Tag Archives: sports

Brian Jones, City of Rock Hill Sports & Event Center Supervisor

Rick talks with Brian Jones this week in Rock Hill, SC.

Jones is the supervisor of the beautiful Rock Hill Sports and Event Center.

The Rock Hill Sports & Event Center is the sports hub of the Knowledge Park corridor of Rock Hill and more. The 170,000 sq. ft. facility is part of a mixed-use site connecting Winthrop University to Old Town Rock Hill, restaurants, outdoor venues, office space, apartments and more. The Center hosts city athletic programs, sports tournaments, conferences/conventions, concerts and other special events.  By offering healthy living activities as well as cultural and tourism opportunities, the Sports and Event Center adds to the quality of life in Rock Hill and surrounding areas.

Sports tourism has become such a vital revenue stream to cities all over the country and Rock Hill has stepped up to the plate and is taking advantage of the situation during COVID-19 and post pandemic. Thanks to Brian for the great interview!

Beth Noffsinger, Communications Director, Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Rick is in Bowling Green, Kentucky this week checking out all the sports travel possibilities in this great town and is joined by Beth Noffsinger, Communications Director, Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

So much to do and see when it comes to sports and attractions.

Planes and trains… Cars and guitars… Caves and waves… Rails and trails… Thrills and chills… Charm and farms… We could keep going for days, and that’s just what it would take to see and do everything in the Bowling Green area. As the Home of the Corvette, we sure love our fast cars, but the city offers so much more that we think you will be surprised by how much is happening here.

The icing on the Duncan Hines cake is that we’re geared for couples, families, and groups with this many options. So come on, rev up the whole crew or recharge just two in Kentucky’s third-largest city… It’s a Classic American Destination!

WKU athletics, minor league baseball, the National Corvette Museum and family friendly drag racing.

Also for participants:

  • Over 40 diamonds to knock ‘em out of, like the 8-field, lighted Buchanon Park, host of several ASA National Championships
  • More than 20 sets of hoops to dunk ‘em into, like WKU’s E.A. Diddle Arena and the new gyms at Buchanon Park and Ephram Park
  • Six 18-hole courses to drive ‘em home on, like Bowling Green Country Club, annual host of the KHSAA Boys’ & Girls’ State Tourney, and the award-winning course at Olde Stone
  • Enough targets to aim ‘em at for the International Daisy BB Gun Championship, the NRA National Championships and the USA Shooting Championships
  • More disc golf baskets to flip ‘em into than any other city our size with PDGA design influence on six 18-hole courses
  • Awarded numerous James Farrell ASA Awards of Excellence for hosting several of the highest-rated ASA youth softball tournaments
  • Site of a state-of-the-art 20,000 sq. ft. skate park 
  • Center field position off Interstate 65 just past the Tennessee state line
  • Over 3,000 beds for dreaming of tomorrow’s victory
  • Small city makes it easier to navigate through safer communities
  • Thriving hometown business community with large sponsorship pool
  • Enthusiastic local sports fans ready to assist your team with the small stuff

Fun talking with Beth and lots of information.


Danica Tormohlen, Covering the Trade Show and Events Industry

Joined this week, by one of the best follows on Twitter when it comes to the Trade Show industry. Danica Tormohlen (@DanicaTormohlen).

Danica and Rick have a lively chat about events, conventions and trade shows returning.

Danica has been a respected professional in the exhibition industry ever since she joined EXPO in 1994 as an assistant editor and moved up the ladder to the publisher’s office. Her career has included a Folio: Eddie Award for Editorial Excellence in the travel and hospitality category, and an award for best web site redesign from min’s btob.

Tormohlen, who will be based in the Kansas City area, has also spoken at industry events and has served on various committees for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events including education and public relations. She also loves BBQ.

She is a fountain of information and she shares some of it with Rick.

Hermann Elger, EVP & GM, Travel, Entertainment, & Health Security, Sharecare

Events are starting back up…

Rick talks with Hermann Elger, EVP and GM at Sharecare this week.

Elger, talks about the long-term planning and tools stadiums and arenas need to be using to fully rebuild their businesses and fan trust.

With a light at the end of the tunnel, some leagues have started to welcome fans back into stadiums (re: MSG and Barclays) and others are in the preparation stages. However, it will take more than revamped cleaning procedures to truly win back the trust of fans and visitors.

Previously the Chief Operating Officer of Baccarat Hotels & Resorts, Hermann has been helping the hospitality, entertainment and sports industries get back on their feet with Sharecare’s VERIFIED®, a multi-pronged digital verification and accountability system in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide and supported by CAA Icon and OVG. Most recently, the State Farm Arena in Atlanta announced the integration of VERIFIED® into their recovery plans to establish confidence from fans in their safety efforts.


Why on-site COVID testing, mobile ordering, digital health passports and cleaning procedures won’t be enough to fully recover entertainment/sporting events

The value people are placing on health security, digital accountability and a verification standard for venues

How COVID’s permanently changed the way people think about events and how stadiums need to communicate with visitors

Hermann Elger is executive vice president and GM of travel, entertainment, and health security at Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place.

In this role, Elger is responsible for leveraging the company’s digital capabilities and health expertise to help employers and businesses across service industries ensure public health safety as part of overall consumer well-being. With channel partners such as Forbes Travel Guide, Elger oversees the delivery and global expansion of Sharecare’s Health Security VERIFIED™ solution, a platform and verification system designed to help hospitality organizations comply with proactive and reactive measures to minimize the risk and impact of acute public health events.

A well-respected, widely traveled, and assured leader in luxury hospitality, Elger brings a wealth of expertise and 25 years of global experience to Sharecare. Prior to joining the company, Elger served as managing director of Baccarat New York and chief operating officer of Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, leading the development of new properties and overseeing day-to-day operations and quality guest experiences for the flagship hotel. Previously, Elger also served as general manager for Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, overseeing operations and the guest experience at luxury properties such as The St. Regis New York and Montage Beverly Hills. He also spent 18 years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where supported the development of new hotels as an opening team leader for The Ritz-Carlton Aspen Highlands, Philadelphia, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Elger followed his father into the hotel industry and earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Denver. His talents are recognized with honors including “Best GM in US and Canada” in the Travvy Awards and “Most Innovative GM” by American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, both awarded in 2016. Elger also was named one of the “40 Most Influential Leaders in Tourism in Mexico” by Lideres magazine.

Joshua Smith, Hamilton, Ohio City Manager on the Economic Impact of Sports

Rick is joined on “Tech of Sports” this week, by Joshua Smith, the City Manager of the great city of Hamilton, Ohio.

Hamilton, Ohio is located in the heart of the Rust Belt, a region in Northeastern and Midwestern United States that has been experiencing industrial decline since the 1980s. In its heyday, Hamilton became a manufacturing powerhouse due to early investments in hydroelectric power and logistics infrastructure. Hamilton was billed as “The greatest manufacturing city of its size in the world.” Companies in the city produced paper, safes, machine tools, farm equipment, cans for vegetables, automobile parts and printing presses. Also, like many great American industrial cities of the day, Hamilton contributed greatly to the war efforts during both World Wars. Hamilton factories manufactured war materials, such as ship engines and gun lathes.

However, by 1980s manufacturing had changed in the United States. A good deal of manufacturing was moved overseas to reduce labor expenses, resulting in the closure of factories across the country. Hamilton felt the impact of this globalization as factories closed and thousands of residents lost their jobs. This change in the economy also impacted other businesses in the community. Retail and restaurants were severely impacted by lost and reduced wages, as well. As a result, Hamilton’s once vibrant downtown and surrounding areas were hit particularly hard by the outsourcing of jobs, leaving many storefronts empty and buildings left to deteriorate.

After feeling like they were forgotten by the rest of America and watching the opioid epidemic plaque their communities, Rust Belt cities like Hamilton have taken their destiny into their own hands. Instead of waiting for broken promises by politicians of bringing manufacturing back to the Rust Belt, the Rust Belt is taking action themselves, creating new industries to revitalize their communities. From partnering with the state to secure tax incentives, to utility rate guarantees, to direct assistance through various funding sources, Hamilton has taken an all-hands-on-deck approach to revitalization. Hamilton has partnered with a variety of organizations to rehabilitate abandoned properties for rent, or put them into the hands of new ownership who put the buildings back into use. The urban core of Hamilton has welcomed over 90 new small businesses in the last ten years, and experienced over $250 million dollars in investment.

The city also has created Upper Floor Residential Rehabilitation Program to encourage activation of the upper floors in the Main Street Business District. The goal is to get people to work and live downtown, turning the once bleak downtown into a vibrant city center.

Hamilton also has emphasized the importance of a diverse business base, including advanced manufacturing, breweries, retail, and tourism. Hamilton now has a variety of industries that operate in the city. A diverse mix within a local economy helps to weather the storm when macroeconomics tip the scales. Instead of having one large industry, which created the deterioration of the Rust Belt, Hamilton now has a diverse slate of industry.


Hamilton is betting on a 42-acre abandoned paper mill that is in the process of being redeveloped into North America’s largest indoor sports complex. Expecting more than one million visitors each year, the $144 million complex brings new life to the former home of a legacy Hamilton industry. The project will include an on-site hotel, brewery, restaurant, and convention center. Before this construction started and it sat empty in the middle of the city, it was a sad reminder of the past and everything they lost, now it is symbol of the future.

Joshua talks about that and more, including being a Cyclone, lie RIck this week…


Keira McCarrell, D-1 Student Athlete, Olympics, Pottery and Watercolor Artist

Keira McCarrell is one busy girl. A redshirt senior at Auburn University, is staying occupied in 2021 with school, track and field and her love of creating works of art.

Rick talks to Keira about combining being in school, running track and selling her beautiful artwork, which this holiday season included Christmas cards.

“I was born in British Columbia, Canada, and compete on their national team when presented the opportunity. I was raised in Oregon and transferred from University of Oregon to now Auburn. As a multi athlete, I have always found myself trying new things and doing everything I can to keep myself busy.”

Her artist journey started in high school when she started being very passionate about pottery.

“As I lost my access to a studio I picked up watercolor. My mom suggested I started selling them online and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s what keeps my mind at ease when I’m constantly thinking about sports and school during the week!

See how Keira does it all and has a shot at the Olympics. Have a listen.

Keira’s links to check out: