SportsTravel Road Trip

Organized by SportsTravel magazine and sponsored by Louisville Tourism and the Louisville Sports Commission, the SportsTravel Road Trip is a by-invitation-only networking and education event for chief executives and event directors of sports governing bodies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

6 p.m. 8:30 p.m.
Networking Reception
Join your fellow SportsTravel Road Trip attendees for an informal networking reception at one of Louisville’s premier Urban Bourbon Distilleries for an exclusive bourbon experience. We will meet at the Galt House at 6 p.m. for transportation to Angel's Envy, with buses leaving at 6:15 to go to the reception. At the event's conclusion at 8:30 p.m., transportation will bring attendees back from Angel's Envy to the Galt House.
Angel’s Envy Distillery




Wednesday, July 20, 2022

10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Venue Tours

Attendees will have the chance to explore some of the venues that make Louisville such a desirable sports destination. Venues available for attendees to tour include:

Kentucky International Convention Center
Kentucky Expo Center
Lynn Family Training Center
Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center
E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park
The Parklands of Floyds Fork (Egg Lawn)

12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.
Luncheon Reception
KFC Yum! Center
1:00 p.m. 1:45 p.m.
The Golden Orbit

The Olympic and Paralympic Games, like all levels of sport, are undergoing major changes. No sport, no matter its pedigree, is a lock to appear on the program, and new sports and disciplines are being added each cycle. In this discussion, we talk with the leaders of several sports that have either recently been on the program or are aiming for inclusion in Los Angeles about the importance of the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement to their sports, how they are positioning their sports for future growth, the importance of the collegiate space in growing the pipeline and how event organizers can best prepare for the coming trends and spotlight that the Games provide. 

Chris Sebren/USA Softball
Scott Hallenbeck/USA Football
Anthony Hollman/NCAA

KFC Yum! Center
2:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
The Growth of USL

The USL’s continual expansion has not slowed this season with new franchises being announced regularly. The league’s on-field success has also continued to grow with TV ratings improving and several standout performances in the U.S. Open Cup. Many of the USL’s franchises are also in the real estate business with stadium plans and new venues across the country. Hear from our panelists on how the USL has been able to drive growth in the past few years, what the future holds both with new venues and in the women’s game, and what the 2026 World Cup can do to drive the league’s popularity further across each of its markets.

Josh Keller/USL
Pat Denbow/Louisville City FC




KFC Yum! Center
4:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
VIP Reception
SportsTravel Road Trip attendees are invited to a VIP reception before the Louisville City FC match where they can network with fellow attendees and USL executives. Attendess will meet at 4:30 p.m. in the East Lobby of the Galt House for transportation to Lynn Family Stadium, with buses leaving at 4:45 p.m. and arriving for the reception at 5 p.m. 
Lynn Family Stadium
7:00 p.m.
Louisville City FC vs. Phoenix Rising FC
Enjoy entrance to one of the hottest tickets on the USL schedule as the hometown Louisville City FC take on Phoenix Rising FC in a nationally televised match between two of the league’s historically best teams. Transportation for attendees going back to the Galt House will be available at game's end.
Lynn Family Stadium

 

 

Overnight accommodations for the SportsTravel Road Trip will be at the Galt House in downtown Louisville.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Networking Reception at the Sky Club at Weidner Field

Join your fellow SportsTravel Road Trip attendees for a networking reception and drinks at the Sky Club at Weidner Field, the new downtown home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Weidner Field is located at 111 W. Cimarron St., but please note the doors to enter the Sky Club are on the west side of the stadium off Sierra Madre. Parking is directly out front.

Sky Club at Weidner Field
111 W. Cimarron St.




Thursday, March 31, 2022

8:45 a.m. 9:15 a.m.
Networking Breakfast
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space
9:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Welcome to the Sports Travel Road Trip

Attendees will be welcomed by Jason Gewirtz of Northstar Meetings Group, and representatives of Louisville Tourism and the USOPC. First-time attendees and newcomers to the NGB community will have the opportunity to provide self introductions. An update on planning for the Olympic and Paralympic SportsLink and NGB Best Practices Seminars at TEAMS ’22 in Oklahoma City will also be provided. 

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space
9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
Data for the Win: Visualizing Team USA Performance

Data analytics now play a growing and crucial role in how sports organizations such as national governing bodies make decisions and improvements to their programs. As a partner of Team USA, Tableau has been working with a number of NGBs to help them see and understand data related to performance, training and more. In this session, hear from a leading strategist on how the company helped winter NGBs visualize their data in new ways leading up to the Beijing Games and what data analysis could mean for your organization in the future.

Katherine Rowe / Tableau

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space
10:00 a.m. 10:45 a.m.
Beijing Takeaways: Navigating Challenging Conditions

The 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games were unlike any that have been staged considering the restrictions in place on all stakeholders in an effort to manage the COVID-91 pandemic. What was it like for the national governing bodies that sent teams to China and how did they navigate a challenging and, in some cases, heartbreaking set of restrictions? From athlete travel to movements on the ground to operations on site, Beijing was like no other Games — not even the recent Summer Games in Tokyo. In this session, hear from leaders in three winter sports about what their teams had to do to compete, what operations were like on the ground, and what lessons they learned in the process.

Ramsey Baker / U.S. Figure Skating
Aron McGuire / USA Bobsled & Skeleton
Dave Fischer / USA Hockey
Jason Gewirtz / SportsTravel

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space
10:45 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
Networking Break
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space
11:00 a.m. 11:45 a.m.
USL’s Growth Spurt: How the Soccer League is Re-Energizing Communities

In a relatively short time, USL has gone from a second division professional soccer league to a sports powerhouse whose teams are investing in venues and their communities at a faster rate than any other professional sports organization. From Colorado Springs to Louisville, Kentucky, the league is in expansion mode at all division levels. That includes venues that are reshaping communities and offering new options to event organizers in destinations large and small. In this session, hear from USL leaders about what’s driving this growth, how they are interacting with their own communities and what your sports organization needs to know about the opportunities ahead in the league’s many markets.

Brad Gordon / Louisville City FC/Racing Louisville FC
Nick Ragain / Colorado Springs Switchbacks
Matt Traub / SportsTravel

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Mary K. Chapman special event space

 

 

Ramsey Baker

Ramsey Baker

Executive Director, U.S. Figure Skating

Ramsey Baker became executive director of U.S. Figure Skating in July 2021, after previously serving as the organization’s senior director, marketing and communications (2005–2013) and chief marketing officer (2013–2021). In his role as executive director, Baker is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the national governing body. As CMO, Baker oversaw U.S. Figure Skating’s relationships with its corporate partners generating exponential growth during his tenure. He also played an important role in the organization’s negotiation of media rights deals and the day-to-day relationship with NBC Universal and other media partners. Baker has also served as general manager of Icenetwork, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Figure Skating, which holds the domestic broadcast rights to ISU figure skating and speed skating competitions. An active leader in the Olympic movement, Baker has served on multiple United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee committees and working groups, most recently serving on a technology working group focused on the new USOPC Athlete Marketing Platform.



Greg Fante

Greg Fante

Vice President of Sports Development, Louisville Sports Commission

Greg Fante has been a leader in the Louisville hospitality industry for nearly 40 years. He currently serves as the vice president of sports development for the Louisville Sports Commission where he has worked since 2007. Prior to that, Fante served as national sales manager and senior sales manager for Louisville Tourism. He has been an integral part of a team of professionals who have helped lead Louisville’s strategic planning, marketing and sales efforts for sports event attraction and creation for the region. Since the inception of the sports commission in 1999 he has helped attract and support more than 800 events that have generated nearly $1 billion in local economic benefits for the community. He started his career in the Louisville hotel industry before joining the convention bureau in 1999. In 2002, he helped co-found Team Kentucky, which is a statewide consortium of DMO’s focused on attracting inbound sporting events and activities across the Commonwealth. He has served on the board of directors for Louisville’s lodging association, Louisville's hotel sales association, the National Association of Sports Commissions and Team Kentucky.

 

Dave Fischer

Dave Fischer

Senior Director of Communications, USA Hockey

Dave Fischer joined USA Hockey’s national office as the director of communications in November 2004. He was elevated to the newly created position of senior director of communications in December 2009 and is responsible for USA Hockey’s overall communications efforts, including media/public relations and content, and serves as the organization's chief spokesperson. In his role at USA Hockey, Fischer has held the lead communications role for numerous U.S. teams at all levels, including five U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Teams (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). He led USA Hockey’s efforts in establishing and executing Hockey Week Across America and also guides activities — including the selection process and induction event — associated with the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Fischer previously spent 17 years at Michigan Tech University (1987-2004), where he served as assistant athletic director for communications and marketing. While at Michigan Tech, Fischer simultaneously spent five years (1989-94) as the information director for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In addition, Fischer has served on the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four staff since 1989. 



Jason Gewirtz

Jason Gewirtz

Vice President, Sports Division, Northstar Meetings Group; Executive Editor and Publisher, SportsTravel

Jason Gewirtz is the vice president of the Sports Division of Northstar Meetings Group and the executive editor and publisher of SportsTravel. Gewirtz joined SportsTravel in 2008 as managing editor and has served a variety of roles since, overseeing editorial coverage of SportsTravel and content at the Sports Division’s events, including the TEAMS Conference & Expo and the EsportsTravel Summit. A veteran daily newspaper journalist and editor prior to joining SportsTravel, Gewirtz worked for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, where he started as a city hall reporter and was promoted to executive city editor in charge of city and business coverage. He also worked as a reporter at the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, and at the Broomfield Enterprise in Broomfield, Colorado. He is a member of the board of directors for the Sports Events & Tourism Association. Gewirtz graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has won numerous awards as both a writer and editor.

Brad Gordon

Brad Gordon

Senor Director of Partnership Development, Louisville City FC/Racing Louisville FC

Brad Gordon has worked in the sports in industry in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2011. He began his career in the sports industry with the United States Tennis Association as director of marketing and promotions. He then stepped into the professional sports arena as director of marketing for a local Women’s Tennis Association event. Gordon was hired by Louisville City FC in 2016 and is currently the senior director of partnership development for Louisville City FC in the USL and Racing Louisville FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. In that time he has seen the team grow from playing in a baseball stadium to the new world-class Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville. Gordon is a graduate of the University of Louisville.

Gen Howard

Gen Howard

Senior Sports Manager, Louisville Tourism

Gen Howard is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. She is currently the senior sports manager for Louisville Tourism and is responsible for leading the strategic sports initiative for the city and region. Howard works closely with the Louisville Sports Commission and together they have grown the sports tourism segment into the largest room-night generator and economic driver for the city. Howard attended Western Kentucky University and received a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in marketing and dance. She currently serves as a board member of Sports ETA and New Roots Inc, a nonprofit that fights food justice and insecurity in Louisville.

 

Aron McGuire

Aron McGuire

CEO, USA Bobsled/Skeleton

Aron McGuire is the CEO of USA Bobsled/Skeleton. As the recognized national governing body for bobsled and skeleton in the United States, USABS is responsible for the selection of U.S. teams entered into IBSF sanctioned events and the Olympic Winter Games. USABS enables United States athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic competition and promotes the sports of bobsled and skeleton nationally. McGuire was previously the senior director of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Centers, which includes Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, New York. Prior to the USOPC, he served in several positions at USA Track & Field and was responsible for coordinating many aspects of USATF national teams including registration, team processing, travel, security, housing, uniform distribution, communications, passport and visa application. He was also a member of the U.S. national bobsled team, competing in World Cup and World Championship events around the world.



Nick Ragain

Nick Ragain

President, Switchback Holdings

Nick Ragain is the president of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks the professional soccer club that competes in the USL Championship. The team began play in 2015 and in 2021 moved into the new downtown Weidner Field. In addition to his role overseeing the team, Ragain is a member of the USL Championship Executive Committee and the Colorado Springs Chamber and president of the Stadium Metropolitan District. In December, Ragain was named to the 15-member Colorado Tourism Board, which oversees the Colorado Tourism Office. He has spent his personal and professional life in sports, sports facilities, sports lighting, sales and marketing.

Katherine Rowe

Katherine Rowe

Strategic Planning Manager, Tableau Software

Katherine Rowe is a strategic planning manager for the chief marketing officer of Tableau Software, a Salesforce company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Clark University, an MBA with a focus on strategy, analytics and global management from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master of legal studies degree, with a concentration in sports law, from Arizona State University. Applying the leadership and problem-solving skills she honed as an officer in the U.S. Army, Rowe has led projects for a diverse portfolio of clients in major U.S. sports leagues and college athletics, helping them to become more data-driven to engage fans, athletes, coaching staffs and execs to win and grow the bottom line. Rowe is passionate about sports and her past professional experiences include working as a strategic consultant to sports organizations including the San Antonio Spurs, ESPN, the National Football League, the NBA Summer League, Hall Pass Media and the University of Texas Longhorns. As a former U.S. Army Officer and collegiate athlete, she has spent several years mentoring people on finding new career paths and success after big life changes.

Matt Traub

Matt Traub

Managing Editor, SportsTravel

Matt Traub is the managing editor for SportsTravel, focusing on the magazine's content, digital and social media strategies. Before joining SportsTravel in 2019, he worked in sports departments at several newspapers across the United States, most recently as the assistant sports editor at the Salt Lake Tribune. Under his leadership, the organization grew digital audience around the region’s most-loved topics: the Olympics, the Utah Jazz and college football. He also was in charge of sports departments at newspapers in New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina that were repeatedly recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as a Top 10 section nationally with coverage of everything from the Little League World Series to Southeastern Conference football. 


 

SportsTravel ClassroomSessionPresenterSportsTravel Presenters

Event Organizer Contact:

Nicole Goddeyne

310-954-2504

[email protected]

Event Logistics Contact:

Beth Dean

513-817-8737

[email protected]