending. I had gone to a baseball game with a group of friends and upon entering the ballpark, was greeted by huge displays announcing “Garden Gnome Night.” Yes, really. And by the time I got that kitschy thing, I was completely on board with the prospect of a fun little freebie. This issue includes a discussion of trends in event merchandising and the ways event owners can use giveaways to promote their events – and make participants and spectators happy. Clutching my gnome, I made my way to our seats and saw a note on the JumboTron asking whether I had downloaded the team’s app to my smartphone. I did – and was immediately aware of coupons for food and beverage, ticket specials for upcoming games and more. That was a great benefit and to help you emulate the experience, this issue offers a terrific article on the use of apps for sports events. The night was filled with all kinds of trivia, promotions and tie-ins as well as a million shots of players and fans waving their gnomes in the air. It absolutely reinvigorated the ballgame, making it different from any I’ve attended before or since. And it called to mind the article we feature in this issue, on the topic of reinventing sports events to keep them fresh, year after year. That night was filled with teachable moments, and this issue is as well. Turn the page to get started. MARY HELEN SPRECHER, managing editor of Sports Destination Management, has been a technical writer for almost 30 years with the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national association of designers, builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. She has worked in meeting and convention planning for non-profit associations and previously was a staff writer for a Baltimore, Maryland, newspaper. She is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has taught meeting planning and event management courses in the continuing studies program at Goucher College, located in Towson, Maryland. Her freelance writing includes coverage of topics in the areas of fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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