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

Sports Organizations
'Press Box' Presented By SportsTravel (May-June 2017)Pat Kelleher has been named executive director of USA Hockey, effective June 10. Since 2008, Kelleher has played a key role in guiding USA Hockey’s player and membership development efforts. Prior to that, he helped launch what is today known as the United States Ice Rink Association.

Matthieu Van Veen has been named chief revenue officer for Ironman. In this newly created position, Van Veen will be responsible for global sales, marketing, media and digital activities. He previously served as senior vice-president of sports at AEG Europe.

Major League Baseball has promoted Chris Park from senior vice-president for growth, strategy and international to executive vice-president of global marketing and partnerships. Park, who oversaw the 2017 World Baseball Classic, previously worked in MLB’s labor relations department and coordinated Commissioner Rob Manfred’s expansion of MLB International business development.

The World Air Sports Federation (FAI), the world governing body for air sports and for certifying world aviation and space records, has signed an agreement with the Australian company Freedom Drone Sports. The two groups will work together to develop drone racing as a global sport, with a focus on pilot licensing, racing rules, certification of drones, track design, social responsibility, gender equality and accredited training of all parties.

The United Soccer League has announced plans to launch a third-division men’s professional league that will begin play in 2019. Branding for the new league as well as more details on the inaugural teams and competition format will be announced this summer.

The World Cycling League, an independent indoor track cycling organization, has hired Cadence Solution Partners and its principals, Jeffrey Doyle and Shergul Arshad, to lead its marketing efforts. Cadence will guide the launch of the league’s first season, building upon the TeamTrak format introduced at WCL’s pilot event in 2016.

Hosts & Suppliers

Rick Evans has been named CEO and executive director of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, based in Minneapolis. Evans previously served as the first executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission. He also has worked with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, Metris Companies and Green Tree Financial.

Lisa Motley has been appointed sports marketing and special events manager of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. Motley previously worked as director of marketing for Las Vegas Motor Speedway and as a marketing and digital media specialist for Las Vegas Events.

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, has announced a sponsorship agreement with NRG Esports. Events DC will have logos on team jerseys, player streams and the NRG website, and it will host NRG boot camps. Plans also include the construction of a new $65 million, 4,200- seat arena that is expected to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019.

The Kentucky State Fair Board, a state agency, has rebranded itself as Kentucky Venues. The names of the facilities the agency oversees—primarily the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center— will not change, nor will the names of the annual events the agency produces, including the Kentucky State Fair, National Farm Machinery Show and North American International Livestock Exposition.

Fast Traffic, a sports, entertainment and event management and consulting firm based in New York City, has announced the launch of Fast Traffic Australia. Based in Sydney, the firm will be led by Danielle Heptonstall, who directed the National Rugby League’s event business from 1999 – 2016.

Sites & Venues

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has added another Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to its annual schedule beginning in 2018. The venue will also welcome a second NASCAR Xfinity Series and an additional race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, both also beginning in 2018.

The World Long Drive Association has announced a new event, The Clash in the Canyon, in partnership with Golf Mesquite Nevada. The event will be held June 3 – 6 at the Mesquite Regional Sports & Event Complex in Mesquite, Nevada.

The 2018 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships will be held at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, February 22–24. This will be the first time Portland has hosted the event, which is expected to attract more than 5,000 visitors.

Starting this summer, the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, just north of Austin, Texas, will become home to a branch of FC Barcelona’s international youth soccer training program. Known as FCB Escola, the elite program has been developed for boys and girls ages 6–16.

As part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series, the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two regular-season games in Stockholm, Sweden. The events will be staged at the Ericsson Globe November 10–11.

The 2017 USA Ultimate Youth Club Northeastern Championships will be held October 7–8 at Edinboro University, just outside Erie, Pennsylvania. The bid to host the event was co-sponsored by the university, Erie Sports Commission and Erie Ultimate League.

Des Moines, Iowa, has been awarded the 2018 and 2019 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Wrestling National Championships. The wrestling competitions will be staged at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Jacobson Exhibition Center March 2–3, 2018, and March 1–2, 2019.

Sponsors & Licensing

Major League Baseball and the Coca-Cola Co. have announced a new multiyear partnership making Coca-Cola the official soft drink of MLB. The beverage company will engage with fans using MLB Advanced Media’s digital platforms. MLB has also signed an agreement that makes Nathan’s Famous the official hot dog of the MLB and a supporter of its “Play Ball” initiative. Nathan’s Famous is the first official hot dog in the league’s history.

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has partnered with Post Consumer Brands. The company and its cereal brands Honey Bunches of Oats, Honeycomb and Malt-O-Meal will have a presence at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has extended its partnership with KT Tape through 2020. KT Tape will continue to serve as the official kinesiology tape for all U.S. Soccer teams and programs.

USA Baseball and Panini America, a sports and entertainment collectibles company, have announced a long-term extension of their partnership, which began in 2012. Panini America will continue to serve as the official baseball card of USA Baseball. Company logos will be added to USA Baseball uniforms worn during international competition. A new product, 2017 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball, has also been launched.

The United States Olympic Committee has renewed its partnership with 24 Hour Fitness through 2020. The agreement includes the creation of the USOC Certification Program for 24 Hour Fitness’ personal trainers.

And Finally…

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame & Museum recently welcomed two new, seven-inch additions. NASCAR’s Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick were inducted into the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame. The Milwaukee attraction features the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads as well as dozens of exhibits, a themed restaurant and a retail store.

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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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Publishing Dates: 05/18/17 – 07/18/17
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