November 2015, New York City
Along with Richard Pound and the former New York City Sports Commissioner, change agent, integrity coach and street volunteer Michael Pedersen spoke in the panel, titled “Bringing Accountability Back to Sport: The Role of Government and Governing Bodies” held several weeks ago.
Here is an excerpt of what transpired during the event:
Michael Pedersen spoke at Securing Sport 2015, which took place at Harold Pratt House in New York City, USA on 3-4 November 2015. Convened by International Center for Sport Security, the event brought together approximately 250 sport leaders and sport stakeholders and experts from around the world.
Keynote speakers at the event included:
- William Bratton, Police Commissioner, New York City
- Francois Carrard, Chairman, 2016 FIFA Reform Committee
- Sunil Gulati, President, US Soccer
- Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
- Michael Hershman, Co-Founder, Transparency International
- Mohammed Hanzab, President, International Center for Sport Security
- Professor Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
- Eric Holder, Former U.S. Attorney General
- Cobi Jones, Former Soccer Player, Los Angeles Galaxy
- Condoleezza Rice, 66th U.S. Secretary of State
- Tokyo Sexwale, FIFA Presidential Candidate
In the context of a panel, titled “Bringing Accountability Back to Sport: The Role of Government and Governing Bodies”, Michael Pedersen offered his perspectives on some key aspects to be considered in modernizing sport governance standards. Rob Simmelkjaer, NBC Sports and MSNBC On-Air Contributor, moderated the panel. Richard Pound, Founding President, World Anti-Doping Agency and Mike Hopper, former Vice President, Sports and Municipal Marketing, NYC & Company contributed as panelists too.
During the panel discussion, Michael Pedersen emphasized that national and international sport governing bodies as well as athletes are first in line to safeguard the integrity of sport. He added that governments too ought to take an active role in ensuring high levels of trust in sport, given all the positive societal benefits of a physically active population and the pressure to showcase that public funding of sport is spent effectively and efficiently. Furthermore, Michael Pedersen highlighted that sponsors, media broadcasters and sport betting operators also ought to actively engage in safeguarding sport integrity, appreciating that eventually their significant investments in sport and their overall business reputation are at stake.
You may read the full updates about 2015 Securing Sport here.
NATIONAL SPORTS ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION PRINCIPLES USING SAMAHANG BASKETBOL NG PILIPINAS AS ITS MODEL
By Bernardo Gabriel L. Atienza, SBP Deputy Executive Director
As a backgrounder on the origin of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the duly recognized governing body for basketball in the Philippines, its registration was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 21, 2006 and was ratified on the 5th of February 2007 by what is popularly known as the Unity Congress. Convened for this purpose by the major stakeholders of Philippine Basketball, the Unity Congress was witnessed by and approved its provisions by no less than Federacion Internationale Basketball Association (FIBA) Secretary-General Parick Baumann. Philippine Basketball was thereafter reinstated as a member of FIBA with full rights to participate in international basketball after more than two years of suspension.
The first Board of Trustees of SBP then convened and elected as its first President, Manuel V. Pangilinan. The Official Headquarters/Main Office of SBP was then built and is dedicated to all Filipinos, whom MVP believes has all the love and passion for basketball. The SBP Main Office, together with the Area and Regional Offices spread throughout the country, stand as a strong symbol of commitment to bring Philippine Basketball to a higher path, illuminated by the eternal principle of unity, and focused on grassroots development and international excellence.
Here is an infographic displaying the organizational structures of FIBA and SBP:
As shown in the graphic above, the SBP structure is a delineation and illustration of the Five (5) Areas and the 16 Regional Offices, with corresponding Heads of the said Areas and Regional Directors.
There were certain mandates made by FIBA on Coaching and Officiating:
- Create database of all coaches.
- The National Federation (NF) is mandated to form the Coaches’ Commission of which ALL coaches in the country should be obliged to be members.
- To issue Coaches’ licenses.
- To Organize clinics, seminars, refresher courses, conferences and other similar activities.
- Create database on all Referees’ Supervisors, Game Commissioners, Instructors, Supervisors and Table Official.
- NF is mandated to oversee the conduct of Referees’ Clinics and Technical Accreditation Seminars.
- NF shall primarily be responsible for applying the principles of FIBA and unchanged standards of interpretation of all Basketball Rules and Regulation.
SBP Relationships with POC, PSC, FIBA, FIBA Asia, SEABA, et al
The following are the functions, responsibilities, obligations and other related matters of SBP, through decisions, documentations and other actions issued both by the Philippine Supreme Court and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
- The SBP has the task of coordinating with the government arm in charge of providing the proper logistics in its development program/s, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), tasked to finance the over-all programs of each and every NSA, etc.
The following include the mechanics of such functions of SBP in dealing with, among others, the International Federations or IF (FIBA, FIBA Asia, SEABA, etc.), the POC, the PSC, and other related agencies/entities:
- Preparation of the Annual Budget correspondingly with the enumerated/ lined-up events and activities of the NSA;
- Enumeration of the different competitions as lined up by the IF, composed mostly of Zonal, sub-zonal/Regional and World Championships, POC/PSC – organized tournaments, e.g. PNG and the Batang Pinoy, others, etc.;
- Coordinate with the Dept. of Education in technically assisting their organizing committee conduct their National Basketball Championship (better known as the Palarong Pambansa); the CHED and the SCUAA ( State Colleges and Universities) also has its own version of its National Games;
- Conducting National Championships for SBP as the Mother of all Championships conducted by ALL the 65 Active Members and its Associates Nationwide (as of the end of the 3rd Quarter of 2013).
- Continuous campaign in recruiting all groups, individuals, corporate entities, LGU’s, etc., relevant to its intent in propagating/promoting basketball in their respective basketball jurisdiction, as mandated by FIBA; such program include Talent Identification, which is actually self-explanatory;
- Announcing programs conducted by SBP, including but not limited to, and as mandated by FIBA and FIBA Asia, national and regional tournaments, referees and technical officials accreditation and licensing seminars, National Coaches Accreditation and Licensing Program (NCALP), players’ classroom and on-court clinics that may include seminars on values formation, personality development, Sports/NSA Management, etc.
- Preparing the structure of running and managing the plans and programs of an NSA (Level 2).
- Conceptualizing and devising an Evaluation and Assessment System for all of the above to determine the Direction of an NSA.
- Hosting of International and/or Regional/Zonal Competitions as we witnessed in the recent 27th FIBA Asia Championship for Men last Aug. 1-11, 2013.
- Replacing Mission & Vision of an NSA with a Grand Generalized Philosophy in handling the affairs of an NSA.
- Q and A.
by Erick Fabian, Sr.
Whether the answer is yes or no is up to you. Depending on what goals you want to achieve as a sportsperson, a sports agent can mean boom or bust. This is why it is important to make personal assessments on what you intend to achieve as an athlete before deciding to work with an agent.
If you are still starting out as an athlete, and have yet to join international gaming events, it would seem prudent to consider building your personal portfolio of achievements first. Give yourself some years of mileage, undergo strict training, and have a veteran athlete or coach mentor you first. It pays to be ready for the next step in your career.
So when should you consider getting a sports agent? Depending on the sport you’ll choose to focus on, the demand for agents are usually more apparent in individual-oriented sports such as track and field, boxing, and sports that involve running. If you are considering on becoming a professional athlete, you will need a person or a team to take care of the logistics for you so that you can focus on your craft without distractions.
When your career takes a turn into a point when you need to negotiate business and sponsorship deals, a sports agent with a business acumen and a whole-hearted belief in your abilities can raise your chances for sports career success. On the downside, an agent whose focus is only to profit from your abilities and reputation as an athlete can surely lead to career suicide.
An agent can represent you in media and help garner up publicity for you, because public presence can drum up support and help you gain financial assistance, which includes sponsorships and product endorsement contracts. Sports gents also know a lot of people in the sports industry and can hook you up with other players and people who can help you get a career boost, not to mention insider tips and advice.
This is why you, as a person who cherishes sports mastery as a vocation, should be careful in choosing your agent. It is best to find someone who is already a good friend and has your best interests in mind.
According to Runpro.com, a site for professional runners, there are ‘three C’s’ that you have to consider before getting someone to represent you:
- Convenience. Having an agent take care of the details is easier than doing it yourself. Getting sponsors or gaining entry into meets can be difficult and stressful. Depending on your personality, an agent may be essential, allowing you to focus on training so you don’t have to sweat over making travel arrangements or negotiating a shoe deal.
- Contacts. Agents have contacts with shoe companies and meet directors that most athletes do not. Your agent should be able to connect you with the necessary people and companies in the sport. Similarly, an agent can make you appear more professional to both meet directors and potential sponsors. Potential sponsors see you as more serious thus increasing their confidence that their investment in you is secure. Your agent should work hard in an attempt to secure a shoe deal or other endorsement deal. In addition to getting you into meets, this is an agent’s primary responsibility.
- Cost. The cost of an agent can be significant but an agent can be a worthwhile investment for many professional runners. Typically, an agent will require a commission to be paid on any money earned including: (a) product endorsement contract, (b) meeting or event appearance fees; and (c) prize money. Additionally, it is typical for an agent to charge a large commission on any and all endorsement contracts outside of your primary endorsement deal. An athlete’s agreement with an agent – including the percentages – can be negotiated, but most athletes have little bargaining power because the average professional athlete does not necessarily generate a huge amount of revenue.
Of course, when you have already created a reputation for yourself, that you can already promote your own brand (i.e. celebrity athlete), you can renegotiate your contracts because you already have the public image to back up your sports prowess. But until that happens, a good agent is someone who might make the journey easier for you.
In selecting an agent, according to NFL center Tyler Horn (ThePlayersTribune.com), you also have to consider these factors:
- Is this person someone you can trust? Does this person have your best interests in mind? You have to be constantly assured that your agent is out there, doing the nitty-gritty work for you, without you needing to remind him or her every time. They should know their job well. Good agents don’t wait for you to pester them to get the job done on your behalf. Trust is of utmost importance especially when money and sourcing funds is involved. Do not make the mistake of relying on money to build trust. An agent should guide you in the contracts you sign, and know which deals you should refuse before it turns into career disaster. They would know if some entity is just taking advantage of you. This doesn’t mean you should hire a close family as your agent, because it can compromise the integrity and professionalism of your career. You need someone who can give you objective, unbiased but constructive advice.
- Is this agent honest? You need a person who will give you the facts straight, and not be wishy-washy with decisions. Your agent should be able to give you an honest appraisal of you what you need to improve on, and they should also be honest on where they fail or come short in things like negotiating deals for you. Never hire agents who are secretive, over-eager, and can’t give you a straightforward answer. You can get exploited and not know it. They should be able to tell you if you’re not doing great in your craft, so that you can both work to find room for improvement.
- Does this agent have a good reputation? An agent’s poor reputation and bad performance in the past can reflect on you. A great agent can do wonders for your career and give you the publicity boost you need with the least effort. This is why it is important to ask around first and interview this agent’s former clients before hiring them. Check their media reputation as well. An agent known for their questionable behaviour in public rather than their negotiation and management skills might not be the best for you.
- Is this agent accessible at the most crucial times? Trust is not enough, you also need to be assured that your agent is reliable when you need them the most. You should watch out when an agent is known to suddenly disappear on their clients, because that can happen to you. Great agents do not leave you in the dark, and should be able to help you move to the next step of your career. You should be able to know where your agent is when you need them the most.
- Does this agent believe that you matter? While this may not be applicable anymore to successful, big-name athletes, your agent should believe in you and have faith in your capabilities. They will want you to be successful. They will never do anything that will discourage you or pull you down. A proper agent should be willing to work hard to get you where you need to be, and own your success as theirs. This is why you might want to avoid agencies that are ‘glorified puppy mills’, taking in too many athletes and playing all of you like game cards, watching to see who will win and earn them profits. Your agent should treat you like a person and not just one of their ‘stable animals’.
Jason Belzer, sports lawyer and Forbes sports industry analyst, advises that “[Contract] negotiations are complex. The highest percentage of an athlete’s lifetime income comes from their earnings on the field or court; thus, their contract negotiations are a game of extraordinarily high-stakes. Professional sports teams negotiate formulaically, they consider: the player’s age, injury history, personal history, statistical trends, and position-specific wear-and-tear. Sports agents argue by comparing similarly-traited players with high salaries. The contracts of different positions are drastically different; each position’s salary demands a high degree of industry specific knowledge and the arguments to be used against assertions made by the team’s negotiators. Agents are experienced in these types of negotiations..”
On the Philippine context, one way to learn about agent dealings is to read up on longtime boxer Manny Pacquiao’s career from a business standpoint. His missteps in the past should be a case study on what happens if you choose the wrong people. There are a lot of sports scandals in the past that athletes aspiring for professional careers should learn from.
It all comes down to having the right person to help you. Learning from the past mistake of other professional athletes can help save you the headache and heartache when you have to deal with the complications and contract fine print. This is also why athletes should not just be all brawn but no brains. As one trains their bodies, so should they train their minds to be literate, well-informed, and discrete in the business relationships they build in the sports industry.
By Rene Concepcion
There are very few brands of blue jeans that fit great from the get-go. Some recommend multiple turns on the washing machine before wearing, so that the jeans get the soft, worn-for-years feel that everybody loves about their favorite pair. Some designers have incorporated the distressed-look already, with the holes and tears in designated spots. But nothing works quite like wearing a pair all the time for a long, long time. They become part of you, and like Indiana Jones’ hat and leather jacket, they might even symbolize you.
If you think you’ve stumbled into the wrong section, expecting to read about sports, fear not, you are not in a retail store advertorial. You are still going to get insights about Steph and LeBron; Serena and Roger. First names that don’t need surnames because they’ve become so familiar to us. Their lives have been written about, viewed by millions on YouTube and TV; some have had both documentaries and Hollywood films made about them, and their faces are all over the place (your phone, billboards, and even cereal boxes) that losing them from our consciousness is like having to buy a new pair of jeans. How can anyone replace an Ali or a Jordan? Is it possible to have another PacMan?
So here comes a global sports marketing machinery that will want to do just that: discover, create, hype, and nurture the next sports superstar, recognized in any type of community, just like anyone knows what a small white “f” with a blue background means, or simply when you say the word swoosh. One billion followers: a marketing director’s ultimate nocturnal emission. Even if each tweet or the highest trending hashtag earned a fraction of a fraction of a penny each, that’s still pretty good bank. Besides, these stars are practically trending daily, even if within their own sport or community, if not yet globally.
Learn from using your favorite jeans. Allow it the time to become comfortable, to have the right color and the appropriate contours especially when you’ve added a little weight. There is no way to manufacture that, just like you cannot find another lanky Jamaican who can run faster than anyone in the world, have the most appropriate last name, and despite the cocky personality, is endearing because of it. You think you can make the next track star point up to sky without it feeling fake?
All products have their unique qualities. Getting that across to customers is really the trick. Sports superstars make it easier though. The talent is out of this world. No one else can be an Olympian at 15 years old, win six gold four years later, then eight, then add another four, and hoping for more next year in Rio. Selling him is a no-brainer, even if the back-down-to-earth human side occurs between Olympiads. In fact, this mortality makes us like them more. Some favorite jeans have paint stains, and this blemish is an automatic, albeit accidental, fashion statement.
Sports that have no major personalities will have a tougher time convincing sponsors that their game is as captivating as the Super Bowl. Niche markets are satisfactory, and most of the time, the bean counters are happy even if there are only two beans remaining. Two beans are better than none. We all get swept away by potential fairy tales, however. We hope the two beans skyrocket into a magical beanstalk with gold raining down. What are the chances that a ping pong powerhouse player will be a household name? The chances are better if you trade your last remaining cow for magic beans.
Should sports marketing teams even bother for Kobe Bryant-level stardom if the MVP is in the WNBA? A male golfer has said to this author that he doesn’t watch the LPGA. Anything under Division I in the NCAA would be lucky to find live coverage for a championship game. Even some Division I sports are airtime fillers on sleepy, past-midnight weekdays 100 clicks of the channel remote away from the networks. That’s reality TV. You’d think lingerie football would be the next big thing, but it is not.
Would you wear your favorite torn blue jeans to a wedding with a specific, requested formal dress code? Probably not. Some of our brightest stars couldn’t play professionally in other sports. Some attempt to become actors or broadcasters to remain relevant in the spotlight, but they fail. There are very, very few who can transcend their playing years and become even more renowned. Us fans, sports agents, and the athletes themselves should dial down our expectations every time we see someone we think could be the next big thing.
The next big thing lands on us, like a gift from God. The talent, the hard work, the right coach, the right fans, the right competition brings out the best in them in a destined time. All these things have to come together naturally. One element missing, and there is no product. Washing your brand new jeans because the instructions says so, to get the right fit, doesn’t fit. Wear it, enjoy it, wash it, wear it again and again. Sports is the same thing, the drama comes naturally. No amount of marketing will make the next Thrilla in Manila unless we’ve lived with boxing from the beginning.
RENE CONCEPCION a.k.a. Coach Guy has had sports-related experiences for over 30 years, first as a National Swimmer and Olympian, then as National Coach and up till today as a sports event organizer for swimming and triathlon. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where he was a four-year varsity swimmer in the perennially top-ranked swimming team. Later, he earned a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the Columbia University in New York. He was a faculty member at the De La Salle University for over a decade, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses, mainly in sports management and arts management. An accomplished speaker and lecturer in Asia, Europe and the United States, Guy is also a father of two boys and is married to a super triathlete, the former Ms. Tricia Chiongbian. He is a blogger at Coach Guy Concepcion.
By Josephine Joy B. Reyes, MPE
Most sports are striving to find ways of identifying talent more effectively. Consequently, many children also strive to attain excellence in sport. Apparently, the question is, are these children exposed to the right sport?
Several models and approaches have been used to effectively identify a talent. Australia and the United Kingdom have acknowledged the early participation of adolescents in the screening process and benchmarks have been set on physical and physiological characteristics. As testing and screening continues, an athlete who manifests increased potential in a specific sport is honed by allowing the individual to participate in a talent development program, which sees an interplay of quality coaching, training, nutrition and even education.
To date, our training pool still consists of players who were either chosen by a coach or asked to train because of competition ranking. Incidentally, most countries purely rely on competition structure to identify talent in particular sport. However, is this wide range of exposure enough to identify a talent? As discussed from the preceding article, Talent Identification (TID) is the process of recognizing current participants with the potential to excel in a particular sport. The general idea is to objectively measure the performance capacities, taking into account the child’s current level of fitness, maturity and training history. This is totally meaningless without good sports programs to support the whole process.
Following the mass screening, top-performing individuals will be selected based on the results of tested parameters, which is mainly referred to as Talent Selection (TS). These group of talents will be undergoing a series of tests, different from the battery of tests conducted in TID, where the main qualities required for a particular sport will be evaluated. Generally, the test selection is more specific. In essence, the scientific approach of identifying talent involves a series of rigorous assessments and filters to detect individuals that have ‘higher probability’ for podium success.
Finally, succeeding TID and TS is Talent Development (TD). The ‘raw talents’ must be provided with adequate infrastructure to enable them to develop their full potential. The making of the future is, indeed, challenging. This includes the provision of appropriate coaching, training, and competition programs along with the access to facilities and equipment. Principally, science- based support systems (e.g. psychological analysis, strength and physical conditioning, along with computer-based match and performance analysis) are now fundamental to the preparation of future elite athletes. Furthermore, TD is all about providing the most suitable learning environment to realize the potential of these talents as it plays a crucial role in the pursuit of excellence.
Developing sporting pathways is the function and key responsibility of the governing body of the sport, may it be in the local or national level. In the same manner, player pathways should be designed so that they will enjoy life-long recreational involvement in such sport and to develop those with talent. Previous involvement in a sport is NOT a prerequisite for identification. Moreover, it occurs when a child has not yet engaged in any competitive sport but has displayed attributes showing athletic potential while playing recreationally. Therefore, children have to try lots of sports in the ‘sampling’ years – 7 to 11.
JOSEPHINE JOY B. REYES is presently a faculty of the Sports Science Department of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas. Concurrently, she holds a consultancy position as Head of the Sports Physiology Unit of the Sports Science Center of the Philippine Sports Commission.
By Erick Fabian, Jr.
There is this misconception that you need to be a superstar athlete to be sponsored. Another one is that a sports event has to be of a massive scale to attract sponsors. What all athletes and events organizers need to know is that every sponsor, whether a company or an individual, are looking for different things from those that they will support.
While it usually entails commerce-related benefits, not all sponsors are looking for cheap advertising, and not all of them are into using athletes as walking billboards. That is not to say that marketing-oriented motives do not exist, and in fact are pervasive in many popular athletic sponsorships, but there are exceptions. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of getting sponsored, and whether it will be beneficial to your sports career in the long run.
Decent corporate entities and businesses are also willing to sponsor a sportsperson for reasons like public goodwill, visibility, social responsibility and civic efforts, and in promoting certain interests related to the product or service that they are offering.
Having said that, sports sponsorship does not grow on trees. Your corporate sponsor has to have a clear idea of the benefits they will gain when they sponsor you or your event. As the sponsoree, you need to know what kind of support you can receive from your sponsor based on your specific needs.
The following are pointers that can help you on your way to creating a mutually beneficial partnership with your sponsor:
- Make sure that you or your event have gained enough supporters before you consider approaching potential sponsors in order to convince them that it is worth their time and resources.
- Remember: sponsorship is a two-way relationship, and self-entitlement is a big no-no in courting potential sponsors. Learn what the sponsoring company is looking for in athletes, and be clear in stating what you need from them. This is in order to avoid miscommunication and help set realistic expectations on both sides.
- Speaking of entitlement, humility is a virtue, especially when you still haven’t had sponsorships in the past. You may be the fastest gun in the West, but a superstar attitude can rub off negatively and make you lose sponsors in the future.
- Always research on a sponsoring entity’s track record as a sponsor and supporter of athletics. A simple survey of veteran athletes can help you in determining the best sponsor suited to your needs. It doesn’t hurt to ask for advice from those who were ahead of you.
- Know your audience of supporters, fans, and spectators. The sponsoring company’s marketing executives will definitely want to know who they are reaching out to. if it’s a family-oriented sporting event, then it’s best to partner up with companies that reach out to the family demographic. If it’s youth-oriented similar to the X – Games or Vans Warped Tour, you need to scout for companies that present themselves as edgy, fast-paced, and dynamic.
- Take note: one of the best ways to convince your sponsor that you are worth supporting as an athlete is to show that you can engage your audience. After all, athletics also includes performance and showmanship. Make your audience relate to what you are doing. Show them how passionate you are with your craft. It will be hard to convince anyone to support you if they can see that people find you boring to watch. If you are an event organizer, you have to convince your sponsor that your events have community rapport.
- Learn to write decent sponsorship request letters that show your professionalism and will convince your potential sponsor to take you seriously. The UK athletic site OXSPA suggests the following:Make it short and to the point. If possible, enclose a proposal/executive summary with more details. Key points to remember:
- Personalise the letter to the individual. Never write “Dear Sir/Madam”
- Include a brief introduction about what you are writing about
- Don’t waffle (be evasive or vague). List key points that will attract the recipients attention
- Enclose information: a proposal and a business card
- If applicable, why not include a formal invitation for them to come and watch/meet you the next time you are competing in the area
- Above all, remember to BE CREATIVE, as first impressions count. Remember that the recipient may receive countless similar requests, so anything you can do to make your approach stand out will give you a better chance (using colour, images etc.).
For a sample sponsorship letter with a downloadable template that you can use right away, click here.
- Have a good story. In other words, it is worth asking yourself: Who am I? Why should this company sponsor me? This means that you have to present the best parts of who you are as a person, where you came from, and what you are doing to better yourself as an athlete. This does not mean exaggerating or over-dramatizing your personal story, but showing the parts of yourself that the public will resonate with. Whether it’s your relationship with your teammates, or the hard work and perseverance that you went through to become a good athlete, a good story can be a factor in getting sponsorship deals. The people behind corporate sponsorship are still human beings who will respond to a human interest story. If it resonates with them, it will have similar effects with the audience that they will market to, and it will make their work easier.
- Before you finally seek for sponsors, start your foundation by building a good portfolio. This includes photo and video footage of your athletic performances, clippings of news and media coverage with you in it, and positive reviews from sports writers and commentators. This is why social media is very useful for athletes and organizers: you can make quick documentation of your sporting activities and later use the accumulated data as part of your portfolio. A very short video presentation of your achievements, together with a sincere letter of request, can increase your chances of being sponsored.
- Don’t put your eggs in one basket. Read your contracts several times; consult a lawyer if necessary, and beware of the fine print, as they say. It pays to know what you are getting into, because there is such as thing as exclusive contracts. Keep your options open, and have a very long list of companies and persons as potential sponsorship candidates. If you can create a simple database of potential sponsors, the better for you and your career.
Best of luck!
By Dr. PHILIP ELLA JUICO and DINA BERNARDO, De La Salle University
AB Sports Studies has become the default course offering of De La Salle University (DLSU) for most of its varsity athletes. Since January 2014, however, former professors of Sport and Recreation Management at the DLSU Masters Degree Program (such as the authors of this article) have been assigned to teach what is known as SPOMAN or Sport Management in the undergraduate level.
Once athletes reach the end of their competitive shelf life, they must make the difficult transition to “normal” life, and hopefully towards a career that will be economically viable. Unfortunately, many athletes, whether in the collegiate or the elite levels are not provided enough education, if at all, that will ascertain their future employability. In the near future, SPOMAN aims to make such move much easier for retiring athletes, or perhaps make sport management a wise career path for graduates.
The discipline of sport management is a recent innovation of the late ‘60s, developed by Physical Education (P.E.) professors, who recognized the need to equip athletic directors and sports administrators with management and organization skills. (Ref: An Encounter with Management in Physical Activity Education and Sport By: Earle F. Zeigler)
The Sporting Situation Here and Southeast Asia
Today, sport businesses impact at least 55 industry sectors, such as in tourism, health and wellness, marketing and manufacturing, to name a few. In some countries, the sport industry is estimated to contribute as much as 2% to the GDP. In Philippine parlance, this figure could be as much as $5 Billion for the economy.
In Asia and Southeast Asia, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia already offer full-on sport management courses from the undergraduate up to the Ph.D. level. In Singapore, at least one university offers a hybrid sport science and sport management course – thereby increasing the employability (even overseas) of their graduates in either discipline, and with the benefit of being versed in both.
In the Philippines, there are a spatter of schools that offer sport and recreation management – National University (N.U.), being one of them, and DLSU for a time at the graduate level. CHED, through Memorandum Order No. 23 series 2011, otherwise known as Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Bachelor of Physical Education Major in School P.E. and Major in Sports and Wellness Management, has recognized this development and thus prescribed enhanced P.E. curricula to ensure the rigor required of sport career track-ers, at least, in the realm of school sports and wellness. The said CMO is already enforceable.
CHED has identified the following career opportunities for the prescribed courses:
- Corporate Human Resource Development Officers
- Corporate Wellness trainers, Supervisors and Managers
- Events / tournament coordinators and directors
- Fitness and wellness managers
- Recreation directors / Gym Managers
- School, District, Division and Regional Coordinators in P.E. and Sports Programs
- Sports and Wellness facilities Managers / Sports complex administrators
- Sports Tourism Officers
- Teacher / Instructor of P.E. / Sport Coaches
Recognizing SPOMAN as a Necessity in the Industry
Albeit the absence of DTI data as regards the actual size of the Philippine sport industry, it is nonetheless evident that sport management is ubiquitous and a relevant discipline – especially in a country that is wanting of professional and proficient leaders of sport development.
All necessary revisions and improvements in the school curriculum and atmosphere considered, SPOMAN should soon be able to equip AB Sports Studies students with the rigor needed today.
Sport is a burgeoning industry – and its social contribution towards national competitiveness and resilience cannot be disregarded. Therefore, it is opportune for DLSU to be at the forefront in pioneering the study and professionalization of sport management in the country.
The Executive Master in European Sport Governance: A Winning Model for Educating Sport Leaders for Tomorrow?
by Michael Pedersen, originally published on www.iSportConnect.com
As is the case for any other sector, continuously educating operational and political sport leaders is a critical foundation for ensuring that sport governing bodies are well managed and well led. Furthermore, educating sport leaders in the area of sport governance is particularly critical in ensuring that sport governing bodies become fit for purpose in the 21st century.
With a focus on the case of the Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO), this 16th contribution of mine for iSportconnect’s expert column on sport governance offers perspectives on governance education for sport leaders. Based on publicly available information and an interview with key persons in the MESGO organization, the contribution examines aspects such as how to define sport governance and how to govern an educational programme. Last but not least, the contribution also offers some critical questions for sport leaders to consider, as they start the process of modernizing their governance standards for the future.
My 17th contribution will be published early 2015. It is going to offer perspectives on national frameworks for good governance in sport with a particular focus on the Sports Governance Principles of the Australian Sports Commission.
The Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) is an 18-month, post-graduate, part-time masters programme. It aims at improving governance in sport by bringing together and educating a diverse group of sport leaders with substantial experience from across European countries, sports and functional specialties.
MESGO stands out in several noteworthy ways. First of all, the Executive Master is developed and managed in collaboration between European sport governing bodies overseeing different sports and universities based in different European countries. Second, it draws on a mix of several academic disciplines; political science, management, economy and law. Third, the programme offers engagement with and teaching by a mix of academics and practitioners. Last not least, it offers high levels of analysis and tools for participants to apply to their own contexts.
A holistic approach
The Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) is comprised of nine four-day sessions. The sessions take place in different countries over the course of eighteen months, with a sport governing body or a university as the host. The sessions offer a mix of opportunities for acquiring factual knowledge and critical thinking; through pre-readings, lectures, case studies, role-plays, discussions and writing a professional thesis. Aspects of sport governance covered are as follows:
Session 1: Context of International Sport
Session 2: Governance of Sports Organisations
Session 3: Competition Design and Regulation
Session 4: Legal Frameworks
Session 5: Strategic Marketing
Session 6: Sports Events
Session 7: Ethics
Session 8: The North American Model
Session 9: The Future of Sport Governance
Participation from across sports and countries
The Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) offers quite some diversity in terms of the composition of its classes. Out of 23 participants, the MESGO III Class has 20 nationalities represented who work in 19 different countries, including with European and international sport governing bodies. The average age of participants is 41 years with the youngest participant being 29 years old and the oldest participant being 50 years old. Six different sports are represented with 14 participants coming from football. Two participants are women. All participants have operational leadership roles (professional staff) as opposed to political leadership roles (board members).
To some extent, sport leaders having graduated from MESGO have now started moving into higher positions in their own organizations or in other sport governing bodies.
The Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) comprises a partnership between academic partners and sport partners. Academic partners comprise Birkbeck Sports Business Centre at University of London (United Kingdom), Centre de Droit et d’Économie du Sport at University of Limoges (France), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany), Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya at University of LLeida (Spain) and Sciences Po (France). Sport partners comprise European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), European Handball Federation (EHF), International Basketball Federation – Division Europe (FIBA Europe), Rugby Europe, International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
The Executive Master is governed by two committees; a Management Committee and a Scientific Committee. The Management Committee oversees MESGO as such and is comprised of representatives from all academic partners and sport partners. The Scientific Committee oversees the curriculum and selection and assessment of candidates. It is comprised of academic partners only. The Centre de Droit et d’Économie du Sport at University of Limoges (France) manages the MESGO coordination with all partners. Sciences Po (Paris) hosts a MESGO Secretariat.
MESGO is funded partly through contributions by its sport partners and partly through a participant fee (EUR 16,600 per participant, excl. travel and accommodation for the nine sessions).
Next class to start in 2016
The current MESGO III Class started in September 2014 and will conclude in April 2016. Applications for the MESGO IV Class will be accepted as of January 2016 with the Class starting in September 2016.
Applicants must have at least five years of experience, mainly in sport, an academic diploma and a good command of English. Two different academic partners review all applications independently. 40 candidates are shortlisted for interviews. In selecting the candidates, MESGO strives to ensure high levels of diversity in terms of sports and countries represented in a class.
MESGO is also organizing various opportunities for its alumni to stay connected after graduating.
Critical questions for sport leaders to consider
The leadership of MESGO offers a lot of insights and inspiration regarding what it takes to educate sport leaders for tomorrow. Critical questions for sport leaders to consider, as they start modernizing governance standards for the future, include:
– What is the role of education in ensuring good governance in sport?
– To what extent should governance education be focused on teaching sport leaders what good governance looks like, and to what extent should it be focused on teaching sport leaders how to motivate and drive behavioural change among their peers?
– How broadly or narrowly should governance teaching be scoped, in terms of areas to cover and in terms of the depth of the various areas covered? – Which are the similarities and differences between good governance in sport and good management practices in sport?
– Who should pay for governance education of sport leaders? – To what extent should sport leaders pay themselves and to what extent should their sport governing bodies pay?
– How do you best ensure that both operational leadership (professional staff) and political leadership (board members) undergo continued governance education?
– How can an educational institution best showcase a model case of good governance in the way that it governs educational programmes? – What should transparency and accountability look like? – Which are the potential conflicts of interest to be addressed and accounted for?
A special appreciation
I would like to appreciate the kind support of MESGO in providing perspectives and information for this contribution, particularly Ms Julie Trošić, MESGO Manager at the Centre de Droit et d’Économie du Sport (CDES) and Mr Didier Primault, Executive Director of the CDES and member of the MESGO Scientific Committee.
Michael Pedersen is an internationally recognized expert and leader in good governance, transparency, ethics and integrity. As Founder of M INC., he is a Change Agent, an Integrity Coach and a Street Volunteer. He was the Head of World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, an international good governance partnership with over 175 multinational companies and their CEOs. He holds three MSc degrees; an MSc in Global Leadership; an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice; and an MSc in International Relations.
Michael also publishes a leadership series on good governance in sport that is available for free download at: http://minc.ch/sport-practice.html
By Dr. Charlie L. Ho
Simply put, Sports Vision is a branch of optometry that deals with vision care services provided to athletes, including the examination of an athlete’s ocular health, correction, protection, management of eye injuries, and sports vision training to enhance performance.
The United States was the first to form an entity through the establishment of the Sports Vision Section of the American Optometric Association (AOA) in 1978. The section has been active in interprofessional relations with other organizations such as the US Olympic Committee, Special Olympics, Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics, American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Other countries with sports vision are Canada, United Kingdom, Italy and Australia.
In the Philippines, the Sports Vision Institute of the Philippines (SVIP) brought the training technology into the country in 1996 and is considered the pioneer of sports vision practice in Southeast Asia. The first entity to offer “head training” for athletes, it has worked with numerous professional basketball teams, referees, amateur, professional and national athletes. Here, we break down the sports vision service into several stages:
- Ocular health examination
A comprehensive eye examination is performed on the athlete to determine various conditions, including refractive status of the eye, binocular vision function – responsible for depth perception, contrast sensitivity function of the retina, and the ability of the eye to maintain fixation and focus on the target, among others. Defects in the eye and visual system that affect specific tasks of the athlete are detected and managed as well.
- Correction / Vision Therapy
During this stage, practitioners provide expert consultation services to athletes regarding vision correction and the potential uses and benefits of ophthalmic products, as well as advise athletes on the advantages and disadvantages of spectacles, protective eyewear, contact lenses and refractive surgery. Athletes having difficulty with proper function of vision can always opt for vision therapy to strengthen the binocular vision system, reduce myopia, as well as retard or delay presbyopia by using a neuro-vision stimulator, commercially known as EyeRelax. (Tip: EyeRelax may also be used to relax the eye and warm up the brain just before a game.)
- Sports Vision Testing Assessment
Vision care for athletes should begin with the identification of visual factors that potentially contribute to peak human performance so that these specific functions can be isolated and measured, if possible. A task analysis process is made to enable the practitioner to provide appropriate vision care for athletes in any sport or position. Once visual factors essential to performance are identified, an evaluation is created to measure the quality of those skills in the appropriate, accurate and repeatable manner. Skills, such as reaction time, visual memory, speed of recognition, eye-hand coordination, eye-foot-body balance and reaction time, and peripheral reaction time are measured to obtain baseline data of athlete’s skills and to spot his/her strong and weak areas. This will enable the doctor to design skills and sport-specific training programs for individual athletes, in partnership with team coaches and trainers.
- Protection, Contrast Vision
The risk of sustaining an eye injury in sports is high especially in dynamic and contact sports. Sports vision practitioners educate athletes on how to prevent sports-related eye injuries, delivery of immediate first-aid management if an eye injury occurs and referral to appropriate specialist, if necessary. For instance, an eyewear with the right lens tints for better discrimination of details in various lighting conditions is advised to be valuable for golfers, shooters and outdoor sports enthusiasts.
- Enhancement of Visual Skills in Sports
Visual performance enhancement training has similar goals of transferring improvements in function to athletic performance as do other areas of performance training, such as strength training, conditioning, speed and agility training, nutritional regimens, and sports psychology. SVIP uses several training procedures and exercises to improve visual skills of athletes. Several areas in the visual performance enhancement for sports are:
- Remediation of vision inefficiencies that may have negative impact on performance consistency;
- Enhancement of visual skills critical to optimal sports task performance;
- Enhancement of visual information processing skills to facilitate rapid utilization of critical visual information;
- Enhancement of visuo-motor proficiency;
- Enhancement of cognitive functions that is critical for visual decision-making during competition.
Visuo-motor Skills Training. Visual skills required for each sport are identified, analysed and enhanced, such as dynamic vision, eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination (footwork), visual concentration, reaction time, and visual memory, among others. Some of the training methods may be performed in school, the gym or even at home.
- Sports-specific Precision Training
Sport-specific training methods are also designed to teach athletes how to use their vision for better precision. Targets and devices are used and installed to help athletes direct motor outputs combined with other skills.
- Cross Training
Specific skills such as ambidexterity, focus, balance, footwork, et al, may be developed from training methods used in other sports.
- Sensory Integration
Incorporating additional sensory demands while performing these visual sensitivity training procedures is essential to match ergonomic demand encountered in the sport situation more closelyand build automaticity of the visual response. The difficulty level may be varied to increase the stress experienced by the athlete while using these skills.
SVIP: For High(er)-Performing Athletes
Sports Vision Institute of the Philippines (SVIP) provides coaches, athletes, trainers, and parents with more than 50 sports vision training exercises and activities. Based on proven training techniques shown to deliver solid results, the exercises are sport-specific and easy to use at home, on the field, orin the weight room. In the past, sports vision training has been done primarily in clinical settings. Today, SVIP takes sports vision out of the lab and onto the field, school, sport by sport. It challenges the athlete to reach the next level of performance.
By Naira S. Orbeta
Last ten seconds of the game. Crowd is wild. Coach is screaming. The other team is a point ahead. Ball is in motion and it lands in your hands. You are in your sweet spot – in practice 4 paces away from the basket, you never miss. This is it! Your heart skips a beat, your hands feel sweaty. You jump and launch the ball in the air. Then…
In waking moments, in dreams and in sleep – you replay that moment again and again in your head. Would it be a memory to treasure and savor or something you wish you could erase and do over?
This scenario in many forms and in different sports plays itself out repeatedly. Will the athlete keep his composure and mental toughness until the end? Will he choke and falter? Will he be celebrated as the man of the match or be remembered as the one who lost the game? Whatever the case, imagine being the person in this situation. Think about how much pressure and stress happens when winning and losing is on the line. While many may scoff that sports is a game, it has proven to be a very lucrative and influential industry, taking attention from not just fans, but corporate sponsors and politicians as well. It has made millionaires of the likes of Manny Pacquiao and has made 17-year-old Michael Christian Martinez – a skater from our tropical country, an instant sensation. It has spawned businesses, such as sports drinks, clothing gear, and shoes, and popularized disciplines, such as Sports Medicine and the Sports Sciences. In other words, the sports industry is BIG, and what goes on in the minds of the parties involved, especially the athletes’ becomes as important as their physical health. This is why a field called Sport Psychology emerged as an area worth examining.
A simple way to define Sport Psychology is that it utilizes psychological principles to the specialized field of sport. If you even vaguely recall Psych 101 from your school days or watched any popular psychological suspense movies, you will know that psychology is interested in why people behave the way they do. Now, add sports to that mix.
In her book Coaching for the Inner Edge (2005), Dr. Robin Vealey defined it as the study of how individuals think, act, and feel when participating in sport. It targets everyone involved – from athletes, coaches, sports enthusiasts, administrators, managers and allied professionals to the parents and supporters of athletes. You can be as elite as Efren “Bata” Reyes and Paeng Nepumoceno or a relative unknown toiling away in a Muay Thai gym – and still be a client of Sport Psychology.
Why is it important? Because while sport is thought of as a physical endeavor, people are not robots. They bring everything with them to practice and competition. If they fought with their coach or failed in a test; if they are distracted by the sights and sounds of the arena; if they are in a good mood or foul mood – all that may affect sport expression. So the general idea is to train EVERYTHING. Don’t just condition the body and learn the physical skills. Condition the cognitive (mind) and the emotional (feelings) and learn psychological skills. Pay attention to the social aspect – the relationships of the athlete on and off the court, so that it helps rather than hinders performance. Consider the spiritual-moral dimension: what are the player’s beliefs and values about sport and life? Will this aid his over-all wellbeing?
This brings us to the goals of Sport Psychology. The most obvious is how to really enhance performance – honing skills, reaching higher levels, winning over losing. However, every Sport Psychologist worth his or her salt always incorporates the idea of holistic wellness, growth and development in all life areas. We want athletes to become productive and fulfilled individuals capable of dealing with both challenges and successes. To this end, we talk to them alone or with a group. We try to create profiles and gather information, so as better to serve our clients. We provide support and counseling. We observe and monitor during practice and games. We are there when they cry and when they celebrate.
All this must be done with the express consent of important people surrounding the athlete. If it is a kid, parents or guardians must be part of the consultative process. When a student-athlete is involved, coaches and school management must allow access and a clear agreement before we intrude. If an injured player comes to see us, we apply an inter-disciplinary approach with their doctors and physical therapists.
This, in a nutshell, is what lay people should know about the discipline. The truth of the matter is that anyone can benefit from the principles and practices of Sport Psychology. It’s time that it is recognized as a vital aspect that will help better the industry.
NOTE: In case you see the term “Sport and Exercise Psychology” in books, this is due to the fact that Division 47 in the American Psychological Association (APA) combines them (Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/about/division/div47.aspx). The area of Exercise incorporates aspects of physical activity for all age groups – the youth to the elderly. It is, likewise, a specialized field and an interesting area for research and practice.