What a Way to Start TEAMS ’13!
November 6, 2013
With TEAMS ’13 well underway, we’ve already had a tremendous lineup of speakers here at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Bob Costas and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, two esteemed TEAMS Conference alumni, got things started on Tuesday with an eye-opening conversation on leadership and the importance of sports. After that, attendees had the chance to
experience the Natural History Museum of Utah for our Opening Party, where we were welcomed by Nino Reyos and the Two Shields Native American Dance Company, which
also performed the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games right here in Salt Lake City. And earlier today, we heard from Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis spoke on the ongoing issues facing LGBT athletes at home and abroad. It’s been an exciting and enlightening few days here in the State of Sport, and it’s been great to see everyone here!
Next it’s on to the Expo! The doors open at 10:30 in Halls D and E. I’ll see ya there!
To Be the Best, You Have to Learn From the Best
October 21, 2013
It is always best to learn from proven masters. And the list of presenters at the TEAMS ’13 Conference & Expo features an impressive list of leaders in the sports-event industry
that can help you get to the top of your game during the world’s largest gathering of sports-event organizers.
Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Bob Costas and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will headline the program at TEAMS, appearing as part of the TEAMS ’13 Opening General Session at 1 p.m. MT on Tuesday, November 5. Both are TEAMS alumni, having appeared at TEAMS when it was last held in Salt Lake City in 2001. At that time, Romney was the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He currently serves on the board of directors of Marriott International.
Costas will be making his fourth live appearance at TEAMS. He has served
as the anchor of NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage for a record-setting nine Olympic
Games and will lead NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games from
In addition to Costas and Romney, attendees at TEAMS will hear from more than two
dozen high-level sports-organization executives, including Bill Marolt, president and CEO
of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association; Stephen Miller, whose family owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz; Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s executive vice-president for championships and
alliances; Mike Plant, president of U.S. Speedskating and executive vice-president of the Atlanta Braves; Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission; and Jerry Solomon, noted sports agent and CEO of StarGames. Chris Thompson, the president and CEO of Brand USA, will provide a keynote address on how the United States’ first
nationally coordinated tourism marketing effort will use sports to market the U.S. to international visitors.
Click here to see the conference schedule. To register, click here.
Bob Costas Suggests Rethinking "Redskins" Name
October 15, 2013
Bob Costas has been making headlines beyond our announcement of his return to
TEAMS in Salt Lake City in November. At Sunday night’s Washington Redskins–Dallas Cowboys game, Bob offered a commentary that called the continued use of the Redskins name an “insult” and a “slur.” The topic of the Redskins name has been a hot one this football season, with President Obama saying he would consider a name change if he
was the team’s owner, and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder saying he has no plans to
switch. Regardless of your take on the issue, you have to admire Bob for bravely going where few other sports commentators have dared and his willingness to offer his stance
on the controversial issue. Sometimes being a leader means not taking a popular position
and Bob has proven himself a leader in the broadcast studio on more than one occasion.
TEAMS attendees will get the chance to see him in conversation with another man who wasn’t afraid to take positions on the controversial issues of the day, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Their discussion will take place at the opening General Session at 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 5, at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
Be sure to be on hand to hear it.
In case you missed the NBC broadcast of the game, here were Bob’s comments:
With Washington playing Dallas here tonight, it seems like an appropriate time to acknowledge the ongoing controversy about the name “Redskins.”
Let's start here. There is no reason to believe that owner Daniel Snyder, or any official or player from his team, harbors animus toward Native Americans or wishes to disrespect them. This is undoubtedly also true of the vast majority of those who don't think twice about the longstanding moniker. And in fact, as best can be determined, even a majority
of Native Americans say they are not offended.
But, having stipulated that, there’s still a distinction to be made. Objections to names
like “Braves,” “Chiefs,” “Warriors,” and the like strike many of us as political correctness
run amok. These nicknames honor, rather than demean. They are pretty much the same
as “Vikings,” “Patriots,” or even “Cowboys.” And names like “Blackhawks,” “Seminoles,”
nd “Chippewas,” while potentially more problematic, can still be okay provided the
symbols are appropriately respectful — which is where the Cleveland Indians with the combination of their name and “Chief Wahoo” logo have sometimes run into trouble.
A number of teams, mostly in the college ranks, have changed their names in response to objections. The Stanford Cardinal and the Dartmouth Big Green were each once the Indians; the St. John's Redmen have become the Red Storm, and the Miami of Ohio Redskins — that's right, Redskins — are now the Red Hawks.
Still, the NFL franchise that represents the nation's capital has maintained its name. But think for a moment about the term “Redskins,” and how it truly differs from all the
others. Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed toward African-Americans,
Hispanics, Asians, or members of any other ethnic group.
When considered that way, “Redskins” can't possibly honor a heritage, or noble
character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent. It is fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But, if you take a step back, isn't it
clear to see how offense “might” legitimately be taken?
Bob Costas and Mitt Romney Headline TEAMS '13
October 10, 2013
I'm thrilled to announce that two of the TEAMS Conference’s most illustrious alumni
are returning with us to Salt Lake City. Emmy Award–winning broadcaster Bob Costas
and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will appear as a part of the
TEAMS ’13 Opening General Session at 1 p.m. MT on Tuesday, November 5.
Click here to see the conference schedule. To register, click here.
I look forward to seeing all of you in Salt Lake City!
It's Time to Book Your Travel!
September 12, 2013
If you haven't finalized your travel plans to Salt Lake City for TEAMS '13 yet, now is the time to do so! Please refer to our handy TEAMS '13 Schedule-at-a-Glance when making your plans.
Rooms at incredibly affordable rates are available at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at
City Creek and the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. Both are a short walk from the Salt Palace Convention Center, site of the TEAMS '13 Conference & Expo. Click here to book your room today as the TEAMS '13 rates will sell out.
I can't wait to see you all in less than two months in Salt Lake City!
September 9, 2013
This week, I'm in San Francisco to watch defending champions Oracle Team USA at the 34th Annual America's Cup. Between the races, the concert series and the action in America's Cup Park, it's been an incredibly exciting few days! Check back for updates throughout the week.
The America's Cup is polished and ready to be presented to this year's winner.
Lisa Furfine with Kimberly Bailey (left), a volunteer on behalf of Visit Napa Valley at the Napa Valley Wine Garden at Piers 27/29 during Oracle Team USA's 4th race victory during Stage 2 of the America's Cup.
September 3, 2013
A big congrats to TEAMS alum Diana Nyad on her triumph this weekend, completing a
110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida. Taking 53 hours, Nyad, 64, is the first person to make the swim without a shark cage. After four unsuccessful attempts, the fifth time was the charm as her mantra through her journey was "find a way."
As a keynote speaker at the TEAMS '12 Conference & Expo in Detroit, Nyad spoke on the importance of holding oneself accountable, despite success or failure, whether professionally or personally, and making the most out of every moment. "I didn't win
every race I entered," she said. "But of every single minute, I can say 'No stone left unturned.' It's not so easy to wake up every day and be the best mother, the best worker, the best citizen. But it's up to you to say every night when you hit your pillow, 'Could I have done any more?"
And she most certainly can. Her perseverance and dedication remind us all to never give
up on our goals!
The Event Doctor Is In: The NFL's Frank Supovitz
August 21, 2013
There are those rare individuals you meet in the sports-event industry who truly
understand that there is no “I” in team. The NFL’s Frank Supovitz is one of those people. Frank, who manages a team that is responsible for events that include the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the NFL Draft, knows that staging successful events is all about
collaboration—whether it’s with athletes and teams, host-city partners, industry suppliers
or event volunteers. He is also amazingly giving to his colleagues in the sports-event
industry when it comes to sharing his knowledge.
It is my great pleasure to announce that Frank will be serving as the new “Ask The Event Doctor” columnist in SportsTravel magazine and on SportsTravelMagazine.com. To see the press release, please click here.
The September installment of “Ask The Event Doctor” is being previewed on SportsTravelMagazine.com, where readers can post their comments and pose their own questions for Frank.
Respect, gratitude and humility are my three favorite qualities and Frank embodies them
all. It’s an honor to welcome him to the pages of SportsTravel.
The NFL's Frank Supovitz at the TEAMS Conference & Expo in New Orleans.
Demand is High for TEAMS '13
August 9, 2013
If you’re planning to attend TEAMS ’13 in Salt Lake City, the time is now to reserve your hotel room. Due to demand, we have opened an additional block of sleeping rooms at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek.
The Salt Lake Marriott features a fitness center and an indoor/outdoor pool along with across-the-street proximity to the Salt Palace Convention Center, site of the TEAMS '13 Conference & Expo.
The Salt Lake Marriott is offering a special group rate of $129 per night—which includes complimentary wireless Internet access—for TEAMS '13 attendees. This special rate is nearly one-third lower than the best available online rate. Rooms at this preferred rate will sell out.
A limited number of rooms are still available at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, which is also a short walk from the Salt Palace Convention Center. The special TEAMS group rate at the Hilton is $139 per night. For more details on either of these money-saving options for your stay during TEAMS, or to reserve your room, please click here.
The Biergarten is Now Open!
August 6, 2013
It has been my pleasure to work with Anheuser-Busch for many years as they've been longtime friends and partners of both TEAMS and SportsTravel. They are leaders in both the sports and hospitality industries and continue to innovate, expand and invite experiential learning through face-to-face interaction.
Today, Anheuser-Busch is opening the gates to The Biergarten, a new outdoor establishment, in my hometown of St. Louis and will serve a variety of Anheuser-Busch beers for up to 275 guests at a time. Food options will be limited initially, but a full menu is soon to come. It's great to see A-B adding this attraction to their St. Louis Brewery and Tour Center!
To read more about the opening of The Biergarten, click here.
July 26, 2013
I've shared the on-field successes of some of our SportsTravel colleagues' children with you already on my blog. While we love hearing about the great work they're doing in the sports-event industry, we also love it when they send us news of their children doing great work of their own as young athletes. And just in time for the weekend, I've got another great story to pass on!
Bo Seccombe, son of Will, the president and CEO of Visit Florida, recently helped the 15U Tallahassee Babe Ruth All-Stars win the North Florida State Championship, beating the Melrose Rams 5-4 in a 15-inning marathon—the longest state championship game in Babe Ruth history. The game was an instant classic. Way to go, Bo!
DMAI 2013 Annual Convention
July 18, 2013
The DMAI Annual Convention in Orlando was an exciting and busy one for all of us at Schneider Publishing. Publisher Tim Schneider and I spoke at ESPN Wide World of Sports on the power of sports-related travel as the Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament presented by Italian soccer club A.S. Roma kicked off nearby with 225 teams (110 international) from 16 countries competing. And the USSSA Elite Baseball World Series took place all week at Champion Stadium.
It was great to see all my friends and colleagues throughout the week and I hope to see you all next year in Las Vegas to celebrate 100 years of DMAI!
USSSA game in play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex's Champion Stadium.
Disney Cup International where Tim Schneider and Lisa Furfine spoke on the power of sports-related travel.
Lisa, chair of Allied Member Council, addresses the exhibitors at this year's DMAI Annual Meeting.
Having fun at DMAI!
Tuesday's Former Chairs' Dinner at Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
SportsTravel's Yvonne Garcia networking on the trade-show floor.
The Schneider Publishing after-party after a long day of business at DMAI.
Association News' Teri Burke and SportsTravel's Ilana Edell and Yvonne Garcia with two Vegas showgirls at the DMAI Closing Party.
A Fun Stop at USSA in Park City
During a recent planning trip to Park City, Utah, for TEAMS '13—which you can learn more about here—I stopped by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's Center for Excellence. It is the national training and education center for USSA's athletes, coaches, officials, clubs, parents and volunteers. I visited the center with SportsTravel Publisher
Tim Schneider, and we took time to catch up with USSA President and CEO
Bill Marolt. Left to right: SportsTravel Publisher Tim Schneider, SportsTravel Associate Publisher Lisa Furfine and USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt
What's All the Fuss About?
June 24, 2013
Our friend Bob Costas called out the New York Mets during a game against the Chicago Cubs on NBC Sunday, June 16, with a comment that left a bad taste in the mouths of many Mets fans: “A team 14 games under .500 celebrates as if it just won the seventh game of the World Series. Another indication of the ongoing decline of Western Civilization.” Most of us would consider this as insightful and entertaining commentary, but Mets fans and players alike took to social media to attack Bob for stating the obvious.
Perhaps the Mets’ most positive performance of late is that of their fans, who regardless of their team’s struggles, have no problem airing their displeasure regarding Bob’s comments.
While the team did have a dramatic win in the bottom of the ninth against the Cubs, it was during this same game they committed three errors in one play comparable to a scene from the Bad News Bears, and despite David Wright’s fantastic performance last night in the Mets 8-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, their record is only 30-42.
Far be it from me to remind everyone that Costas has won 25 Emmys, which is almost as many wins as the Mets have had all season! Bob brings keen perspective, deep knowledge and an intelligent wit to any broadcast.
June 11, 2013
Las Vegas has set the scene this year for the U.S. Travel Association's premier trade show IPW. The event, held June 8–12 in partnership with Brand USA, has drawn in more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and nearly 6,400 international and domestic buyers from 70-plus countries. It's been a great week, one where I've had the pleasure of meeting with friends and making new ones.
Left to right: Tom Schroder, vice-president, corporate communications, Universal Orlando Resort; Alice Nosworthy, executive vice-president, sales & marketing, Universal Orlando; Bill Davis, president, Universal Orlando Resort; Larry Kurzweil, president & COO, Universal Studios; and Chick Russell, show producer, Universal Productions.
Thomas See, vice-president, sales & marketing, Universal Studios Hollywood (left) and Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (right) pose with Transformers.
Former White House Social Secretary and current Choose Chicago Board Chairman Desiree Rogers
Choose Chicago President & CEO Don Welsh
Lisa Furfine, associate publisher at Schneider Publishing Company and TEAMS Show Manager, and Optimus Prime
Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel and Megatron
Congratulations Are in Order
May 23, 2013
Many of my friends in the sports-event industry don't reserve sports to just their day jobs. They are also proud parents who go from hosting and planning sporting events in the office to attending them to watch their children compete and oftentimes win. I love nothing more than to share their successes with all of you.
Visit Mesa President & CEO Marc Garcia is a perfect example. His son, Jackson "Jackie" Garcia, and his U-12 team are heading to Honolulu next month for the U.S. Youth Soccer West Regional Championships as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series after becoming the Arizona State Cup Champions. The event is expected to draw more than 4,500 players and an estimated 15,000 spectators. Congratulations on a job
well done, Jackie!
A Great Day for Wrestling
May 20, 2013
The SportsTravel team and I were pleased to attend yesterday's United 4 Wrestling exhibition presented by USA Wrestling at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Sponsored by the Semnani Family Foundation and a combined effort from the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling, Beat the Streets-LA, California USA Wrestling
and the Keep Olympic Wrestling campaign, the event featured wrestling matches ranging from youth girls and boys--including an exciting match between two 9-year-old female
USA wrestlers--to Olympic-winning men and women from the United States, Canada and Russia.
SportsTravel's Lisa Furfine, Nicole Goddeyne and Yvonne Garcia show their support for the sport of wrestling.
A red carpet event prior to the exhibition helped promote the sport of wrestling and advocated keeping the founding Olympic sport in the 2020 Olympics.
Lisa Furfine with founder of the Semnani Family Foundation Khosrow Semnani, title sponsor of the exhibition.
Famous faces supporting the event included actors Billy Baldwin and Tom Arnold, MMA
star Randy Couture and former New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl winner Stephen Neal.
Tom Arnold, Randy Couture, Billy Baldwin and Stephen Neal on the red carpet before the United 4 Wrestling exhibition.
SportsTravel's Nicole Goddeyne and Lisa Furfine with MMA star Randy Couture on United 4 Wrestling's red carpet.
SportsTravel's Nicole Goddeyne and Lisa Furfine with actor Billy Baldwin on United 4 Wrestling's red carpet.
We here are all very proud to support our friends at USA Wrestling in keeping the sport alive and in the 2020 Olympics! To show your support, go to KeepWrestlingInTheOlympics.com.
May 17, 2013
I just got back from a wonderful week in the state of Utah, which culminated with the
Utah Tourism Conference in St. George. SportsTravel Publisher Timothy Schneider gave a presentation along with Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, on the "Power of Sports." There is a lot of optimism around the tourism industry in Utah, which boasts one of the strongest economies of any state in the nation.
During the conference, I was interviewed by the local CBS affiliate on the success of
Utah’s “The Mighty Five” advertising campaign that focuses on its five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion. It's an exciting campaign that highlights the incredible geographic features of one of the country's most unique states
Click here to see the clip from the news. You'll want to plan a pre- or post-TEAMS '13 visit to one of the Mighty Five yourself!
Congratulations to Bob Costas on Sports Emmy Win
May 9, 2013
I’m thrilled to congratulate my longtime friend and TEAMS alum Bob Costas on winning
his 25th career Emmy and fifth consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality at
the 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards on May 7. No surprise to me!
Along with Bob’s win, NBC Sports Group has many reasons to celebrate—the network
won 11 Sports Emmy Awards: the London Olympics received five Emmys, including Outstanding Live Event Turnaround; Super Bowl XLVII won for Outstanding Live Sports Special; “Sunday Night Football” won its fifth consecutive award for Outstanding Live
Sports Series; Al Michaels won for Outstanding Sports Personality–Play-by-Play for his
work on “Sunday Night Football”; Cris Collinsworth was awarded his fifth consecutive
Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality–Sports Event Analyst; and Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports Group’s “Inside the Glass” analyst for its NHL coverage, was awarded his first
career Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality–Sports Reporter.
There are plenty of reasons to honor broadcasting excellence, and I am looking forward
to doing the same for sports events at our 11th Annual SportsTravel Awards at the
TEAMS Conference and Expo November 4–7 in Salt Lake City. Nominations are now being accepted at SportsTravelMagazine.com.
SportsTravel Associate Publisher Lisa Furfine and Emmy-winning
broadcaster Bob Costas at TEAMS 2008
A Wonderful Week on Marco Island
April 26, 2013
I enjoyed a great week on Florida’s Marco Island for DMAI’s strategic planning session and their annual CEO Forum. It is my honor to serve on the DMAI Board of Directors, which allows me to gain a deeper understanding of the concerns and needs of our convention bureau counterparts. DMAI works hard to meet those needs and does a great job of involving its volunteer leadership.
Meeting in such a beautiful destination also provides for a memorable travel experience. SportsTravel Publisher Tim Schneider and I had the opportunity to sample the hospitality “product” marketed by our dear friend Jack Wert, head of the Collier County CVB (which includes Naples and Marco Island). Jack was an early supporter of SportsTravel and the TEAMS Conference, and we sincerely appreciate the long-term relationship we’ve had with him and so many of the other attendees.
Left to right: SportsTravel Associate Publisher Lisa Furfine, DMAI Executive Vice-President Vic Isley, Monterey County CVB President Tammy Blount, Cabarrus County CVB President
Donna Carpenter, Providence Warwick CVB President Martha Sheridan, Visit Spokane President Cheryl Kilday and St. Paul CVB President Karolyn Kirchgesler