The National Association of Sports Commissions has announced its new name and brand identity—Sports Events & Tourism Association, or Sports ETA—which will take full effect January 1, 2020. The announcement came during the organization’s annual symposium in Knoxville, Tennessee, and comes after more than two years of work by a branding committee that employed the help of Fanbrandz sports branding agency.
The organization’s new logo will also have a multicolored pennant symbol, designed to evoke the passion of different sports.
The announcement was one of several significant developments made from the sports tourism organization that formed in 1992. Members also approved a large slate of new amendments to the organization’s bylaws that, among other changes, will allow event rights holders and industry partners to serve on the executive committee of the board of directors. The changes also allow rights holders the chance to vote on association matters for the first time in the group’s history.
The NASC also announced winners of its annual awards and inducted four new members into the NASC Hall of Fame. Earning induction into the Class of 2019 were the late Jack Kelly, a sports-event industry veteran and longtime Event Doctor columnist for SportsTravel; Patricia Ernstrom, vice-president of special events for the San Francisco 49ers and longtime executive director of the San Jose Sports Authority; Pam Gerig-Bland, former executive director for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission; and Kevin Smith, founder of OnPoint Sports Strategies and former sports commissioner for Visit St. Pete Clearwater.
Awards were given to the following individuals and organizations:
Sports Tourism Executive of the Year: George Linley, executive director, Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Game Changer Award: Michelle Russ, director of sales, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach (Alabama) Sports Commission
Destination Branding and Marketing Campaign of the Year: Rockford (Illinois) Area CVB
Event Marketing Campaign of the Year: Savannah (Georgia) Sports Council
Superior Service: TSE Consulting Burson Cohn & Wolfe Sports Practice
Locally Created Event (population under 500,000): Rock Hill/York County (South Carolina) CVB
Locally Created Event (population over 500,000): Louisville (Kentucky) Sports Commission
Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (population under 500,000): Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission
Sports Tourism Organization of the Year (population over 500,000): Visit Anaheim
Sports Commission of the Year (population under 500,000): Spokane (Washington) Sports Commission
Sports Commission of the Year (population over 500,000): Sports Minneapolis, powered by Meet Minneapolis
In a statement, Sports Minneapolis Executive Director and Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant noted that the organization has hosted a wide range high-profile events in the past year, including the Super Bowl, the X Games, the WNBA All-Star Game and the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.
“These phenomenal events, along with the approximately 70 additional events Sports Minneapolis booked in 2018 for future years, elevate our community as a championship-caliber host region,” he said. “In addition, the strength of our regional partnerships with St. Paul and Bloomington are real assets, particularly for mega events like the Super Bowl. Large and small sporting events help support tourism and hospitality workers and bring positive economic impact to the area.”