• Youth tournament production
The world of youth sports tournaments continues to grow and change. Events of all kinds dot the Midwest providing teams from across the world fun, safe experiences and challenging competition. In most cases, it also takes an army of planners, volunteers, and parents to pull together some great community tournaments. For larger events, organizations like Midwest Sports Productions (MSP) take tournament production to another level.
Midwest Sports Productions specializes in youth tournament production and is the world’s largest fastpitch and baseball event company. Their top yearly events include team favorites such as the Hawaiian Hitfest, Monster Bash, and Cowtown Showdown with their largest event being the USSSA Midwest National Championships. To understand a bit about their planning methods, we spoke with Alexa DiSpirito, Director of Communications:
Midwest Meetings: Tell us about your 2018 USSSA Midwest National Championships.
MM: When producing this event each year, how are locations selected?
AD: They’re mainly based on our relationships with local Convention and Visitors Bureaus. They’re also based on tourist destinations. Bentonville, AR; Branson, MO; Kansas City, MO; and Topeka, KS are all tourist destinations with a lot of opportunity for extra activities off the field.
MM: How do you stay organized?
AD: We have MANY all-staff meetings leading up to the events to plan and organize as well as divide up tasks to drive to completion. We essentially divide ourselves into teams to handle specific tasks of each event. We also use a file sharing platform to house all of our documents that are directly editable by all staff. Setting deadlines is CRUCIAL. It also helps that after running these events for so long, we’ve basically created “how-to” guides to follow and build off of every year.
MM: How do you acquire event volunteers?
AD: We typically use people who work part-time for us during the season, or we staff from our full-time staff internally. A couple locations, specifically Bentonville, will take care of their own staffing within the city.
MM: What tips do you have for other youth sports planners?
AD: Connections and relationships with surrounding cities are essential to pulling off events of this magnitude. We certainly would not be able to do what we do without their support.
When creating your own tournaments build your planning team, set deadlines, and create your own “how-to” guides for future use, and make sure to use your community and surrounding area resources to build the best event for your youth participants and the fans that follow.