How to Start a Sports Commission

By Sam Boykin, September 12, 2016

A growing number of cities and counties are creating sports commissions to capitalize on the booming financial opportunity. Typically, these organizations work to attract, market and often manage sports-related events, boosting tourism dollars in the process. There are currently about 130 sports commissions in the United States, a number that has risen steadily over the years. This year, Akron, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, entered the arena. Connect Sports talked to several industry veterans who had tips for starting and maintaining a successful sports commission.

Determine why you’re launching one.

Is it to host more events? Is it to better market your city? “You need to have a clear understanding of your vision and mission rather than just a desire to put your name out there,” says Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.

Bree Nidds leaves Virginia’s Blue Ridge to join former boss Alex Michaels at Discover Lehigh Valley.

Matt Libber leaves the family business and events operations to run the well-regarded Maryland SoccerPlex.

USA Fencing is currently seeking proposals to host its January 2021 North American Cup. The four-day competition features more than 1,500-1,700 athletes.

Help us pick the 2018 Connect Sports Game Changers. Nominations are due March 29. Once again, we are proud to count SportsPittsburgh as a sponsor.

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