Tag Archives: sports

BJ Pilling, CEO of GoFan, High School Ticketing

BJ Pilling is CEO of Atlanta-based GoFan, one of the top digital ticketing companies for high school sports events. He joins Rick to talk about the busy year they’ve already had in 2021 and what the rest of the year has in store.

GoFan is a tech company and a sports company, providing digital ticketing for high school sports and other events nationwide. Digital ticketing has grown quickly over the last five years, but the pandemic really accelerated the pace.

BJ talks about how the technology works, the value for schools, how much money schools will save and generate, and of course the safety aspect.

A few successes in 2021:

May – California – The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) renewed a multi-year agreement with GoFan as the official digital ticketing partner to provide touchless, digital ticketing solutions to high schools and state-wide post season play across California.

June – Florida – The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) renewed a three-year agreement with GoFan as its official digital ticketing partner to provide touchless, digital ticketing solutions to high schools and state-wide post season play across Florida in all ticketed sports. https://tinyurl.com/ydp4mmeo

June – Georgia – GHSA State Baseball Championships – High school baseball fans brought their excitement to the 2021 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Baseball Championship games — setting record attendance with 20,788 tickets sold for this year’s games at Truist Park, Coolray Field, and Historic Grayson Stadium. As professional sports and high school sports programs lift capacity limitations, organizers are seeing increased attendance and tremendous fan excitement. Every fan attending the 2021 Baseball Championships used Alpharetta-based GoFan’s platform for purchase. Statewide, more than 60 percent of schools use GoFan.

BJ was great. Listen to this engaging conversation!

Adam Goodyer, Realife Tech

A great Tech of Sports guest this week, as Rick is joined by Adam Goodyer of Realife Tech.

With live events strategically being held, we are starting to see organizations preparing their venues for fans. The safety of fans who attend these games/events is now taking priority, and new innovations in live event technology are reassuring fans’ comfortability in attending. I wanted to gauge your interest in having Adam Goodyer, CEO of Realife Tech, on the Tech of Sports Podcast around the steps organizations are taking to provide safety before, during and after live events. Adam can speak on:

What new features event venues are deploying to reduce key touchpoints, such as paperless ticketing, mobile ordering, and contactless collection from concessions?

Rick and Adam discuss all this and more.

Realife Tech works with some of the biggest sporting and entertainment clients across Europe and North America. Using advanced data analytics and innovative UI, the Realife platform creates technology that increases mobile spend and revenues at live events. Realife Tech works with the world’s biggest venues and events, including The O2, London; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; LA Galaxy & Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Outside Lands Festival.

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.