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SportsTravel Magazine
'Press Box' Presented By SportsTravel (April 2017)
Los Angeles, CA – April 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Each monthly issue of SportsTravel contains information from the Press Box. SportsTravel is the sports world’s event magazine.

Sports Organizations
'Press Box' Presented By SportsTravel (April 2017)Steve Penny has resigned as president and CEO of USA Gymnastics following allegations that the national governing body had overlooked allegations of sexual misconduct among coaches and officials, including its former national team doctor. Penny began his tenure at USA Gymnastics in 1999 and had been head of the organization since April 2005. USA Gymnastics will initiate a national search for a new president and CEO. Paul Parilla, chairman of the NGB’s board, will guide the organization in the interim.

National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Jeff Plush has resigned. He was named to the post in January 2015. During his tenure, he oversaw the sale of the Western New York Flash to Steve Malik, owner of North Carolina FC, as well as the league’s expansion with the addition of the Orlando Pride. A national search for Plush’s successor will begin immediately.

LA 2024 has named Marla Messing as vice-president and executive director of sport leader relations and Peter Tomozawa as vice-president and executive director for partnerships and board relations. Messing, who served as president and CEO of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will manage relationships with domestic Olympic and Paralympic stakeholders and work with L.A. and California tech innovators. Tomozawa, formerly the executive director of business development for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, will manage relationships with institutional partners and board members.

DJ Mackovets has been appointed CEO of the World Games 2021, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama. Mackovets has nearly 40 years of experience in project management, serving in leadership roles at a number of international and national sporting events including the World Police and Fire Games, Major League Baseball All-Star Week, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the Super Bowl. The World Games feature more than 3,500 athletes from more than 100 countries competing in more than 30 sports.

The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will begin play in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the 2017–2018 season. The Bucks will become the 20th NBA team to own and operate a D-League affiliate. Fox Valley Pro Basketball will construct a 3,500-seat arena for the Oshkosh team.

FAI, the World Air Sports Federation, has announced plans to launch an international Air Games Tour. The competition could be held in up to five host cites around the world each year and could start in the second half of 2018. Each event would showcase air sports over four days of activities and competition.

Hosts & Suppliers

Blake Henry has been named general manager of both the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter in Kentucky. A 20-year industry veteran, Henry most recently served as director of operations at the Baton Rouge Convention Center in Louisiana.

Michael Larragueta has been named vice-president of sales at the Reno–Sparks (Nevada) Convention & Visitors Authority. Larragueta most recently served as executive director of sales at the Silver Legacy, Eldorado and Circus Circus properties in Reno.

Haley Lannom has been named sports sales and events coordinator for the Snohomish County (Washington) Sports Commission. She graduated from Western Washington University, where she worked as a sport club liaison and was president of the women’s rugby team. Lannom also interned as volunteer coordinator at Whatcom Events.

Sites & Venues

Leaders of the bid by Budapest, Hungary, to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games have said they will abandon the effort, leaving Los Angeles and Paris as the only remaining cities bidding for the Games. The move to withdraw from the competition comes after more than 250,000 people signed a petition seeking the city’s withdrawal from the race. 

The NFL has announced that it will return to Mexico City in 2017 when the Oakland Raiders host the New England Patriots, the winner of Super Bowl LI, at Estadio Azteca. The date and time of the game will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule, which is expected to be unveiled this spring. The game in Mexico is the fifth international game confirmed for 2017.

Professional Bull Riders and Oilers Entertainment Group have announced that the PBR Global Cup will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. Scheduled for November 9–11, the PBR Global Cup will feature the world’s best bull riders from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Australia.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football has announced the host cities for the knockout stages of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Philadelphia and Glendale, Arizona, will host the quarterfinal doubleheader matches. Pasadena, California, and Arlington, Texas, will each host a semifinal. The final will be in Santa Clara, California.

The Hawaii Convention Center recently unveiled its new sports courts, a $1.1 million investment that aims to attract more events to the state. The portable sports courts can be configured to simultaneously stage up to 28 regulation volleyball or badminton matches, 18 high school basketball games or 11 futsal matches.

Sponsors & Licensing

Marriott International has announced that it will become an official NCAA corporate partner across all 90 NCAA championships, making it the official hotel partner of the NCAA. The multiyear deal includes the NCAA basketball tournaments and grants Marriott International marketing, media and activation rights at all NCAA championship events. Marriott will also offer tournament experiences to members of its rewards program.

D.C. United and Audi of America, which owns and operates Audi car dealerships in the United States, have announced a naming rights partnership for the MLS team’s new stadium. Under construction in southwest Washington, D.C., and scheduled to open in 2018, the venue will be named Audi Field.

NASCAR has partnered with American Medical Response to bolster NASCAR’s emergency response system and expand its medical support model. AMR will add a doctor and paramedic to the on-track safety team for each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend.

Through a multiyear partnership with Gatorade, the NBA Development League will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League, marking the first time a U.S. professional sports league has named an entitlement partner. The agreement also includes a new logo as well as production of video content.

Through a multiyear partnership, Cheez-It and Pringles have become the official snacks of Major League Soccer. The deal features the “Kick It with The Pros Sweepstakes,” which includes a grand prize of a VIP trip to the 2017 MLS All-Star week in Chicago.

The National Women’s Soccer League has announced that A+E Networks has bought an equity stake in the league. A+E will work with the league to launch NWSL Media, and Lifetime will become an official sponsor and broadcast partner of the NWSL in a three-year deal that begins this month.

The 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon has a new title sponsor: United Airlines. The Halloween-themed race is expected to welcome more than 15,000 participants, October 28–29. The Los Angeles sponsorship follows the recent announcement that United Airlines will serve as the title sponsor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series events in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

DuPont Protection Solutions, which produces Kevlar, has announced a two-year global agreement with Nitro Circus, the action sports entertainment company. DuPont will work with Nitro Circus athletes and gear providers globally and at the Nitro World Games, which will be held in Salt Lake City, June 24.

The Drone Racing League and Allianz have entered a multiyear partnership. Allianz will serve as the title sponsor of the 2017 Allianz World Championship series, which will consist of six races to be broadcast in more than 75 countries starting in June. 

Lexus has renewed its role as the official and exclusive automobile partner of the Amgen Tour of California men’s and women’s cycling events. The five-year extension includes two stage entitlements, sponsorship of the King/Queen of the Mountain contests, vehicle integration for the race and entourage, and Lexus-branded areas on race day.

NBC Sports Group and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship have signed an exclusive multiyear U.S. media rights agreement beginning with the 2017 season. NBC, NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app will present coverage of the international competition, which includes eight races in seven countries.

SMG, the world’s largest convention center management firm, and Experient, an event management company, have renewed their partnership, which helps the companies simplify contracting and expand business opportunities.

And Finally…

Lego Systems Inc. has announced the launch of the 2017 Lego Play Ball Tour, which will visit 15 Minor League Baseball stadiums across the country. Each ballpark will designate an on-site play area that will offer interactive Lego experiences for kids. Features of the Lego Play Ball Tour include the chance to build and launch your own Lego creations, photo opportunities with large-scale Lego models and special prizes.

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SportsTravel, the sports world’s event magazine, is published by Los Angeles-based Schneider Publishing Company, which also publishes Association News. Founded in 1997, SportsTravel was the first magazine to identify and serve the sports-related travel and event industry. Schneider Publishing organizes the TEAMS Conference & Expo, the world’s largest gathering of sports-event organizers. TEAMS ’17 will be held October 30–November 2, in Orlando, Florida. In addition, Schneider Publishing organizes the Meetings Quest trade-show series for corporate and association meeting planners. The travel markets served by Schneider Publishing generate 156 million hotel room nights annually. For more information, visit or call toll-free 877-577-3700 or 310-577-3700 if dialing from outside the United States.
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Schneider Publishing Company, Inc.

Association News, Meetings Quest, SportsTravel and TEAMS are registered trademarks of Schneider Publishing.
Publishing Dates: 04/18/17 – 06/18/17
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