FEBRUARY INDUSTRY NEWS
ESPN Enhances Programming For Deportes And Outdoors
BRISTOL, Conn.—ESPN Deportes has expanded its boxing programming with the launch of “Golpe a Golpe, a weekly, live news and analysis boxing program that will be co-hosted by legendary boxer Marco Antonio Barrera. In addition, the 2009 season of “Viernes de Combate” (Friday Night Fights) will premiere with numerous production enhancements, including its own Spanish-language studio show incorporated into each broadcast.
Also, ESPN2 outdoors programming for 2009 has been solidified with the debuts of “Going Coastal,” hosted by Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Byron Velvick, and the “ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series,” hosted by Jose Wejebe. Returning programs to round out the outdoors lineup are “Bassmaster Tournament Trail,” “World’s Greatest Fishing Show” and “Spanish Fly.” For broadcast times and other show details, visit www.espnoutdoors.com.
Greater New Haven CVB Launches “Host It Here” Campaign
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a new, “Host It Here” campaign to raise awareness of the community’s appeal for association conferences, corporate meetings and sports events. The campaign includes advertising, public relations and direct mail initiatives to help bring sports events, conferences and meetings to the city. A quarterly “Hometown Hero” award will be given in appreciation to a local host as part of the campaign.
USA Gymnastics To Offer Fitness Challenge
INDIANAPOLIS— USA Gymnastics has partnered with Chicago 2016, World Sport Chicago and the Chicago Park District to offer the Tyson Fitness Challenge, a local six-week fitness initiative geared to help today’s youth achieve active, healthy lifestyles. The challenge also will help promote the Tyson American Cup, set for Feb. 21 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Approximately 4,400 children in the Chicago Park District gymnastics program will have the opportunity to participate in the Tyson Fitness Challenge, which began in January and runs through the week of Feb. 16.
B.A.S.S. Revamps Bassmaster Elite Series
BRISTOL, Conn.—The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) has revamped the 2009 Bassmaster Elite Series, decreasing the series to eight events and reducing entry fees per angler by $25,200 for the season. The final regular-season event, the Champion’s Choice on Lake Oneida, has been rescheduled to its original dates of Aug. 13-16.
Two new, no-entry postseason events have been added (dates and locations to be announced), placing an increased focus on the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY). Despite the reduced entry fees, the top finisher in the AOY race will take home $250,000 and the total payout will remain at more than $1 million. The postseason events will feature only the top 12 anglers in the AOY standings.
Sports And Supplement Expo Events 2009
ORLANDO, Fla.—VisionStar Entertainment Inc. will host two Europa Show of Champions Sports and Supplement Expos in 2009. The first event will be held April 17-18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, and the second will be hosted at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Aug. 14-15.
More than 5,000 athletes are expected in 21 events, including men’s and women’s professional bodybuilding; world powerlifting; professional championship wrestling; and martial arts, along with a custom car show and other events.
The expo has a 16-year history and is expected to draw more than 16,000 attendees.
FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 In South Africa
CHICAGO—The FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 will be held June 14-28 in South Africa. The eight-team competition will showcase confederation champions from across the world.
South Africa will open the tournament against Iraq on June 14 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Other Group A teams are Spain, current European champion, and New Zealand, champion of the Oceania Football Confederation.
The U.S. team has been drawn into Group B, along with Italy, reigning world champion; Brazil, five-time World Cup winner; and Egypt, reigning African Cup of Nations winner. The U.S. team will finish play June 14 against Egypt at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
National Softball Association Hosts World Series
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky.—The National Softball Association (NSA) will conduct six NSA World Series Fast-Pitch Qualifying Tournaments beginning in April. The first tournament, Gateway 1, will be held April 25-26, followed by Gateway II, May 9-10; Gold Cup I, June 13-14; Missouri State Tournament, June 20-21; Gold Cup II, July 11-12; and Hall of Fame Scholarship Tournament, Oct. 23-25. Locations were not known at press time.
More than 1,000 spectators are expected at each tournament.
Alabama Gulf Coast Releases Sports Calendar For 2009
GULF SHORES, Ala.—The Alabama Gulf Coast Sports Commission has announced its schedule of sports events in the coastal communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in 2009, including the 2009 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Gulf Coast Invitational Softball Tournament, March 12-15; 2009 Nike Gulf Coast Classic II Softball tournament, April 11-18; and Kaiser Coastal Half-Marathon & 5K Run, Nov. 28, among others.
Last year, sports events coordinated by the sports commission generated more than $3 million in total tourism impact.
For the complete 2009 schedule of sports events along the Alabama Gulf Coast, visit www.alabamabeachsports.com.
Stafford Hills Racquet And Fitness Club Planned In Oregon
TUALATIN, Ore.—Plans call for the construction of a full-service tennis and fitness club on Nyberg Lane in Tualatin. The new club will offer indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a state-of-the art fitness center with aerobic exercise equipment and weights. Green building techniques are being incorporated into construction.
A zoning change is required before construction can begin.
Multipurpose Sports Center Slated For Central South Carolina
ORANGEBURG, S.C.—A multipurpose sports center in Orangeburg is closer to approval, as the city or Orangeburg has reported a majority of the funds needed to build the sports center. The city hopes the additional funds would come from a federal stimulus package. Architectural plans for the center have already been developed.
Central Texas To Get New Stadium In 2009
ZEPHYR, Texas—Construction has begun on a four-phase, $4.35 million bond project that will bring a new stadium to Zephyr. The first phase, featuring a football field, a track and bleachers, is expected to be finished by April; a locker room and dressing facilities are estimated for completion by the summer. Other phases will include construction of a new gymnasium.
U.S. Olympic Committee Makes Staff Changes
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Lisa Baird, who has held senior-level marketing positions with organizations such as the National Football League, IBM, General Motors and Procter and Gamble, has begun her duties as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) new chief marketing officer. Baird’s duties include directing the USOC’s Sales and Marketing Division and overseeing the development of innovative corporate sponsorship and licensing programs.
Also, USOC has announced the resignation of Steve Rouch as the organization’s chief of sport performance. Rouch held the position since March 2003 and originally joined the USOC in July 2000 as a sport partnership director.
The USOC will conduct a nationwide search to hire a new chief of sport performance.
USFS Announces Sites Of Synchronized Skating Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—U.S. Figure Skating has announced the sites of the 2010 and 2011 synchronized skating competitions. The 2010 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will be held March 3-6, 2010, in Minneapolis, and the 2011 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will be held March 2-5, 2011, in Ontario, Calif.
The U.S. championships crown U.S. champions in eight levels: juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior, senior, collegiate, adult and masters. In addition, the U.S. championships are the primary selection for the World Synchronized Skating Championships.
Twin City Figure Skating Association will host the 2010 competition, while Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club will host the 2011 event.
USBC Names Director Of Marketing
ARLINGTON, Texas—Brandi Bloodworth Connolly has been named director of marketing for the U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC). Connolly will lead a team focused on creating innovative marketing strategies and partnership activation plans for USBC.
Connolly recently served as the director of sponsorship and marketing for the Super Bowl XLII Host Committee in Scottsdale, Ariz.
New Assistant Athlete Development Director Named
STEVENS POINT, Wis.—John Coumbe-Lilley has been named as an assistant athlete development director for USA Curling. Coumbe-Lilley will be responsible for assisting with the development of high-performance training models for athletes, particularly in the areas of mental skills training and team building.
Coumbe-Lilley’s experience includes sports psychology, coach development, management and instruction.