The diversity within the sports travel industry is one of its strongest attributes. It’s one of the (many) reasons we love it so much. The same industry encapsulates the most watched event on the planet—the 2014 FIFA World Cup—as well as niche sporting events like Irish dance competitions. That’s what makes this industry so special. People take their childhood passions and continue developing them for the next generation.
Take Tom King for example. As director of administration for the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, King is tasked with planning and logistics for the men’s side when it travels to major events, such as this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. King spoke with Connect Sports to discuss challenges he faces in navigating logistical hurdles while ensuring the members of the USMNT can focus on the game itself. He does so for a team that plays a sport he grew up loving in England, and for a country now fully embracing the game. Much of what King deals with will resonate with anyone who handles planning large-scale events.
There are real debates within the sports travel market, including whether or not utilizing stay-to-play is good for the industry. Joe Bush spoke with several of the biggest hitters within the industry regarding STP in his feature “Stay to Play Isn’t Going Anywhere." Ever since USA Volleyball adopted the policy for its 2012 Open National Championships, the issue has been debated within the market. Does it help the athletes? Does it hurt the events? These questions are at the crux of the hottest debate in the sports travel industry.
This issue also includes our 2014 Marketplace Guide for those attending our show in Orlando. This is the second annual Connect Sports Marketplace and we have several new features worth highlighting, including our new venue matching reception. We asked key members of the sports travel industry to explain how they get the most out of Marketplace, a true must-read for anyone attending the show. If you want to get a feel for just how diverse the sports travel industry is, attending our event is a great way to start.