Bits & Pieces: Industry news, products, sporting events, youth issues, venues and more.



New CEO At Running USA

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Running USA, a national organization for distance running, has named Susan Weeks as CEO. She replaces Basil Honikman, who retired after eight years as CEO.

Weeks has 20 years of Olympic sport management experience, including assistant executive director of business development for USA Field Hockey; manager of corporate services for the U.S. Olympic Committee; and marketing and promotions director of USA Swimming. In addition, Weeks is a former director of road races and former owner/operator of a specialty running store. 

New Sports Marketing Manager At Irving CVB

IRVING, Texas—The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has hired Keith L. Station as national sales manager for sports and entertainment. Station will oversee all sports and entertainment sales efforts, coordinate event volunteers, attend sports and entertainment marketing meetings and trade shows, and establish relationships with key officials and decision-makers of sport national governing bodies, leagues, conferences and associations.

Prior to joining the CVB, Station was sports marketing manager for the Central Florida Sports Commission and held various positions with Florida Citrus Sports. 


Gatorade Develops Tiger Woods Sports Drink

CHICAGO—PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand has teamed with Tiger Woods to create Gatorade Tiger, the first collaboration to develop “Tiger-inspired” sports performance beverages for athletes at all levels. Woods underwent sweat analysis testing at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute so that scientists could shape Woods’ specialized hydration and nutrition strategy.

Woods, who has 64 PGA wins and has drunk Gatorade Thirst Quencher throughout his career, has been drinking Gatorade Tiger on the course and in training since last December. Gatorade Tiger provides the same carbohydrate energy to fuel muscles as Gatorade Thirst Quencher but contains 25 percent more electrolytes to advance fluid and electrolyte replacement.

PepsiCo will promote Gatorade Tiger with television and print ads, retail displays, promotions, samples and other marketing initiatives. In addition, consumers can participate in online and experiential promotions, as well as enter an online sweepstakes to win one of two grand prizes. Gatorade will donate $100,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation on behalf of consumers who enter the sweepstakes or participate in one of five “Gatorade Tiger Longest Drive Challenge” events across the country.

Gatorade Tiger is available in three flavors. 

Touch Glove Improves Hand-Ball Coordination

LOS ANGELES—Classic Success LLC has developed the new Touch Glove, a scientifically designed training glove that corrects negative habits through neurological response.

Three color-coded “no touch” areas of the glove feature varying thickness of padding that prevents the hand from touching the ball—forcing athletes to rely more on fingertip control of the ball.

Touch Glove, available in nine sizes, has been used by professional coaches and athletes to improve fingertip control and hand-ball coordination in such sports as basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, rugby and water polo. 


Rugby Tournament To Stop In Oregon

BOULDER, Colo.—The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the schedule for the 2008 IRB North America 4 tournament. The cross-border competition began May 17; Gresham, Ore., will host the first U.S. tournament July 10 at Mount Hood Community College. Glendale Infinity Park near Denver will also host tournament rounds on July 29 and Aug. 2.

Last year, more than 80 percent of players representing Canada and the United States in the Rugby World Cup had participated in the IRB North America 4 tournament.

Proceeds from the 2008 tournament stop in Oregon will benefit Rugby Oregon, a nonprofit youth sports organization dedicated to the growth and development of youth rugby in Oregon. 

Cobb County To Host ASA Championship

COBB COUNTY, Ga.—The 2008 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Girls’ Class A 14-U Fast-Pitch National Championship is scheduled for July 26-Aug. 8 in Cobb County, Ga. The games will be played at Al Bishop and Lost Mountain softball complexes.

Cobb County has hosted 39 ASA national championships in the past 26 years.

The 2008 championship will feature approximately 140 teams and generate an estimated $11 million economic impact for the area.

In addition, Cobb County will host the 2008 ASA Men’s Class D South Slow-Pitch National Championship over Labor Day weekend. Marathon Set For December

LAS VEGAS—The Las Vegas Marathon will be held at 6 a.m., Dec. 7, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The race will include a full marathon and half-marathon.

A two-day Quality of Life Expo will be held before the race at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

The 2007 marathon attracted more than 16,000 participants from all 50 states and more than 40 countries. This year’s race will be limited to 20,000 registrants for the marathon and half-marathon combined. 

Cycling Event Planned For Texas Gulf Coast

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—The Terra Mar 22, a 22-mile cycling race created by Epic Sports & Entertainment, will take place at 8 a.m., Sept. 6, at Briscoe Pavilion on Bob Hall Pier in Corpus Christi, Texas. The regional cycling race will offer a $1,000 total purse and will feature live music, food and drink. 

2008 Date Set For Tour Of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY—The 2008 Tour of Utah is scheduled for Aug. 13-17, beginning in Nephi and ending in Tooele, Utah. It will be presented by Zions Bank.

The five-stage cycling race will cover 342 miles and 30,000 feet of cycle climbing—reportedly more climbing than any other stage race in the country.

More than 120 cyclists are expected to compete for $75,000 in cash and prizes, including a new automobile.

Last year’s Tour of Utah was cancelled due to financial constraints. Organizers were able to resume the stage race by restructuring financial operations and reducing the race from seven to five stages.

U.S. Women’s Open To Air On ESPN

GREENDALE, Wis.—The U.S. Women’s Open, a U.S. Bowling Congress event, will be held July 31-Aug. 6 at Brunswick Zone XL in Romeoville, Ill. Tapings on Aug. 5-6 will air on ESPN for five consecutive weeks beginning Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. EST.

Players will compete in four eight-game blocks of qualifying over four days beginning Aug. 1. Only 16 will qualify for the rounds that will be televised. The championship match will air Oct. 5. 

Powerboat Races Return To Alabama Gulf Coast

ORANGE BEACH, Ala.—The Thunder on the Gulf powerboat races are scheduled to return to Orange Beach, Ala., Aug. 14-17. Gulf Shores Powerboat Association and Offshore Super Series will coordinate race management for the sixth-annual event.

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Meet the Racers party and Race Village.

The annual race has been named a top 20 event for August by Southeast Tourism Society.

AAU Announces Girls’ Volleyball Championships

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—The 35th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Girls’ Junior National Championships will be played June 11-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The championships will include open and club divisions for girls 10-18 years old. Teams do not need to qualify to participate.
Opening ceremony will be at 7 p.m. at Cracker Jack Stadium at the sports complex. 


San Antonio To Host Junior Triathlete Development Camp

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—USA Triathlon (USAT) will hold a junior development camp for the Pan American Region June 30-July 6 in San Antonio, Texas. It will be held in conjunction with a Junior National Select Camp for U.S. triathletes.

The camp will feature instruction from expert junior coaches and offer participating junior triathletes the opportunity to train with top-caliber juniors from the Caribbean and North, South and Central America. In addition, it will prepare participating triathletes for international draft-legal junior competitions and will address the fundamentals of junior triathlon.

Interested junior triathletes should be nationally ranked in their respective countries. Scholarships and travel stipends will be offered through a grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee. 

Partnership To Help Children Learn To Swim

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—The USA Swimming Foundation has teamed with YMCA to implement the foundation’s Make a Splash national anti-drowning initiative to help children learn to swim. Make a Splash provides free or low-cost swimming lessons to at-risk children enrolled in their school’s free or reduced lunch program.

The water safety curriculum will be available to students at 10-20 schools in partner communities in San Jose, Calif.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; and Philadelphia. Children can participate in one session of eight swimming lessons.

YMCA will provide the instructors and pool time; USA Swimming Foundation will provide funding through Make a Splash’s “Sponsor a Swim Lesson” fundraising division.


Fair Park Redevelopment Approved

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The city council of Birmingham voted April 8 to approve $48 million toward a redevelopment project of Fair Park and Five Points West. The project, estimated at $90 million, would include an indoor track, equestrian facilities, an Olympic-size swimming stadium and a renovated Birmingham International Raceway. 

Arnold Palmer Course To Open This Summer

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—Newport Dunes Golf Club in nearby Port Aransas, Texas, will open a signature Arnold Palmer Golf Course & Resort this summer. The 71-par course will span 6,985 yards and include a teeing area, a driving range, and a practice range with a practice bunker, chipping green and putting green.

New Sports Arena To Connect To Athletic Center

KENOSHA, Wis.—A $15 million sports arena will replace the existing sports facility connected to the Northeast Tarble Athletic Center at Carthage College in Kenosha. The 70,000-square-foot arena will feature an auditorium and bleacher seating for more than 3,000, as well as suites and skyboxes.

The sports arena will be the home arena for Carthage College basketball and volleyball and also will host regional high school sports tournaments, concerts and other entertainment events.