SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2016

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com August 2016 17 GAME Plan t and his staff knew what they were doing." With the Rim Rock Marathon, "the partnership absolutely enhances the success of the event," Stoll said. "We all knew we had a great product in the race but we were able to identify areas of strengths for each entity and work together to make all facets of the event better. For instance, CMU provides tremendous resourcing when it comes to marketing efforts, engaging the running community and volunteer recruitment, while the GGJSC focuses on the more community-wide aspect of planning such as permitting, vendors and traffic control. The result has grown to become a true win-win." Another plus to the partnership for The Lab was that AAU, which organizes teams but does not operate facilities, was able to access the facilities and equipment owned by Impact Basketball, saving on costs and the effort of finding a place to hold the skills-development camp, Turner said. "Joe also has a lot of arrangements with sponsors, so he was able to get deals on lunches, T-shirts and other other items," he added. Get It In Writing Even in the best of circumstances, planners agreed, it is essential to have signed agreements in place between co- producing organizations. "We work hand-in-hand with CMU on a variety of events and the university is also the GGJSC's largest funding partner but that doesn't change the importance of open, honest and early dialogue with the various departments on campus," Stoll said. "Whether we are working with CMU or another agency, the process is similar, but there is no 'one-size-fits- all' contract. We adjust according to the individual event and partnering entity. We do put contracts in place that contain details such as timelines, delineation of responsibilities and financial terms. Regardless of the closeness of the partner, it is best to have a written agreement in place early in the planning efforts." Turner said that AAU and Impact Basketball used a written agreement, which defined the structure of the event, the curriculum and the responsibilities of each entity. Part of the written agreement established that AAU would handle the registration and work to find ways to help those who had trouble affording the $200 fee, while Impact Basketball would prepare and maintain the facilities being used. Addressing Challenges Among the issues that may arise, differences in organizational structure can create hurdles, according to Turner. "One of AAU's rules is that those who participate in our events must be members of AAU," he said. "For some who wanted to participate, this caused some concern because they weren't members of any AAU team and questioned why they should have to join. One way to overcome a problem of this type is to incorporate things like membership fees into the price of participating in the event, if possible," Turner said. "Usually, every organization has their own set of rules and when two or more organizations are working together, you need to try to eliminate any cumbersome, conflicting or duplicative organizational requirements that might discourage participation." When two or more organizations are involved in planning an event, added attention must be placed on details. "Incentivizing the financial structure and establishing an appropriate schedule of planning meetings leading up to and through the event are key to making sure the workload is manageable and nothing falls through the cracks," she said. "We have found that expanding these meetings to a broader LOC [local organizing committee] has also helped engage our sponsors and public partners as well as generate some great ideas for improving the marathon." Stoll added that the most important thing is to know your event, know what you are trying to accomplish and bring in partners – whether a university, municipality or for-profit – that are on board with the mission and willing to help achieve the common goal. "It has to be a win-win for all organizations involved," she said. Sharing The Profits While financial details differ from event to event, Stoll said proceeds from the US Bank Rim Rock Marathon benefit both CMU's Track & Field and Cross Country programs as well as the GGJSC. "Early in discussions, we came up with a financial structure that benefits both organizations and also incentivizes each to perform," she said. For AAU, "The Lab was not about making a lot of money and more about breaking even," Turner said. Additionally, it was a test to see if such a partnership could work and it has been considered a huge success for all involved. "Not a week goes by that AAU does not get a call about camps and clinics, so we know there is a demand and we want to offer opportunities," he said. "The Lab was such a success that we [AAU and Impact Basketball] are working to build this type of program regionally and nationally. For those who are interested in this type of skills-development camp, we hope to soon be able to ask 'Where are you located?' and then provide them with the place and dates that will allow them to participate." n "Usually, every organization has their own set of rules and when two or more organizations are working together, you need to try to eliminate any cumbersome, conflicting or duplicative organizational require- ments that might discourage participation." — Greg Turner, AAU

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