Best Practices Podcast

Sports are full of amazing stories of underdogs, unknowns and comebacks. Be prepared… the best is yet to come!

6: Janis Burke with Houston Sports Authority

Learn about how Janis Burke has stepped in to support the Houston Texas community expand its sports hosting capabilities. Hosting international sporting events like rugby, Janis notes how important it is to include the international sports fans in planning. Janis has spent much of her time connecting with local communities, and faced challenges when introduced to the Houston community.

Houston has many upcoming sports events like the NCA Mens Final Core, College football playoff, Junior Olympics, World Cup and more! The community loves big events like these, and Janis dives in to how they balance budget with demand for sports events. Visit the website for Houston Sports Authority to discover more about how they are developing sports events along with the community.

The podcast episodes can be found on:

5: Matt Libber with Maryland SoccerPlex

Executive Director of the Maryland SoccerPlex, Matt Libber looks forward to the coming sports seasons. Maryland recently announced a new Sports Turf Institute. This unique skill set for sports is outside of a university, but there are plans to expand the program to include credit for schools nearby. The institute also supports testing technological advances when it comes to turf such as mowers, field lining, etc. which can translate into cost savings for sports destinations with turf fields. As a volunteer, Matt shares his wisdom on dividing your time for others, resolving problems, managing your team productively and treating others with respect in the industry.

Having worked at Elite Tournaments, Matt has had plenty of expertise in the sports industry. From building that company to the powerhouse it is today to working for Maryland SoccerPlex, Matt has developed a podcast of his own that celebrates sports tourism players with a series of interviews and talks.

While Matt has known lots of success, he also talks about one of the near-misses when, after years of preparation, Baltimore-Washington lost the Fifa World Cup United 2026 Bid. Matt was very involved in the process, and talks about how their loss was still considered a win from the press and developments of their sports facilities.

The podcast episodes can be found on:

4: Megan Van Petten – Founder of Esports Trade Association

Join us for an interview with Megan Van Petten, the Founder of Esports Trade Association, as we explore with Megan the foundations of building ESTA, how ESTA is growing and taking on new challenges, new programs at the EsportsNext 2022 Conference, advancements in Esports in Chicago, and the expanded accessibility of Esports. 

Megan Van Petten has been honored by HuffPost as one of the Top 5 Most Influential Women in Fantasy Sports for her work as Director of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, which spurred her to launch the Esports Trade Association in 2017. She foresaw the Esports industry to be promising uncharted territory. By bringing the players, teams, leagues, & stakeholders together, she supports the spirit of team collaboration for all involved. She oversees strategic solutions in order to highlight and celebrate the talent emerging in the industry today. This includes hosting the Esports Connected podcast, which offers interviews, education and inspiration for esports innovators.

The podcast episodes can be found on:

3: Jon Solomon from Aspen Institute


Sports Planning Guide welcomes Jon Solomon, the Editorial Director Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative that was created almost ten years ago to identify solutions for inequality in youth sports. The program does quite a bit to encourage access to sports in schools from expanding activities for students, widening access to lower income areas and understanding what kids want from their sports program.

Take a listen to see how different programs like Reimagining School Sports PlaybookProject PlaySports in SocietyChildren’s Bill of Rights in Sports and Don’t Retire, Kid aim at redefining sports programs for youth. Learn about new survey’s from Aspen Institute, how the data collected relates to sports tourism and how the industry can promote positive programs like this.

The podcast episodes can be found on:

2: Al Kidd from Sports ETA

In the second episode of Best Practices with SPG, we sat down with Al Kidd, president & CEO of the Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA), to discuss how organizational leadership and innovation at Sports ETA over the last five years has helped the association grow its staff, revenues and value proposition in the eyes of its membership.

A Cleveland area native who now calls San Diego home, Kidd gives us a glimpse into the latest industry data as well as why his mom has remained a role model throughout his life and career. Listen in for expert advise on how Sports Tourism is leading the travel industry towards recovery. 

The podcast episodes can be found on:

1: Lance Harrell – SEO Consultant with Premier Travel Media

Nicholas Povalitis virtually sits down with Lance Harrell, SEO Consultant & Content Strategist for Premier Travel Media to talk about the recent changes to the Sports Planning Guide website and what they mean for readers and partners alike.

They take you through not only the history and conceptualization of this newest iteration, but also how the latest in sports tourism trends and research continually play a part in the effort to increase reach, relevance and engagement.

Follow this link for more info.

The podcast episodes can be found on: