U.S. Soccer Announces Concussion Lawsuit Settlement


US SoccerAll parties named in the youth soccer concussion litigation – including the plaintiffs and defendants: U.S. Soccer Federation, USYS, AYSO, US Club Soccer and California Youth Soccer Association – have reached a resolution of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2014.

U.S. Soccer released a joint statement November 9th that referenced a “comprehensive player safety campaign.” The complete details of that initiative are expected to be released within 30 days.

The campaign will focus on:

 • Improving concussion awareness and education among youth coaches, referees, parents and players

 • Introducing more return-to-play protocols and uniform concussion management

 • Changing substitution rules to ensure these rules do not impede the evaluation of players

 • Limiting heading during practices for children between the ages of 11 and 13, and eliminating heading for children 10 and younger

U.S. Soccer noted that the changes to headings and substitutions are recommendations “based on the advice of the U.S. Soccer medical committee, and therefore, U.S. Soccer strongly urges that they be followed.”

The Federation also expects its player safety campaign to include other important protocols, including those related to general injury prevention and heat-induced illnesses.

US Club Soccer will follow up with its members as soon as specific information and implementation plans become available. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

S.P.O.R.T.S. 2015 Day 3 Recap

SHREVEPORT, LA — The S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference for 2015 continued on Wednesday, October 7 in Shreveport Louisiana. S.P.O.R.T.S. is the annual exclusive and space-limited industry event designed to bring together sports event owners and rights holders with host organizations and industry suppliers that want to earn their business.

ApptsFollowing the Power-Up breakfast session sponsored By Visit Winston-Salem, one-on-one appointment sessions continued for a 3rd segment during the conference. The two-hour period features pre-approved face to face meetings timed to 15 minutes each. One final session of these two-hour segments concluded Wednesday afternoon.

solThe day’s morning breakout session was the popular meeting known as the “Solution Room”, sponsored by Cedar Rapids Sports/Cedar Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau. The open forum session allows delegates to work together in small groups of industry peers to solve problems within the Destinations Sports Events sector. Groups are organized according to those who have been in each industry longest and those who have joined more recently.


Sportscaster TIm Brando (R) with event host Talty O’Connor of SportsEvents Media Group

Keynote for the Wednesday Grand Annual Luncheon session was delivered by famed TV sportscaster Tim Brando. His presentation, sponsored by Foley Sports Tourism (AL), highlighted stories and insight from Brando’s storied career in football and baskeball broadcasting. A Shreveport native, Brando was the long time host of College Football Today on CBS, and now is the lead college football announcer on Fox Sports and FS1. The Grand Luncheon sponsor was  Sports Indiana.


An afternoon breakout segment on Personal Branding was led by Michael Mulone, Director of Event & Tourism Partnerships for B.A.S.S. “Personal branding,” Mulone described, “is the ongoing process of establishing an image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group or organization.”  Mulone challenged delegates to look at their authentic selves to determine whether what we’re expressing through our digital messages and marketing is indeed who we really are.


Michael Mulone of B.A.S.S. addresses ‘Personal Branding’

The evening’s wrapup fun events included a scavenger hunt across several miles of downtown Shreveport, followed by a zydeco R&B funk party and a fireworks show over the Red River.

The 2016 edition of S.P.O.R.T.S. – The Relationship Conference will be hosted in Overland Park, Kansas.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

S.P.O.R.T.S. Day 2 Wrapup

SHREVEPORT, LA —  The annual S.P.O.R.T.S. Relationship Conference continued Tuesday (October 6) in Shreveport, Louisiana. SportsEvents Media Group’s Publisher Talty O’Connor opened the morning’s general “Town Hall” session with a focus on identifying industry challenges, along with sustainable solutions.

SPORTS Town Hall

Talty O’Connor opens the Tuesday Town Hall session

“Today during Town Hall we are defining issues for Sports Planners and Destinations,” O’Connor addressed the delegates.  “Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will be searching for solutions to those problems.”

Also welcoming delegates at the opening Tuesday session was Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler.

The event’s popular one-on-one appointment sessions between event organizers and site hosts was another busy period. Actually, there were two 2-hour long one-on-one periods during the Tuesday agenda.

Fo Sp

Don Staley from Foley AL preps for his busy day of meetings

Director of Foley Sports Tourism Don Staley, attending along with Foley (AL) City Councilman Rick Blackwell, looks forward to the S.P.O.R.T.S. Conference every year. “Without question this is one of the top sports conferences in the country,” Staley said from the event on Tuesday.

“At this particular conference I believe I have twelve one-on-one meetings scheduled, which is a little less than the 46 I had at the last conference,” Staley continued. “When you get to these events, a lot has to do with the meetings outside of the scheduled meetings. I could have twelve scheduled and I could probably easily have another 12-15 just networking with people.”

Bob Beaudine SPORTS Conference

Bob Beaudine delivered keynote presentation at Tuesday S.P.O.R.T.S. luncheon

The main Tuesday lunch reception featured special guest speaker Bob Beaudine, CEO of Eastman & Beaudine and author of The Power of Who. During our Opening Luncheon, Beaudine challenged many widely held presumptions, including the importance of traditional networking.

The social media flow was brisk as attendees posted and tweeted highlights of the presentation. Among the most shared segments: “The energy between two people is what creates great marriages, families, companies, universities & ‘Legendary Results’.”

Tuesday’s Beaudine speaker appearance was sponsored by Sports Wisconsin! with the luncheon sponsored by Athletes in Paradise!

An afternoon session on ‘Selling Sponsorships’ was led by Scott Wysong, featuring panelists Grady Raskin, Breon Dennis, and Tommy McClelland.

David Toms at SPORTS Conference

PGA Champion David Toms

Making an appearance at the Tuesday evening Networking Reception was 2007 PGA Champion David Toms, who continues play on the PGA Tour. He is also in the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions and heads the nearby David Toms Golf Academy.

Another full day of networking sessions and sports industry presentations continues on Wednesday, which will wrap up with a final sendoff for delegates including a fireworks show over Shreveport’s Red River.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

S.P.O.R.T.S. 2015 Underway In Louisiana

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 1.31.52 PMBy SportsEvents Magazine Publisher Talty O’Conner. This year’s S.P.O.R.T.S – The Relationship Conference convenes October 5-8 in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana

Long-term success in the sports events industry is built around meaningful relationships. For event owners and rights holders, real relationships mean we work with destination and venue people that we know, like and trust to follow through on the promises they made in order to book our events. On the destination side, it means having confidence that the event organizer will deliver (and over-deliver) on their own promises and that they will run events we are proud to host in our community. For both sides, great relationships give us the peace in knowing we can count on the other side to come through when we need them.

It’s All About The Relationship
BannerRelationships grow when people have time to get to know each other and when we share meaningful experiences together. Our annual conference is built around building meaningful relationships. Our program has worked so well through the years that attendees frequently referred to S.P.O.R.T.S. as “the relationship conference.” We latched onto the name.

Our formula for genuine relationship building starts with the necessity of having a manageable audience. We’ve closed registration and had a waiting list of attendees for the past four years. We maintain a ratio of about 2.5 destination/venue attendees to one event organizer. Next, we only schedule meaningful 15-minute appointments that must be pre-approved by both sides of the table. We also have intimate group sessions like town hall meetings where attendees share concerns, ideas and solutions with each other. Finally, S.P.O.R.T.S. attendees have fun together. They enjoy entertaining events that are designed to pair event owners and destination executives together with fun shared experiences that they talk and laugh about for years to come.

Sports Conference Registration

Delegate Welcome Packets Await Registration At SPORTS2015.

In October 2015, S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference will exceed expectations. Last year we had more than 7,000 pre-arranged 15-minute appointments. We’ll exceed that this year. Attendees will also benefit from educational sessions on important topics like networking and growing sponsorship revenues, they’ll talk and share at town hall sessions, mingle with sports industry greats like Tim Brando (FOX Sports) and David Toms (PGA golfer) and live it up together at great parties, scavenger hunts, ghosts tours and other networking events that only a magical community like Shreveport-Bossier City, LA can pull off.

More information on S.P.O.R.T.S. 2015 is available on our website, www.sportseventsmagazine.com.

Regardless of whether you can join us or not, spending your time building great relationships in this industry will always lead to greater success and often in ways you may not have ever imagined.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotlight On Shreveport/Bossier City

Shreveport and Bossier City market themselves as “Louisiana’s Other Side” to accentuate their location near the state’s western border with Texas. More specifically, Shreveport-Bossier is in the northwest corner of Louisiana where I-20 and I-49 converge. The Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV) is served by four airlines.

“Our team believes Shreveport-Bossier stands out because of our premier meeting venues, Southern hospitality, affordable hotel rates and the many amenities we provide before, during and after a meeting,” said David Bradley, vice president of convention and tourism sales for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “Plus, attendees love the gaming, year-’round festivals, spicy Louisiana food and cultural attractions.”

Gaming is indeed big in this combo community that has six riverfront casinos: Boomtown Casino and Hotel, DiamondJacks Casino & Resort, Eldorado Resort Casino, Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino and the newest, Margaritaville Resort Casino. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City offers thoroughbred horse racing and slot machine action.

All of the primary gaming establishments in Shreveport-Bossier offer meeting and special event space, on-site eateries and banquet facilities, and, with the exception of Harrah’s, lodging.

Shreveport-Bossier’s attractions also include the Louisiana Science Center, American Rose Center, Shreveport Cradle of the

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 8.02.47 AMStars Music Tour, and the Backstage Music Tour at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, the Art Deco landmark venue where Elvis got his start and the “Louisiana Hayride” made radio and tele- vision history. There is excellent shopping and dining at Bossier City’s Louisiana Boardwalk.

Shreveport- Bossier City Meeting Space:

• Shreveport Convention Center: 22,000 square feet of meeting space; 95,000 square feet of exhibition space

• Bossier Civic Center: 35,000 square feet of meeting space

• CenturyLink Center: 14,000-seat multi-purpose facility with a 187-seat club and lounge

• Shreveport Municipal Auditorium: 3,000 seats; 6,300-square-foot arena

• Harrah’s Louisiana Downs: 25,000 square feet of meeting space

• Hilton Shreveport: 313 guest rooms; connected to the Shreveport Convention Center, can accommodate up to 162 people in three meeting rooms

• Wyndham Garden Shreveport: 267 guest rooms; 15,500 square feet of meeting space

• The Strand: the official state theater of Louisiana has 1,536 seats and a small meeting room that can accommodate up to 75

• Sainte Terre: event facility in rustic surroundings outside Shreveport with barn, terrace, chapel and bridal suite opened fall 2014; accommodates up to 250 guests

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Focus on Mississippi

Focus on Mississippi Sports Venues

Mississippi Gulf Coast ColiseumWhile football may be king in Mississippi— the state is home to one of the nation’s
top tailgating universities, the University of Mississippi—the Magnolia State is passionate about sports of all kinds. “Mississippi is a must-visit for sports fans,” said Lauren Cook, public relations manager for Visit Mississippi.

“We offer a variety of venues for all types of sports. Tupelo’s Aquatics Center has hosted more than six large swim meets. Snowden Grove Park in DeSoto County possesses many features only previously found at professional stadiums.”

Contact: http://www.visitmississippi.org

See the complete guide to Mississippi sports venues from our September issue of SportsEvents Magazine HERE.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Life In The Talty Lane: My Ride On Bert

“Bert” is as stumpy as a bull frog, as strong as an ox and as agile as a ballerina. Bert is formally known as “Fat Albert,” and she’s the huge C-130 Hercules transport plane that performs the opening act for the Navy’s Blue Angels precision fight squadron.

Her primary mission is to transport equipment, spare parts and support personnel between the Blue Angels air shows.

Bert may be a service vehicle but when the best of the best Marine aviators take command of her four 4,300-horsepower engines, she climbs, rolls, dives and roars with amazing precision and agility. As a private pilot myself, I’m as awed by the antics of Fat Albert as I am impressed by the precision of the Blue Angels’ F/A-18s.

So when the invitation came to ride in Fat Albert for a full-scale practice run of the Pensacola Beach Air Show in July, I jumped at the opportunity. A few media members get the invite for each show along with some Naval sailors who get selected for service excellence.

The calendar moved slowly leading up to fight day but my heart was pounding with anticipation as I finally passed through NAS Pensacola security. Once checked off for physical fitness, the fight briefings were thorough and precise. Our captain is Major Dusty Cook, a mix of military professionalism along with a sharp sense of humor and a devious grin. He runs through the intense maneuvers of the fight plan in exacting detail without referencing a single note. Then he gives our orders…

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 8.35.29 AM“This is not a commercial airline fight. Your gear must be secure at all times or it will be gone. If your cell phone comes out of your pocket or hand, it will crash into tiny little pieces and you will stick around after the fight to pick them up. If your seat belt is loose, you’ll be jostled about and you won’t like it. If you come out of your seat belt, your body parts will make a mess all over the cargo area. Our fight crew takes meticulous care of Bert. They won’t be happy if that happens. Cinch your seat belt tight and secure your gear.

“If you lose your lunch make sure it goes in the barf bag you’ve been provided and not on the people around you. That starts a chain reaction we don’t want to see and makes a mess you’ll have to stay late to clean up too. On my last fight only one person got sick. That was disappointing and I’ll do a better job with you guys on this fight.” That’s when I noticed the devious grin.

The fight itself was more than imagined and difficult for a simple writer like me to put into words. Start with the roar of four powerful Rolls Royce engines as the big bird quickly lifts five feet off the runway and accelerates to about 200 knots before the pilot pulls it into a 45-degree climb angle (a commercial fight ascends at about 10 degrees). At this point we’re pulling about 2gs, which translates to my body feeling twice its already overweight heaviness. This is exactly how I would suggest leaving a hostile combat situation, but…

After the steep climb, Captain smirk pushes the plane over into a dive. Without warning we go from heavyweight to weightless. The fight crew in the cargo area float about the plane, holding onto whatever is available. The remainder of the demonstration fight continues like a high intensity roller coaster ride, except it lasts about 10 times longer.

Fat Albert makes turns with 60-degree bank angles, high-speed low-altitude passes over the crowd, steep climbs and more weightless dives. And the landing at Pensacola Naval Air Station is something of a high speed combat assault fight accelerating down a crossing runway followed by a high-angle banking turn and short field landing, precisely ending the fight on the spot we started.

And to answer the most asked question, my barf bag was empty but quite a few others were not. Nice job, Major Cook!

Local media estimated the air show delighted more than a quarter of a million spectators on the ground, packing the beach and on thousands of boats anchored in the beautiful lagoons, bays and gulf waters surrounding Pensacola Beach. The Blue Angels Flight Demonstration inspires audiences by showcasing the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

I learned on this fight that Navy sailors and marines look up to Fat Albert and the Blue Angels with spirit lifting pride be- cause what they see is a bit of themselves on display… the amazing professionalism of each and every member of the United States Navy and Marine Corps on display for all to appreciate.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment