SportsEvents Magazine

MAR 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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March 2018 24 www.sportseventsmagazine.com Are there ever any communi- ties that are not ready for a new sports facility? How does that conversation go and what generally are the reasons why a town doesn't have what it takes? Great question. The short answer is yes, there are communities not ready for a new sports facility or at least the sports facility they are visualizing. The truth is that over 80 percent of people contacting us are not the right fit for us to work with. Of those we move forward with, we believe in telling the truth with grace. That means at times advising not to pursue and the vast majority of the time we will recommend additions, changes or modifications to their planned development. Those adjustments always end up creating a better outcome. The most common reasons developments are not ready or need a modification are being undercapitalized, underestimating compe- tition or existing providers, an unrealistic expectation, a model in which they are inflexible to adjust or a lack of real man- agement or leadership experience. The conversation typically goes well because our reasoning is supported with data and our approach is collaborative with the client in a way that ultimately saves them a lot of money, time and effort. What are the hallmarks of an SFA/SFM designed, planned and managed facility? I always consider our values when reflecting on the standard of experience for anything we do: our clients and guests should experience a team accountable to providing the best experience and out- come possible. We strive for excellence in delivering the program, activity or experi- ence we offer, and we work hard to collab- orate with our clients and guests to make that happen. When we do those things well, our clients from the initial planning and design to the guests and operational management, should feel well served. One example is that we have rights-holders in our venues who work all over the country but consistently rave about the service in our facilities. Myrtle Beach Sports Center and Rocky Top Sports World receive exceptionally high marks. Newer facilities have more full-family amenities and new technologies. What is the vision for the future in terms of growth or expan- sion into other areas? The expansion of our services is 100 percent focused on ways to serve better. They include: 1) a recent roll-out of new and innovative financing approaches so our clients have options to funding new developments; 2) delivering new technologies and entertainment activities within the traditional sports venue to provide better experiences and generate better financial returns; 3) providing construction procurement services through purchasing and vendor relationships to provide the best products at the best possible price; and 4) developing deeper marketing and sponsorship partnerships and services to increase revenue in the venues. What type of people do you look to hire to manage these facilities? What character traits stand out to you as a CEO when consid- ering hiring or recruiting a manager to a new facility? The team we place and how we onboard, train and empower them is what ultimately determines success. We are looking for great leaders who embody our values and have a track record of achievement. They have to understand and articulate what sport has done in their lives. While this may seem like a short answer, the question is profound. Finding and developing these leaders is a cornerstone to our success. What are some of the numbers you'd be proud to share? One of the most important is that our associated venues had over 20 million visits last year alone. For us, that means 20 million visits from people receiving a positive experience. Additionally, we have served over 1,200 communities in evalu- ating over $8 billion in planned sport and entertainment assets. Lastly, our venues perform. In every sports tourism destina- tion, we have outpaced original economic impact projections. There are many other key performance indicators, including total events, economic impact, staff turnover, event retention, customer satisfaction – net promoter score, various digital marketing benchmarks, as well as consistent financial improvement. Ultimately, all of these numbers and indicators should point each area of responsibility to how we are improving the health and economic vitality of the communities we serve. We take seriously the work in which we are called and rec- ognize the responsibility provided by each one of our clients. n ONE- on- ONE t Q Q Q Q Q Bo Jackson's Elite Sports (BJES) in Hilliard, Ohio

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