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Unique challenges of sports business travel management

GBTA completes 2nd Annual Sports Symposium

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Sports Symposium 2012 helped attendees understand the  importance of efficient travel as it relates to team performance and budgets. At the 2nd annual GBTA Sports Symposium, attendees also learned lessons from athletes, business leaders, and industry experts on what it takes to be successful in sports, business and daily life. Held June 5–6, 2012 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, Phoenix AZ., this event focused on the unique challenges faced by professional and amateur organizations, athletic directors, travel managers, trainers, coaches, and administrators and the needs of the sports business travel sector.  Sports business travel is a distinct segment of travel management and represents a significant impact on the business travel industry.

Joe Theismann, NFL Network’s “Playbook” co-host, entrepreneur and championship quarterback for the Washington Redskins, kicked off the Opening Session on June 5th with a motivating speech on the importance of adaptability, focus and strength on the field and in the board room. He asked the audience, “Are you making someone better at what they do?”

Believing that success lies within, Theismann shared how the lessons he learned on the football field have helped him succeed in the business world. He said, “Football is a game of constant changing direction – isn’t that life – isn’t what you’re doing in your business and isn’t that life – change is something we need to deal with – in personal, business and athletics.” Focusing on managing under pressure and adapting quickly to the unexpected, he explained how keeping a positive mental outlook and committing to a vision can guide professionals and players to the top.

Tuesday’s general lunch session included Trip Davis, Co-Founder and Chairman, TRX, President, Darden School Foundation, University of Virginia who moderated the panel discussion, “Sports Business Travel Leadership: Managing in Changing Times,” which addressed balancing a university’s initiatives with corporate leadership and travel programs. Panelists included Dorothy Dowling, Senior Vice President, Sales, Best Western International; Ed Goble, Executive Sr. Associate Athletics Director, University of Texas at Austin; Mike Nealy, President and Chief Operating Officer, Phoenix Coyotes.

Other participants during the event included several figures from the sports industry including speakers from USA Gymnastics, Major League Baseball, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and the NFL Players Association.

The event concluded on Wednesday with a closing general session, “Peak Performance in Sports and Beyond – Understanding the Mental Health of Athletes,” discussed the importance of managing anxiety with featured speaker Scott Goldman, Ph.D., Director of Clinical and Sport Psychology for the University of Arizona.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.