“Dotted Line” Sports Commissions

Organizational Incorporation – Members of this category are distant extensions of their DMO/CVB in the area or region.  These SDOs operate autonomously, however it is often the case that the DMO/CVB has a strong influence on their funding model.  In all cases, each Sports Commission maintained separate Board of Directors and separate budgets under the control of the Sports Commission.

Board Structure – Board of Director positions range from the mid-twenties to the mid-fifties.  Positions on the board implied investment of funds or resources to assist the organization deliver on its mission.  Board composition is most often comprised of strategic venue owners or rights holders serving as the majority, with the second largest group comprised of local/regional business owners.  These boards usually include a nominal presence of public entities.

Event Portfolio – Similar to the stand alone Sports Commission models, the dotted line Sports Commissions own and operate, on average, less than ten (10) events per year.  These events tend to be strategic events that strengthened their community standing and relevance.  The hosted (or bid in) events in their portfolio ranged from 80-100 events per year.  The composition of these events includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Traditional

  • Non-traditional

  • Large scale

  • Grass roots

  • Turnkey

Organizational Challenges – The most significant challenges for the dotted line Sports Commissions include balancing workloads and funding development.  Data shows that maintaining high quality events is a key factor to success.  The balance of events and available resources plays into the strategy of events that can be hosted.  Another challenge is the increase in competition not only from other destinations, but from within their own city/region in battling for limited resources. 

Suggested Organizational Changes – Groups in this category mentioned the need for staff additions to assist them in digital or analog marketing efforts.  This is similar to the stand alone organizations as they continue to show a need to promote the events they host.  This group also noted the need for more sales assistance to supplement their current staff. 

Funding Models – The trend for this group shows that public tax dollars provide for at least half (if not more) of their annual revenues.  While private funds are also a revenue source, the data shows that those funds are most often tied to a specific event that is hosted in a given year.

Marketing Allocations – Similarly to the stand alone Sports Commissions, a small fraction of the annual budget is spent on marketing the organization (or what would be considered community promotion).  On average between 10% to 15% of the annual budget is spent on what would be considered organizational branding.  Funds spent on traditional marketing are most often tied to a specific event.

Largest Organizational Expenses – This group’s largest annual expenses included the line items:

  • Staff salaries

  • Event execution

  • Office space