The US Sports Congress (USSC) is a trade show that brings together host destinations, industry suppliers and senior-level executives who represent sports governing bodies. It creates an environment for networking and building partnerships and events.
A sponsor and members of the committee, Josh Dill, CSEE, CTA national sales manager/sports from Fort Worth CVB, said:
“Being a part of the planning process for US Sports Congress is an extremely rewarding process. Lou [president of USOC] and Cathy [office manager] are very receptive to new ideas and feedback, which is a big reason why US Sports Congress continues to be one of the most mutually beneficial shows for planners and DMOs. There is a big difference between offering input and actually being heard. I feel like US Sports Congress actually listens to its participants and strives to maximize the show for everyone.”
Highlights of the USSC Advisory Committee Meeting
- USSC focuses much of its attention on sponsors and sponsorship. Michael O’Conor, head of business development of the United States Olympic Committee, discussed the growing importance of sponsorship activation. He explained how to have a Congress sponsorship that will reinforce your brand, reach your target market and utilize creative ideas. He also gave tips on how to engage your brand, connect brands and engage stakeholders.
Mengsol said, “The US Sports Congress brings sponsors together to cross-promote and get creative on activating sponsorships.”
- The golf outing provides an opportunity to network with rights holders. The outing took place at Broadmoor Golf Club with USOC Chief of Sport Operations and NGB Relations Rick Adams; Sports Planning Guide’s Sports Marketing Manager Justin Roach; Executive Director of USA Shooting Bob Mitchel; and Executive Director of Savannah Sports Council Ben Wilder (see photo).
- At the following day’s luncheon at the U.S. Olympic Sport House, Mengsol spoke to NGBs about US Sports Congress 2014. The luncheon also featured a grand roll-out for Savannah, sponsor and ambassador activities, and more networking opportunities.
“Having the opportunity to host a luncheon at the NGB House was incredibly beneficial. I was able to network with more NGBs over lunch than I could in several days of sales calls,” said Dill.
Looking Forward to USSC 2014
Ben Wilder, executive director of the Savannah Sports Council, discussed Savannah as a destination. The city offers a variety of venues for any sport, its own international airport, more than 15,000 hotel rooms, and is within driving distance of Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charleston and Columbus.
To kick off the US Sports Congress weekend, there will be a Savannah Bridge Run 5k sponsored by the Savannah Sports Council. The run, for anyone registered for the US Sports Congress, will be a great way to network and learn about the Savannah Sports Council. Following registration will be the Savannah Disc Golf Classic, sponsored by the PDGA.
2014’s USSC looks to be very promising for sports travel planners and tournament directors. The Ambassador Program, new this year, has been designed to emphasize the intimate, invite-only setting that the Congress provides as well as make new invitees feel right at home. The program includes badge identification for newcomers and ambassadors. Those who are not as familiar with the USSC, or sports travel planning in general, are able to find an ambassador and ask questions.
There will also be an educational session that goes over current trends and topics in the media. The session will span two days with roundtable discussions at the end of each day. You will receive media training on how to craft your message and increase brand exposure and sponsorship. Attendees will be able to participate in a live training workshop where you can see and hear yourself in a recorded interview.
The USSC will be publicized on social media and emails will be sent to prospective new attendees.