Angeles, CA – February 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Each
monthly issue of
contains information from the Press Box. SportsTravel is
the sports world’s event magazine.
Chuck Wielgus has announced that he will retire as executive director of USA Swimming, effective August 31, after serving 20 years as the leader of the national governing body. Wielgus has led USA Swimming since 1997 and became CEO of its foundation in 2004. He is currently the longest-tenured chief executive in the U.S. Olympic movement. During his tenure, USA Swimming’s athletes won more than 150 Olympic medals and the group’s membership doubled to more than 400,000 members.
Dave Ogrean has announced that he will retire as executive director of USA Hockey on August 1 but will remain with the organization in an advisory capacity. Ogrean has served as executive director since August 2005 and also held the position from 1993–1999. He began his professional career with the organization (then the Amateur Hockey Association of the U.S.) in 1978. Ogrean also served as president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and deputy executive director of marketing for the United States Olympic Committee. A new executive director is expected to be in place in time for USA Hockey’s Annual Congress, which is scheduled for June 7–10 in Colorado Springs.
Glenn Merry has announced his retirement as chief executive officer of U.S. Rowing, effective April 15. Merry joined U.S. Rowing in 1994 and was named CEO in 2005. Following his departure, Merry plans to launch JaClarre, Inc., in late 2017, a company whose focus will be on integrating sports into youth learning development.
Michael Jaquet has resigned as chief marketing officer of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Jaquet previously served as vice-president for cable sports sales at CBS. USSA is expected to appoint a new chief marketing officer prior to its partner summit in June.
Pedro Meloni has been appointed senior manager of events at USA Weightlifting. Meloni previously served as the weightlifting and Paralympic powerlifting manager at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.
The LPGA Tour has announced the inaugural Senior LPGA Championship, which will be staged July 10–12 at the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. It will be televised live on the Golf Channel. The field of 81 players will include LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members, current LPGA members and major champions over the age of 45.
The Professional Bowlers Association has renewed its partnership agreement with the Professional Women’s Bowling Association. The PBA will conduct regional competitions and provide player services, and will also offer live event coverage of the PWBA tour through Xtra Frame, its online video streaming service.
NASCAR has unveiled a new brand identity, which will replace its bar mark, used since 1976. In addition, the sport’s premier series will now be named the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Hosts & Suppliers
Ken Lawson has been appointed president and CEO of Visit Florida. A Florida native and former U.S. Marine Corps judge advocate general, Lawson most recently served as secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Lawson succeeds former president and CEO Will Seccombe, who resigned amid a controversial $1 million tourism promotion contract with the rapper Pitbull.
Steve Hammond has announced that he will retire as president and CEO of Visit Sacramento (California), effective June 30. Hammond has held the position with the convention and visitors bureau since 1999. During Hammond’s tenure, the organization’s convention and sports sales have increased by 78 percent and its operating budget has grown from $2.2 million to $11 million. His successor is expected to be announced this spring.
Jim Riggs has been named director of the 5,000-seat Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro, Kentucky. Riggs has experience managing a number of professional sports teams in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, American Hockey League and Arena Football 2.
Crista Tompson has been appointed sports sales manager of the Detroit Sports Commission. Tompson brings more than 20 years of experience in the sports tourism industry to her new role, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing at the Century Center in South Bend, Indiana. Prior to that, Tompson served as a sales manager at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center.
Chris Giacomucci has been named executive director of DE Turf, which operates the 12-field sports facility in Frederica, Delaware. He most recently served as interim executive director of the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corporation in Delaware.
Univision Communications Inc. has announced the creation of the inaugural Prospects Cup, a tournament that will bring 16 U-12 soccer teams from around the world to compete for a youth world championship in December 2017. The Prospects Cup will feature eight teams from the United States and eight from Mexico, South America and Europe. Produced by UCI Live, a new Univision marketing unit, the tournament will be sanctioned through the United States Soccer Federation.
Sites & Venues
The NFL’s San Diego Chargers have announced their move to Los Angeles beginning with the 2017 season. The team will play home games at StubHub Center in Carson, California, for two seasons before joining the Los Angeles Rams at their stadium, which is under construction in Inglewood and is expected to be complete in 2019.
The NFL has scheduled four games in London in 2017. The times and dates for the first two games have been announced with the remaining two to be finalized in conjunction with the release of the 2017 NFL schedule. On September 24, the Baltimore Ravens will play the Jacksonville Jaguars, and on October 1, the New Orleans Saints will play the Miami Dolphins, both at Wembley Stadium. On October 22 or 29 at Twickenham Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings will play the Cleveland Browns, and the Arizona Cardinals will play the Los Angeles Rams.
The United States Tennis Association National Campus has opened at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Billing itself as the “Home of American Tennis,” the facility combines USTA participation programs and USTA Player Development in one location for the first time. Located on 64 acres, the facility offers 102 tennis courts.
The United States Golf Association has announced that Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, will host the 2021 Walker Cup Match and that Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California, will host the event in 2025. The May 2021 match will be the first USGA event for Seminole and the first Walker Cup in Florida. The 50th Walker Cup Match will take place in September 2025, returning to Cypress Point for the first time since 1981.
The NBA’s Orlando Magic has agreed to purchase the NBA Development League’s Erie (Pennsylvania) BayHawks, with plans to move the team to Lakeland, Florida. The team is scheduled to begin play during the 2017–2018 season at the Lakeland Center.
North Carolina Football Club has acquired the rights to the National Women’s Soccer League 2016 Champion Western New York Flash. Through the partnership, the club will be renamed North Carolina Courage and will play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, during the 2017 season.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will play in Group B at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The team will open its tournament schedule on July 8 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by a game on July 12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The team will complete the group phase at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on July 15.
WrestleMania 34 will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, April 8, 2018. The event was last held at the stadium in 2014, with 75,167 fans attending.
USA Softball has announced the creation of the All-American Games, a tournament that will be staged at the ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, August 18–20. The event will feature athletes in the 12-Under Junior Olympic fast-pitch division.
The 2018 Freestyle World Cup has been awarded to USA Wrestling, which will host the event at Carver–Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, April 21–22. The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships and features the top eight men’s freestyle wrestling teams in the world.
The inaugural Winter Iowa Senior Games will be held in the Quad Cities, which include Moline/East Moline along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport on the Iowa side of the river. Seven sports will be featured and participation is open to all men and women ages 50 and above. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three individuals in each age group event.
Sponsors & Licensing
Relevent Sports and Visit Orlando have announced a multiyear partnership to support and host the International Champions Cup, the first time the global summer soccer tournament has officially aligned with a destination marketing organization. Visit Orlando will be the exclusive U.S. tourism partner for the event.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has entered a partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers. As part of the agreement, the Clippers will showcase Hawaii throughout this season and conduct their pre-season training camp and two games in Honolulu this fall. The partnership kicked off with a Hawaii Night celebration at Staples Center. The game against the Memphis Grizzlies included Hawaiian music and hula, fresh flower leis for the first 10,000 fans and pregame and halftime concerts by musician Willie K.
Through a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, automotive manufacturer Toyota will serve as the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix. The winter action sports tour will make three stops throughout the course of this season: Copper Mountain, Colorado; Solitude Mountain, Utah; and Mammoth Mountain, California.
Under Armour, Fanatics and Major League Baseball have announced a 10-year partnership. Beginning in the 2020 MLB season, Under Armour will be the exclusive MLB provider of all on-field uniform components. Fanatics will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear. New fan merchandise will be available for retail prior to the 2020 season.
SportsPittsburgh, the sports development division of VisitPittsburgh, will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Atlantic 10 Conference’s package of men’s basketball games, which will appear on Facebook Live. The agreement, made in conjunction with IMG, also encompasses other digital and social media elements, as well as the 2017 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship, which will be staged at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, March 8–12.
The College Football Playoff Foundation has announced a partnership with the Football Bowl Association. The agreement will expand the reach of the Extra Yard for Teachers program into bowl games in 33 communities for the 2016–2017 season.
The International Association of Athletics Federations and ASICS have announced a multiyear partnership. As official IAAF partner, the global designer and manufacturer of sporting goods will be present at and involved in all IAAF World Athletics Series events.
The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has announced that Lenny Silberman is the recipient of its 2017 Chairman’s Award of Excellence. Silberman serves as CEO of the Henry Kauffman Campgrounds, which provides children with summer camp experiences in the greater New York area. He previously served as director of the Jewish Community Centers Maccabi Games and as a board member of the United States Olympic Committee. Silberman will be presented with the award this summer at the Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel.
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