The Durham Sports Commission is pleased to share with you a recap of our startup year and present what’s to come in the near future and beyond. Our 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.
We look forward to continuing this work with and on behalf of the Durham sports community as we #ChampionDurham!
I’m proud to be writing the first letter in the inaugural Durham Sports Commission Annual Report. It has been an exciting year and looking back as the first board chairman, I’m encouraged by the progress that was made. While a lot of the work was done internally to make sure the organization was set up for success, we also started to have an impact on the community and that was one of my biggest focuses this first year. From funding our first event to having local college students interning with the DSC, the impact has been far reaching. The board has worked hard to make the community proud, to be inclusive of all sports, and to spread the message of the importance of the DSC.
On the horizon are exciting times. We will be analyzing our facilities, supporting and servicing even more events, submitting bids for future events, and getting the community involved with the work we are doing daily. We will also be launching an advisory committee to be ambassadors of our mission, as well as asking them to weigh in on different items throughout the year. I’m excited for my final year as the Chair of the Board and will continue to talk about how proud I am of the work we have been doing. I encourage you to seek out ways to get involved or at least learn what we are doing through our social media accounts and website. Thank you all for your support.
– Omar Beasley
As the first executive director of the newly formed Durham Sports Commission, I can’t say thank you enough to the Durham community for embracing me and the vision we have for Durham as it relates to sports. I have had the opportunity to meet with most of our facility owners already, and their willingness to consider potential events has been overwhelming. I’ve also had the chance to meet with some of our event owners and been impressed with their dedication to showcasing Durham as a sports destination. Now it’s time to be intentional on what Sports Tourism can do for Durham.
A lot was accomplished in our first year to set a foundation for success—including the launch of a new website, strong marketing materials, the beginnings of a social media presence, the first event owner workshops, and the start of supporting events.
I had the opportunity to attend a few tradeshows to meet event owners and national governing bodies, telling them about Durham and how we can help their events. The feedback I received was wonderful. Some knew of Durham and were excited to know they would be working directly with a sports commission in the future, while others were being exposed to the community for the first time. I’m looking forward to continuing relationships with these groups, while also finding new exposure opportunities.
I’m also excited to say that we hired a phenomenal Sports Services Manager, Alyssa Duke, who has the energy and experience needed to make the DSC a more dynamic organization. We also had the opportunity to bring in interns early—we’ve now hosted students from Duke, NCCU, Hampton University, and a graduate from Virginia Wesleyan.
We are excited and look forward to the next year, eager to now be able to amplify our efforts with the building blocks in place and champion Durham as the ultimate sports destination.
Yours in Sport,
– Ashleigh Bachert
In early 2014 the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) and Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce convened a group of residents and elected officials, as well as university, sports, civic and business leaders, to talk about sports. They pondered whether Durham should have an organization to lead its efforts in attracting and servicing sports events, and what the benefits and challenges of that might be.
This spurred a lot of enthusiasm so a smaller task force was assembled, which eventually recommended creating the Durham Sports Commission (DSC), a nonprofit organization charged with providing leadership for sports-based initiatives that will create positive economic and social impact for Durham and the region.
An Interlocal Agreement was executed in 2016 between the City, the County, the Chamber and DCVB which articulates how the DSC will be formed, funded, operated and governed. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau runs the day-to- day operations of the commission, pays the staff salaries, and funds the DSC’s marketing, sales, services efforts. The City, County, and Chamber appoint the members of the DSC Board of Directors and collectively provide public and private funding to help attract, sponsor and underwrite a wide variety of amateur, recreational, and collegiate sporting events.
There are many exciting steps ahead for the DSC, which will ultimately be articulated in a long term strategic plan. This will outline an overall strategy for sports tourism, how the DSC will attract and service new events while supporting and growing locally produced events, and how it can provide opportunities to citizens and youth through internships, workshops and volunteer opportunities.
Following an in-depth feasibility and market study, the DSC will convene public and private sector leaders to discuss whether capital improvements to existing facilities or new facilities are needed to meet the needs of Durham’s residents, how these needs should be prioritized and funded, and whether additional capacity should be added to encourage the additional economic value that comes with hosting sports events and tournaments.
The DSC is proud to champion Durham and its growing sports scene. With the first year under its belt, it’s ready to soar to new heights as it sets the stage for athletes of all levels to compete in Durham.
Final execution of the Interlocal Agreement
Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational Track Meet – 3000 attendees, $1.76M impact
NYFO Nationals – 4000 attendees, $1.2M impact
First Board meeting of the DSC – 8/31/16
Articles of Incorporation approved and elected first set of officers
By-laws and Mission Statement approved. Search firm hired to conduct Executive Director search.
TFC Columbus Day Tournament (regional) – 1000 attendees, $370k regional impact
Corporate logo concepts presented
GCU Men’s Basketball – 50 attendees, $24k impact
CASL Showcase (regional) – 20,000 total attendees, $7.1M regional impact
Interviewed and selected Executive Director
Executive Director begins. Approval of corporate logo and brand.
McDonald’s Rising Stars Tournament – 3000 attendees, $864k impact
Conflict of Interest and Grants and Incentives Policy approved
First tradeshow attended by the DSC. Launched initial website and social media channels.
King of the Spring Lacrosse – 2000 attendees, $1.1M impact
Developed Sports Services Strategy. Approved first sponsorship of an event.
Hosted inaugural Event Owner Workshop. Hired summer interns from Duke and NCCU.
TCTC Challenge – 3000 attendees, $534k impact
Battle of the Bull City – 550 attendees, $143k impact
Bridge II Sports Valor Games (regional) – 400 attendees, $295k regional impact
Approved Budget. Hosted inaugural board retreat. Hired Sports Services Manager.
AJGA Junior Golf Championship – 184 attendees, $136k impact
Hands on Fire II Boxing – 800 attendees, $52k impact
Russell E. Blunt East Coast Invitational Track Meet – 2,900 attendees, $1.37 million impact
Ryan Smith Football Camp – 217 attendees
DSC’s Quarterly Newsletter launches
DSC’s new website launches
First national championship bid submitted by the DSC
DSC helps launch Durham’s first esports event (DBAP Gaming Challenge – 852 attendees, $157k impact)
King of the Canopy
Ryder Cup Saber RJCC and ROC – 211 attendees, $41k impact
RDC Marathon & Half Marathon – 1500 attendees
Durham wins 2019 USATF National Youth Outdoor Championship
DSC’s promotional videos completed
Race Across Durham 10 Mile and Marathon Trail Run
DSC is Title Sponsor of MLK Rising Star Basketball Tournament
US Women’s Curling Association National Meeting and Bonspiel
DSC’s Facility Assessment and Market Study completed
Advisory Committee formed
DSC operating ACC Fan Fest
2018 and 2019 RDC Marathon & Half Marathons
2019 USA Track & Field National Youth Outdoor Championships
2019 and 2020 MLK Rising Star Basketball Tournaments
Funding for DSC is provided by the City and County of Durham for supporting event bids and fees, and from the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau for marketing and operations support.
Follow DSC on social media
Stay tuned for information about sponsorship opportunities!