Mentor Spotlight: Cole Lacey

 Posted on: February 20 2020
If Cole isn’t relaxing on a boat with his friends and family, you can be sure he’s networking until you know the name of Wicomico County, Maryland. Cole works to connect with peers and colleagues to help bring big scale events to a small market. “I focus on strengthening and growing my professional network not only locally, with facilities and various organizations, but nationally with colleagues and event organizers,” said Cole Lacey. Cole was recently promoted to Assistant Tourism Manager at Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism/TEAM Maryland. His main focus is on bringing new business to Wicomico County including developing proposals and budgets for events with the goal to grow economic impact. Additionally, Cole assists event organizers with logistics and management including facility set up and volunteer/ staffing needs. If there is one thing to take pride in working in sport tourism and events, its recognizing the impact that one single ...

Mentor Spotlight: Josh Akright

 Posted on: February 17 2020
Josh Akright loves sports. Not only has he found a career in the sports industry, but sports is a hobby of his and his two sons. In his free time, you can find Josh either playing sports or coaching his sons’ travel hockey team. “Watching my sons have success playing sports and the exhilaration in their faces, that’s my favorite,” said Akright. Josh is the Vice President at Pse Event Housing and a Sports ETA Mentor. The company handles all the housing details for tournaments and events from beginning to end. As you can imagine, Josh is well versed in event management, but his responsibilities also include acquisitions, business development, fiance, sales and strategy. “The people are incredible. The highs and lows of the event management business and watching something come together from the grassroots beginning to last out or play that end the event,” Akright added. “I’ve been able to travel much of the country, meet incredible ...

Sports ETA Symposium is fast approaching! Have you registered? We Have!

 Posted on: January 28 2020   Posted by: Tammy Dunn
My staff and I are excited about attending the 2020 Sports ETA Symposium on April 20-23 in Kansas City. We are looking for some KC hospitality- the KC BBQ experience, distilleries & craft breweries, and exciting sports scene!   If you haven’t registered for the Symposium yet, here are some important dates for you to mark on your calendar: March 1st - Registration Deadline, Appointments cannot be guaranteed if not registered by March 1, 2020 March 13th - One-on-One Appointment Portal Opens April 3rd - One-on-One Appointment Portal Closes April 10th - Schedules Distributed Don’t delay in registering yourself and others from your organization for the Symposium. The Symposium offers a variety of education sessions, networking opportunities, and appointments with event rights holders. It’s the Sports Tourism Conference to attend in the spring. Will this year’s Symposium be your first? Join us for the First-Time Attendee Orientation on ...

Mentor Spotlight: Bonny Bernat

 Posted on: January 15 2020
Bonny Bernat is a Boston fan living in the Winston-Salem area. While she cheers for the Boston Red Sox, she loves bringing sporting events to her community as the Senior Sports and Event Sales Manager at Visit Winston-Salem.  Bonny works on prospecting and proposal development. It’s something Bonny has to do every day to fight for sporting events. “I have found that if I can get a prospective event organizer to Winston-Salem, we stand a really good chance of securing the event,” Bonny said. “I also think our servicing of events is strong; we do not operate with a sports commission so we have to provide as many of the same services that we can, within our limits, to compete with those cities who do.” Building relationships is something Bonny finds important in this industry. It makes for fun experiences. “It always circles back to the relationships and friends I’ve had the fortune of forming,” Bonny added. “Our indus...

Why to Submit for a Sports ETA Award

 Posted on: January 14 2020   Posted by: Derek Bombeck, CSEE
Each year, Sports ETA honors organizations and individuals in the sports events and tourism industry to celebrate their accomplishments and achievements.Every member should consider submitting for an award because we all do amazing work throughout the year.  Submitting for an award acknowledges the hard work you have put into your events and allows you to be recognized by your peers at symposium as being among the top leaders in the industry.  Sports ETA as well as the awards committee understand that the acknowledgement for the winners at one luncheon isn’t enough.  We are working on showcasing our award winners not only at symposium more, but throughout the year in various ways.  This allows peers and Sports ETA members to understand the great work happening with each organization and to motivate them to submit and win the next year.  Winners in each category will be given the following benefits: Press release Playbook article featuring each ...

Branding Your Event and Yourself to Engage Your Community & Following

 Posted on: December 17 2019
Branding can take you to two very different places.  You own some cows You own an idea, product, or company Although the first could be a bullish conversation.....we'll spend some time talking about how it impacts your business, team, product or idea.  Branding in the marketing sense has several major distinctions but here are a few of the key points: Branding communicates the consistency of your product and the customer experience Branding is essential for good advertising in today's digital noise Branding encourages employee price, satisfaction, and morale Branding allows you to communicate why you stand out from the competition Branding helps you generate more customers Branding if done right can help increase your company's value Most importantly Branding It creates trust and loyalty with the customer Within sports, a segment that has such a strong media component, we ofte...

Mentor Spotlight: Kindra Fry

 Posted on: December 16 2019
“Never settle for things. We should do what we are most passionate about and enjoy doing. When that happens you are not working, you are sharing your passion with others.” Wisdom from Sports ETA mentor Kindra Fry who is living out her passion for sports as the President and CEO of Experience Bryan College Station and Executive Director for Bryan College Station Sports + Events. In this role, Kindra works with communities to provide resources her staff needs to market and sell Bryan College Station as a premier destination for sports events and other conventions and meetings. Besides her extensive knowledge of working with community leaders and organizations, Kindra has experience as an event owner and in destination marketing organizations. One of Kindra’s favorite aspects of her job is watching spectators come into her community and truly enjoy being there. Or watching up-and-coming NCAA DI athletes before they make it big. But her favorite sports memories c...

Mentor Spotlight: Derek Bombeck

 Posted on: December 11 2019
Meet Derek Bombeck, a devoted family man who enjoys weekend camping trips and hunting. Derek loves to travel around the globe, recently checking off Budapest, Hungary where he attended the World Wrestling Championship with his dad. Derek is one of our dedicated Sports ETA mentors. Derek is the Sales Development Manager for the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau in Nebraska. He is responsible for marketing Lincoln as a premier sports tourist destination by recruiting new regional, national, and international sporting events. Derek also is in charge of the retention of current sporting events. He is satisfied knowing the greater impact his work can bring to help the city thrive. Derek has an extensive background in event management and coordination. He served as the Director of Events for Nebraska Athletics for a decade. He fondest memory was seeing the Huskers compete in the NCAA Volleyball Championships the year he was Tournament Director. Derek encourages his mentees to m...

How to navigate being new to the Sports Tourism world

 Posted on: December 4 2019
Being new to this industry is intimidating, right? You have seasoned vets who seem to know everyone and then there is you – brand new and ready to make connections. But how? Here are a couple of tips and tricks I hope will help as you navigate being a “newbie” in this industry!  Go to the Sports ETA 4S Summit. Aside from the fact that you get to learn from some of the greatest leaders in our industry, this event is also one of the best opportunities to meet people. It’s smaller than the Symposium and is a completely education-based conference, making it your best opportunity for networking with colleagues. This is your chance to learn best practices and pick the brains of people who have walked in your shoes.     ASK THE QUESTION. This industry is built on relationships between clients and peers. With that being said, we can be each other’s greatest resource. You are learning the industry and it’...

Mentor Spotlight: Meaghan Hughes

 Posted on: December 2 2019
From volunteering her time on the Sports ETA Mentoring Committee to serving on our board and attending the first-ever Women’s Summit in Columbus, Ohio, Meaghan Hughes is a dedicated member of Sports ETA. Meaghan started off as a receptionist at the Ann Arbor Sports Commission and has risen in the ranks to be the Associate Director. She is now responsible for a variety of divisions including strategic planning, sales, social media, and managing Simpleview. Meaghan said one of her favorite experiences was when the 2014 NHL Winter Classic came to Ann Arbor and her office hosted a New Year’s Eve “The Puck Drops Here” event. She says it’s something she would never have been able to be a part of if it wasn’t for her great job. As someone who started her career in the sports industry at a younger age, Meaghan likes to mentor those who are just starting off. “I started working here [Ann Arbor Sports Commission] when I was 23 and understand ...
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