With the introduction of a new education program, the National Association of Sports Commissions is working to better serve all membership segments.
As a first step toward better representing its full membership, the National Association of Sports Commissions has launched its new education program, the Sport Tourism Learning Institute.
“The Sport Tourism Learning Institute more completely represents our thinking for the new paradigm that positions the leading trade association, NASC, as the premiere education provider for the sport tourism industry in the United States,” NASC President and CEO Al Kidd said in a press release. “We will offer wider and deeper content for key players, including sports destinations, sports event owners, and industry partners. Our goal is to provide a variety of educational opportunities for all our members and industry professionals.”
The new program will feature two- to four-hour boot camps hosted in person and online; revamped webinar series covering a variety of topics; and certificate programs for sports commissions, lodging professionals, rights holders, allied partners, and destinations.
“STLI was born with the notion that we wanted to widen and deepen the educational content, the quality of the content, and the distribution methodologies,” Kidd said in an interview. “So we’re going to step up our online presence, we’re going to offer certification programs through our topical areas.”
While NASC previously had a certification in place for sports events executives, this group of members only makes up about 14 percent of the entire membership. The new program ensures NASC offers education and certifications to all its member segments while making it more accessible with online options.
“My goal is not just to educate our members, but if we’re going to be really relevant on a national platform, I hope that we can provide content that could be valuable to anyone and everyone in sports events and sports tourism,” Kidd said. “[W]e want to develop our programs so that our members may get a benefit from a cost standpoint to take the courses, but we want to be able to offer courses to anyone, anywhere.”
When Kidd took on the CEO role in April 2017, he began reviewing how NASC could be advanced. This included a listening tour with members where he learned “there was a real appetite for increased education content.”
He then sought to improve the education by focusing on learning outcomes and distribution and meeting all members’ needs by analyzing, “how do we provide short courses of educational development, that educational curriculum, in a wide variety of settings that can meet any budget, anytime, anywhere,” he continued.
While NASC can use the additional revenue brought in by this program to offer even more benefits to members, it is only one phase in making sure all members are represented. In the future, STLI will continue adding new courses, but Kidd also plans to rebrand the organization to reflect sports events and tourism and wants to build new partnerships with likeminded groups.
And by continuing to focus on its four pillars of education, advocacy, resources, and networking, “our goal is to not only get back to a level playing field, but then to take a leadership position,” he said.