September Industry News

Industry News



PRSC President Hosts Sports Business Report

PHOENIX—A new radio program focused on Arizona sports and hosted by Jon Schmieder, president of Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC), launched Sept. 25 on The Fan AM-1060 in Phoenix. The program, “Arizona Sports Business Report,” airs at 6 p.m. MST each Friday. Schmieder is joined by co-host Mike “Roc” Muraco, co-host of “Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch,” which also airs on The Fan AM-1060.

“Arizona Sports Business Report” discusses the latest issues—local and national—in sports business, with perspectives from both local and national leaders in the industry. Guests for the weekly program will include sports agents, sports apparel companies, ad agencies and media executives. Mark Tudi, founder of Sports Career and SportsSearch, based in Phoenix, will give weekly updates of the latest movers and shakers in the sports industry. Ron Matejko, editor of Sports Arizona, title sponsor of the show’s “Poll Question of the Week,” will be an occasional guest as well.



Bakersfield CVB Debuts New Website

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—Bakersfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a new destination website, The new website features travel planning resources with enhanced meeting planner tools to help users quickly obtain information on where to stay, eat, meet, shop and explore in Bakersfield, according to CVB officials. The site also includes photo tours, promotions, an events calendar and a customizable itinerary that users can print or e-mail.

Bakersfield CVB is a nonprofit, city-managed economic development organization responsible for marketing, promoting and selling the region as a destination for sports events, conventions, corporate meetings, trade shows, group travel, pleasure travel and special events. Bakersfield logo (credit: Bakersfield CVB)


ESPN Teams With NFL During Hispanic Heritage Month

BRISTOL, Conn.—ESPN has announced that it will team with the National Football League (NFL) in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of special events surrounding the New York Jets at Miami Dolphins “Monday Night Football” game on Oct. 12. The game will be the signature event of the NFL’s “Futbol Americano” initiative celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and will be a major component of ESPN’s campaign and programming efforts on ESPN Deportes recognizing the accomplishments of Hispanics in sports.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown” and ESPN Deportes’ “NFL Esta Noche” pre-game shows will include special features and coverage of in-stadium festivities celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, among other special features and special guests.

This marks the 40th year of “Monday Night Football.” MNF 40 logo


Penn State, FieldTurf Plan Research Facility

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Penn State University and FieldTurf will work together in developing the world’s first facility dedicated to sports surface research. The partnership includes a five-year commitment to research involving synthetic turf, running tracks and indoor sports surfaces.

The new facility, the Center for Sports Surface Research, will be an intercollegiate program managed within the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Andrew McNitt, associate professor of soil science, will head the program.


Lowrance Extends BASS Sponsorship

CELEBRATION, Fla.—BASS has announced that Lowrance will remain an official sponsor of the organization and its tournament structure. Lowrance will continue its supporting sponsorship of the Bassmaster Elite Series and the BASS Federation Nation presented by Yamaha Outboards and Skeeter Boats.

The agreement gives Lowrance exposure across BASS’ multimedia properties, including ESPN2 Outdoors programming, and

Lowrance designs, manufactures and markets sonar and GPS products, digital land- and marine-based cartography, handheld navigation solutions, radar systems and integrated weather capabilities. BASS-Lowrance logo


Rosen Plaza Hotel Selected As Headquarters For East-West Shrine Game

ORLANDO, Fla.—The Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando will serve as the headquarters hotel for the 2010 and 2011 East-West Shrine Game. The college football all-star game will be played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in downtown Orlando. The 2010 game will be Jan. 23, 2010.

The 800-room Rosen Plaza Hotel will host executives, personnel, players, families, sponsors and fans of the East-West Shrine Game. A special group rate will be offered to fans and Shriners, along with complimentary shuttle service to and from the game on Jan. 23, 2010. Rosen Plaza photo (no credit); caption: Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla., will serve as the headquarters hotel for the 2010 and 2011 East-West Shrine Game. Or, EWSG logo, photo (credit: courtesy of Shriners International); caption: Coaches, athletes and fans of the 2010 and 2011 East-West Shrine Game will use the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla., as the host hotel.


Alpharetta CVB Earns Accreditation

ALPHARETTA, Ga.—The Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau is the first in Georgia to earn Destination Marketing Organization Accreditation by the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau (GACVB). The accreditation program was established in January as a joint partnership of the GACVB and Columbus State University’s Cunningham Center for Leadership Development to define a set of standard competencies that measure quality and professionalism in Georgia destination marketing organizations.

The Alpharetta CVB submitted in January a letter of intent to participate in the program, followed in February by an application for accreditation. Accreditation is valid for three years. GACVB Accreditation logo


WNBA’s Sparks Partners With Nfinity

ATLANTA—The Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team has partnered with Nfinity for the 2009 season. The partnership will allow the two organizations to work together in cross promotions.

Nfinity, the first women’s performance team sport footwear company, released the Nfinity Basketball Shoe in August. Nfinity logo


New President/CEO At Rockford CVB

ROCKFORD, Ill.—The Rockford Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has added John Groh as president/CEO. Groh, who began July 6, previously was executive vice president of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Groh has pledged to be “open to new ideas and partnerships” and announced a series of stakeholder roundtables for sharing ideas with the CVB. In addition, he has asked the community to recommend Rockford—just 60 miles from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport—for meetings, sports tournaments and other events. John Groh photo


Houston Submits Bid For FIFA World Cup

HOUSTON—Houston formally submitted a bid to the U.S. Soccer Federation to be a host city for the 2018 or 2020 FIFA World Cup. FIFA is the world governing body for soccer; U.S. Soccer, the national governing body, is a member organization of FIFA.

The bid was developed by the Houston Bid Committee, which includes executives at the City of Houston and Harris County, the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., the Houston-Harris County Sports Authority, SMG-Reliant Park and the Houston Dynamo, among others.

The Houston Dynamo is a team of Major League Soccer. The team plays at Robertson Stadium in Houston; however, the World Cup would be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Major League Soccer is a member organization of U.S. Soccer.



New AYF Staff Will Focus On Player, Coach Development

MIAMI—American Youth Football (AYF) has hired Scott Lancaster to lead a new initiative focused on player and coach development. Lancaster’s efforts will involve developing a “turnkey” structure to reinvent the youth camp landscape—providing AYF leaders with a program that incorporates a progression of skill development for young players just starting out and developmental tools for new coaches.

Lancaster has more than 20 years’ experience in developing youth sports programs. He also is a youth sports expert for Sirius Radio and a guest on the NFL Network and other programs.


MYiHigh Helps High School Athletes

LEXINGTON, Ky.— is a new, nationwide high school athletic placement tool aimed at assisting high school student-athletes in the college-placement process. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has given Inc. the exclusive license to develop and promote

The site allows high school student-athletes to post sports profiles, stats, video and other information—all for free. Prospective coaches then can view the student-athletes’ information, reducing coaches’ need to travel and keep track of player videos.

Schools can also create a page with recorded video, live streaming and live webcasts of games; this service is also free to schools. MYiHigh logo


D’Hondt Motorsports Hosts Girl Scouts At Kansas Speedway

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—D’Hondt Motorsports will host 500 Girl Scouts and leaders from Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missiouri Oct. 1 during the Kansas Lottery 150, part of the ARCA RE/MAX Series and Kansas Speedway’s NASCAR weekend. The event will give the young Girl Scouts the opportunity to learn about females participating in male-dominated fields as they cheer on D’Hondt Motorsports’ #19 Toyota driven by Alli Owens.

In addition, D’Hondt Motorsports’ other female drivers, Johanna Long and Tiffany Daniels, will be seated with the Girl Scouts and will share their experiences of succeeding in a male-dominated career. Long drives for D’Hondt under the #19 flag as part of the Women’s Initiative and sponsors and Great World Lodge of Kansas City. Last year, at age 16, she became the first female track champion at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. Daniels drives in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series & Camping World East Series and is a full-time crew engineer with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. She is an aspiring 2010 ARCA RE/MAX Series driver as part of D’Hondt Motorsports’ Women’s Initiative.

Tana Poppino, named one of the top 15 barrel racers, will also share her background as a championship barrel racer on the rodeo circuit.

D’Hondt Motorsports, headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., is home to the #19 Toyota Camry ARCA RE/MAX Series team and #92 Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series team.


New Website Simplifies Scouting

ARLINGTON, Texas— is a new website designed to simplify the scouting process for coaches and create an easy avenue for players to identify scholarship opportunities. Created by Andre Turner, a former scholarship baseball player at Northwestern University in Natchitoches, La., the website allows athletes to upload video clips, photos, statistics and personal histories. The information is compiled into a database that coaches can access for each player.

The website lists more than $1 million in available scholarships. Sports Recruiting Scouts screenshot



Bowling Tournament Set For Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—The 2011 Southern Region Tournament of the National Bowling Association will be played in Huntsville. The tournament is set for Nov. 17-20, 2011, at four bowling centers in Huntsville and Madison County. More than 2,000 bowlers are expected for the four-day tournament. Huntsville CVB logo


USFS Selects Regional, Sectional Championship Cities

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—U.S. Figure Skating (USFS) has announced the cities that will host its 2011 regional and sectional championships. Regional championships will be held in October 2010, with sectional championships in November 2010.

Eleven different host cities have been selected; the host city for the South Atlantic Regional, Oct. 15-19, 2010, has yet to be announced. The complete schedule for regional and sectional tournaments is available at


BASS Revises Elite Series Schedule

CELEBRATION, Fla.—BASS has revised the regular-season schedule for its 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series and postseason. Following adjustments made to the 2009 series, the new format shortens the regular season by three events for eight total regular-season events. The revised schedule for 2010 also features new dates for the Blue Ridge Brawl (now April 15-18 on Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta, Va.) and Sooner Run (now June 17-20) on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Okla.

Anglers will follow the same, four-day competition model in 2010 as in 2009: The top 50 anglers will qualify for the third day of competition, with the top 12 competing on the final day.


Alli Announces 2009-2010 Winter Dew Tour

BURR RIDGE, Ill.—Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, has announced the dates and locations of 2009-2010 Winter Dew Tour, featuring men’s and women’s freeskiing and snowboarding. The first tour stop will be Dec. 18-20 at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo., followed by a new stop Jan. 15-17, 2010, at Snowbasin in Huntsville, Utah, and the final stop Feb. 5-7, 2010, at Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vt.

Each tour stop will be televised live on NBC and simulcast on Eurosport 2, Extreme Channel and FOX Sports Australia, along with additional coverage on USA Network and MTV2. Winter Dew Tour logo, photo (credit: Bo Bridges); caption: The 2009-2010 Winter Dew Tour will include a new tour stop in Huntsville, Utah.


Visa Championships Slated For Connecticut

INDIANAPOLIS—USA Gymnastics has awarded the 2010 Visa Championships to Hartford, Conn. It will be the first time for the state to host the Visa Championships.

The event is scheduled for Aug. 11-14, 2010. The XL Center will host men’s and women’s gymnastics, while Chase Arena at the University of Hartford will host rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, and trampoline and tumbling. In conjunction, the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show will be held at Connecticut Convention Center.


Michigan Launches State Games

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan Sports Commission will launch the State Games of Michigan in 2010. The State Games of Michigan is officially recognized as a U.S. Olympic Committee State Games participant and is a member of the National Congress of State Games.

The multi-sport festival for youth and adult amateur athletes will be held June 25-27, 2010, at regional high school, collegiate/university, public and private venues throughout Western Michigan, as well as YMCA and Parks & Recreation facilities in Grand Rapids and Kent County. Michigan State Games logo


Men’s Bowling Headed To Saginaw Valley

SAGINAW, Mich.—U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC) has selected Saginaw Valley as the location for its 2011 Men’s State Bowling Tournament. The event, which rotates each year across Michigan’s four regions, was last held in Saginaw Valley 36 years ago.

The tournament will begin in January 2011 and run through April, bringing more than 12,000 male bowlers from around the state and generating approximately $6 million in direct spending.


All-Star Soccer Kicks Off In Houston In 2010

NEW YORK—Major League Soccer (MLS) has selected Houston as the site for the 2010 MLS All-Star Game. The Houston Dynamo, a two-time MLS Cup champion, will serve as the official host. The venue—either Robertson Stadium or Reliant Stadium—will be selected at a later date.


Corpus Christi Adds Open-Water Festival

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—Corpus Christi hosted a new open-water swimming event, the Corpus Christi Open Water Festival, Sept. 26-27 at the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina. The festival included an instructional clinic, a 500-yard junior swim, 1K and 5K races, and masters and youth relays. Gold Medalists Brendan Hansen and Aaron Peirsol served as hosts, and Gold Medalists Rowdy Gaines and Brooke Bennett served as master of ceremonies. Open Water logo


Silvertips Host Hockey Exhibition Game

EVERETT, Wash.—The Everett Silvertips hockey team hosted a National Hockey League (NHL) preseason game between the Phoenix Coyotes and Tampa Bay Lightning. The game was played Sept. 22 at Comcast Arena at Everett.



Texas BASS Members Contribute To Conservation Project

CELEBRATION, Fla.—Members of the Texas BASS Federation Nation participated in a conservation project July 16 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, near Zavalla. The project was an effort to eradicate a non-native, highly invasive weed known as giant salvinia. The weed attaches to boats and boat trailers, growing into 2-foot-thick, free-floating mats that edge out native vegetation, use up oxygen needed by fish and native aquatic species, and make fishing unpleasant and often impossible.

Approximately 75-100 boats were used in the eradication effort; boaters bagged the weeds, then disposed of the bags in dumpsters. BASS-Weed Clean-Up2 photo (credit: Texas BASS Federation Nation); caption: Members of the Texas BASS Federation Nation participated in a clean-up effort to remove the giant salvinia weed from Sam Rayburn Reservoir.


Ocean Center Offering ‘Hot Dates’ Discounts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Ocean Center has launched a “Hot Dates” program that will give first-time clients a 10 percent discount for bookings in September, October or November 2009, which is typically a slower season for facility rentals. The discount applies to all rentable space in the facility that is booked and signed by Dec. 31, 2009.

Ocean Center features more than 200,000 square feet of interior exhibit space, including a 95,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 9,600-seat arena, an 11,715-square-foot ballroom and 36 meeting rooms. Ocean Center logo, photo (credit: Jeff Crumbley/Volusia County Government); caption: Ocean Center is offering discounts on facility rentals booked by the end of 2009.


US Youth Soccer Awards 2010 National Championships To Overland Park

FRISCO, Texas—US Youth Soccer has announced that its 2010 National Championships will be played at Overland Park Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The games are scheduled for July 20-25, 2010.

Overland Park Soccer Complex, which opened Sept. 1 following an open house on Aug. 29, features 12 synthetic, all-weather turf fields; electronic video boards for game results and information; a plaza area, three Corner Kick Cafes; and wireless Internet service.

US Youth Soccer also announced that Sunbelt has been named the official granola snack of US Youth Soccer. Sunbelt Snacks and Cereals is a brand of McKee Foods of Collegedale, Tenn.



ABA Establishes BMX Hall Of Fame Home

GILBERT, Ariz.—The American Bicycle Association (ABA) has secured a permanent home for the ABA BMX Hall of Fame and Museum. The Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista, Calif., has set aside nearly 1,000 square feet inside the OTC Visitor Center for the BMX Hall of Fame and Museum. The new BMX Hall of Fame at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista opened in September.

The OTC in Chula Vista already features an Olympic replica BMX track for elite riders and an ABA-sanctioned amateur track.

The BMX Hall of Fame had been housed at the ABA main office in Gilbert. OTC photo (credit; caption: The new BMX Hall of Fame opened in September at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.


New CEO Named At USA Weightlifting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Rick Adams has been appointed as the new CEO of USA Weightlifting. Adams, a former hockey player, has served as president/CEO of East Coast Hockey League (ECHL); president of RBC Sports; owner of four ECHL teams; and CEO of Beyond Meetings and Incentives.

Adams also has a law degree and worked as a decorated police officer while attending law school. Rick Adams photo


USA Taekwondo Hires Head Coach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—USA Taekwondo CEO David Askinas has appointed Jimmy Kim as head coach of the 2009 U.S. National Poomsae Team.

Kim, from Laguna Niguel, Calif., was the United States’ first male gold medalist in the sport when it debuted as an exhibition sport at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. He has operated his own training center since 1999 and produced 20 U.S. national champions.

Kim will lead the U.S. National Poomsae Team in the 4th WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Cairo, Egypt.


USA Triathlon Renews Partnerships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—USA Triathlon (USAT) has renewed its partnership agreements with Nu Science Laboratories Inc. and SweatVac. The SweatVac agreement makes it the Official Performance Headwear Sponsor of the USAT National Championship program and Trade Team through 2012, as well as offering competitive pricing to USAT-sanctioned race directors for custom headwear and tech T-shirts.

Nu Science Laboratories, manufacturer of nuBound recovery supplement, remains an Official Supplier of USAT. Under the agreement, USAT’s annual members, elite athletes and age-group athletes will receive special pricing on nuBound. The nuBound recovery supplement provides a concentrated source of nucleotides to help athletes strengthen their immune systems and recover faster.


US Sailing Extends Sperry Partnership

PORTSMOUTH, R.I.—US Sailing has extended its partnership with Sperry Top-Sider performance boat shoe through 2012. Under the agreement, Sperry Top-Sider is the Official Silver Partner of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and the Team’s official and exclusive footwear partner.

US Sailing also announced that Anna Tunnicliffe, a U.S. Olympic gold medalist and US Sailing’s 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, will be one of the coaches at this year’s Next Step to Rolex Program, Oct. 2-4 at Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, N.Y. The two-day, intensive training clinic in keelboat sailing is a key initiative of US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship.


USA Curling Partners With Premiere Global Sports

STEVENS POINT, Wis.—USA Curling has announced a five-year partnership with Premiere Global Sports (PGS) as the exclusive fan travel and hospitality provider for USA Curling events. PGS will provide fan travel and hospitality services to USA Curling for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the 2010 National Championship, 2010 Women’s Worlds and 2010 Men’s Worlds. USA Curling, Premiere Global logos