Founded in 2016, the Durham Sports Commission (DSC) has built a strong foundation in a very short period of time. These efforts have set up the DSC to become one of the strongest sports tourism and events organizations in the country. Today, the DSC is looking for an energetic and dynamic leader to build upon this early success and celebrate Durham’s rich sports tradition. In these early stages of the organization, the new leader has an opportunity to craft the sports culture for the Durham community.
The DSC is a standalone 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a strong tie to Discover Durham, the area’s DMO. The DSC has its own board of directors and multiple sustainable funding sources in place. From its inception, the DSC has succeeded in hosting premiere regional and national championships, including:
ACC Baseball Tournament and FanFest
2019 USA Track and Field Youth Outdoor National Championships
2019 USTA NC 40 & Over State Championship
2019 Long Ball Mid-Atlantic Regional
2017 DBAP eSports Gaming Challenge
Race Across Durham 10 Miler and Marathon Trail Run
Carolina Bowl Middle School Showcase
Durham is a sports city at its core, and the DSC serves as a primary catalyst in driving major events to the community. The DSC seeks a collaborative professional who can continue to carry the torch into the organization’s next generation.
Durham is a vibrant and diverse community with a storied history in sports. Durham has a flourishing downtown, a thriving food and entertainment scene, and is ranked as one of the most affordable and desirable places to live in the country. Durham is on the rise. In the future, sports and the DSC have an opportunity to continue to drive the community forward through several key initiatives.
The next leader of the DSC will be asked to play a critical role in the future of sports in the Durham region. This position will be responsible for taking a leadership role in several key areas:
Driving long-term fundraising and development efforts.
Strategic visioning and infrastructure development to enhance the future of the DSC.
Externally facing to push the sports tourism and events agenda of the community forward.
Positioning Durham as a strong sports tourism destination on the national stage.
Leading high-level community discussion around event creation and facility development.
This position is mission critical for the Durham community’s future. The candidate we are looking for will be stepping into a vital role for not only the DSC but the Durham region as well.
The new DSC Executive Director will be ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of several regional, national, and locally created events in the near future, including:
2021 Powerade State Games
2020 Bull City Football Jamboree
2020 ACC Track and Field Championship
2020 USTA NC 40 & Over State Championship
2020 Long Ball Mid-Atlantic Regional
Additionally, the DSC has begun conversations to host several events in the coming years. Included are NCAA Championships with the DSC’s collegiate partners as well as NGB sanctioned events alongside Durham’s local sports clubs.
The Ideal Leader
Our team in Durham is one focused on community investment, pride, and teamwork. We are looking for a leader for the Durham Sports Commission that has all of those characteristics. There is opportunity for the DSC to expand its positive impact on the Durham community in the future. The ideal leader for the organization will bring together the various stakeholders with a unified vision for the future.
More specifically, there are several core competencies that we are looking for in our next leader that go beyond the typical job posting. These talents/skills include proven success in some or all of the following areas:
Inclusive and collaborative leadership
Ability to work with multiple stakeholder groups
Executive experience within the sports tourism or related industry
Strategic thinking and execution
Proven track record in fundraising and development
Event creation and execution
Established industry connections
Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community that continually earns accolades as one of the best places in the world to visit, live, and do business. It is the home of Duke and North Carolina Central universities as well as the world-renowned Research Triangle Park. With mild weather, friendly people, and access to some of the best education and healthcare in the country, Durhamites enjoy a high quality of life.
Durham is different from other mid-sized southern cities. It has no ethnic majority, and people from all walks of life find it a congenial and accepting place. Durham is an activist community with a very collaborative nature. Discover Durham and the DSC are accountable to the community, so they operate in a very transparent manner with considerable public input.
Spend time in Durham and it is easy to see why those who call it home love it so much. Durham has been called a City of Champions due to its numerous collegiate championships, a world-famous minor league baseball team and wealth of hall of fame coaches. With a celebrated public park system, access to recreation areas, fields, forests, and waterways, Durham performs well as a destination for a wide variety of sporting events and tournaments.
Add to that a food culture that garners national attention, a thriving arts and cultural scene, distinctive shopping districts, a very walkable downtown, and a vibrant, tech-savvy enclave for entrepreneurs, and it’s evident that Durham is a place where visitors and residents really can enjoy it all.
The ideal Executive Director of the Durham Sports Commission (DSC) is a senior level, highly experienced professional with extensive knowledge of sports sales, marketing and management. The ideal candidate is passionate and enthusiastic about sports, demonstrates a high level of energy, is a strategic thinker equally skilled with tactical solutions, and someone with key contacts and established relationships with sports decision makers.
The Durham Sports Commission (DSC) was established in 2016 as a 501(c) 3 organization, and produced more the $30M in economic impact for Durham in its recently completed fiscal year, including hosting its first national championship. The DSC boasts a strong, passionate, independent board of directors and is operated by Discover Durham (DD), which provides marketing and operational support. Durham is a community ripe for sports tourism growth, anchored by such iconic sports organizations as Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and the Durham Bulls.
The Executive Director manages two full time employees: a senior manager of events and operations and a marketing and services coordinator. The Executive Director also works collaboratively with DD’s sales, marketing, customer service and administrative staff to achieve the mission of the DSC. Serving in a leadership role with bottom-line accountability for outcomes, this position reports to the DSC Board and DD’s President & CEO.
Working with the board to continue to develop and implement the overall strategy for sports tourism in Durham County.
Developing a comprehensive plan to attract, develop and provide services to sports events and sports visitors while achieving measurable results in overall visitation, taxable visitor spending, occupancy in Durham hotels, attendance and utilization of sports facilities, and increased revenues.
Achieving annual measurable goals that support the overall mission, purpose and strategic objectives of the Commission.
Developing a long-term strategy to expand the number and quality of facilities and sports assets in Durham County.
Developing strategies to educate the public about the economic, social and cultural benefits of developing a sports tourism program.
Devising and implementing programs that provide opportunities to Durham’s residents and youth to learn valuable skills related to sports tourism through workshops, internships, and volunteer opportunities.
Providing coaching, training and supervision to DSC staff.
Working with local organizations, universities and other groups to generate leads for attracting new sports events and meetings, as well as providing a high level of support and menu of service options to ensure the successful execution of Durham-based sports events. Attending tradeshows, prospecting, assembling bids, preparing compelling proposals, and making effective presentations to site selection committees in order to secure events.
Serving in an ethical brokerage role in the planning and negotiating necessary between event owners/promoters and local stakeholders, including arranging site visits for qualified planners.
Representing the DSC to external audiences, including media and local stakeholders, while also building and sustaining a solid network of collaborative partnerships.
Working with event organizers to increase attendance at Durham sports events.
Working collaboratively with sports venues, universities, teams, sports organizers and other service providers to represent Durham nationally as a destination for sports events.
Spearheading and participating in the development of local organizing committees for major sports events as well as the recruitment and management of volunteers.
Participating fully in professional organizations and activities related to sports tourism.
Creating strategic and tactical budgets and monitoring income and expenses related to sports.
Providing support to the DSC Board and Advisory Committee in fulfilling their purpose.
Assisting the board with strategies in soliciting funds to support the activities of the DSC.
Guiding the organization in owned and operated events to strengthen the reputation of the DSC within the local market, fill gaps in types of sports hosted, and raise funds to support the operations of the organization.
Producing all management reporting, with the support and oversight of DD’s accounting team and DD’s CEO.
The DSC was established through an Inter-Local Agreement by and between the City of Durham, Durham County, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and Discover Durham that defines funding support from each party; funds allocated to the organization by each party are indexed to changes in Durham occupancy tax collections for future years, and Durham’s robust growth over the past several years has outpaced national levels. The DSC’s FY21 budget is projected at more than $800,000.
The DSC’s programs are organized under a non-profit organization whose mission is to create economic and social impact by leading the community’s efforts to attract, support and promote youth, amateur, collegiate and professional sporting and recreational events. The DSC also seeks to maximize the potential of Durham’s sports facilities and venues and provide leadership and guidance to the public and private sector on the development of athletic facilities and programs that will positively benefit the quality of life of the citizens of Durham.
Prospective candidates shall submit one (1) PDF document via email to [email protected]. The PDF document shall include a one (1) page cover letter along with a resume no longer than two (2) pages. Documents longer than three (3) total pages, or submissions that do not come via email in this format by the deadline may be rejected by the selection committee.
Questions can be submitted to [email protected] by 5:00 PM EST on February 21st, 2020. All questions submitted by this deadline will be answered. Questions submitted after this deadline may or may not garner a response.
Candidates that submit their credentials adhering to the above format by March 1st, 2020 will be given full consideration.
The ideal candidate is a forward-thinking creative leader who thrives in a fast-paced, high-tech environment. Preferred qualifications include:
Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution with major course work in sports marketing, sales, business, or a related field. Master’s degree a plus.
Broad knowledge and experience in sports with a minimum of eight (8) years working in a sports-related field and three (3) years of managerial experience.
Minimum of three (3) years working for a sports commission or similar organization.
A strong track record in sales and attainment of goals.
A strong knowledge of nonprofit financial reporting, with experience in fundraising a plus.
Outstanding communication skills (verbal and written) as well as strong interpersonal abilities.
Competence with social media, digital marketing and the ability to embrace technology.
Solid organizational skills including the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
Flexibility and competency in adjusting priorities to conditions and circumstances.
Ability to travel and work weekends and evenings when needed and to be accessible occasionally while off-duty.
Valid driver’s license, registration and insurance with a good driving record.
Ability to hire, manage and nurture effective talent.
Computer literacy including hands on experience with client database management systems and the ability to learn industry-specific software.
Professional appearance keeping with industry standards.
Excellent project management skills.
Durham residency highly preferred.
Prior board or non-profit management experience, as well as being a current or prior athlete, coach or team manager are all desirable.
Additional Salary Information: Salary, Benefits, and Other Requirements
The Executive Director is an employee of Discover Durham, which offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and benchmarked against similar-sized sports commission positions nationally. Key compensation package elements include:
- Base salary range: $84,000 to $94,000.
- Bonus pool: Up to 10% of base pay.
- Health benefits: 100% employer paid medical, dental, short- and long-term disability and life insurance; health savings account to designate pre-tax deductions.
- Vacation/PTO: 11 paid holidays and 17 days of paid time off (PTO); optional employee wellness program.
- Additional benefits: free parking, monthly stipend for use of personal equipment such as mobile phone.
- Retirement program (begins after 90 days): Discover Durham participates in the state’s defined benefit retirement plan, contributing 14.66% of total earnings to the plan for each employee with a required 6% employee match. There are also elective 401K, 457B, and Roth IRA programs available, as well as optional supplemental insurance policies (accident, cancer, critical illness, etc.) available via payroll deduction.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be required to walk, sit, bend and squat; talk and hear; grab, pull and bend items; lift or carry up to 45 pounds; view items at a close/distant range; sit, stand, and walk for extended periods of time; and use computers for extended periods of time.
About Huddle Up Group
Formed in 2012, the Huddle Up Group is a sports tourism, marketing, venue and event consulting company made up of experienced award-winning executives. Our team has a successful track record of leading non-profit sports organizations through strategic growth and increased community collaboration. We have extensive experience in building cohesive organizations and external relationships while working with volunteer boards, donors, elected officials, hospitality community leaders, and various corporate partners. The Huddle Up Group was selected as the winner of the 2017 NASC Superior Service Award, the highest honor a consulting firm can earn from the National Association of Sports Commissions.
A major differentiator for the Huddle Up Group is our team’s experience in the sports industry trenches. Our key staff members have run award winning sports commissions, founded state tourism groups, chaired Final Fours, worked on multiple Olympic Games, led facility enhancement drives, run youth tournaments, been college coaches, and were at one-time, athletes. These well-rounded experiences lend themselves to a diverse view of sports organization development projects. This front-lin...e experience is the primary reason we feel the Huddle Up Group is the best team to partner with you and your stakeholders on this strategic planning effort.
The Huddle Up Group can be reached at [email protected] or 602.369.6955. To receive the weekly “Monday Huddle Up” sign up at https://tinyletter.com/JonSchmieder.