Sponsors & Media
U.S. Soccer has announced that
Hi-sense USA will become its official TV
and appliance manufacturer.
UFC has announced that AirAsia will
serve as its official airline for Asia and
Australia. Under the deal, AirAsia is
the mixed martial arts organization’s
first official airline sponsor.
The Pac- 12 has extended its partnership with New York Life insurance
company, a relationship that began
during the 2014–2015 season. New
York Life will continue as the official
presenting sponsor of the Pac- 12 Men’s
and Women’s Basketball Tournaments,
as well as an official sponsor of Pac- 12
Olympic sport championship events.
The Women’s Sports Foundation has
announced that Chevrolet will serve as
a WSF national partner and the official
automotive sponsor of the organization. The partnership will include the
Chevrolet GoalKeepers Project, which
seeks to empower girls to pursue their
athletic and professional goals.
in order for Benny the
Bull of the Chicago
Bulls, Tommy Hawk
of the Chicago Black-hawks, The Nittany
Lion of Penn State
University and Sluggerrr of the Kansas
City Royals, recent inductees into the
2018 Mascot Hall of Fame, whose
brick-and-mortar home currently is under construction in Whiting, Indiana.
The four mascots, selected through voting by fans and a museum committee,
will be honored at the 2018 grand opening of the 25,000-square-foot, multimil-lion-dollar Mascot Hall of Fame. ;
GOVERNING BODY DOSSIER
ACA Takes Over as
NGB of Canoe/Kayak
The American Canoe As- sociation was founded in 1880 and has taken on many roles over the years, promoting paddle sports, sanctioning competitions and endorsing good stewardship of waterways and the environment.
Over much of that stretch, the ACA also
served as the sport’s national governing
body. Then came the formation in the
early 1990s of USA
took over as NGB
with the goal of developing elite athletes through an organization separate
from the recreational
end of the sport. But
the split failed to
produce, at least on
the medal podium. Since 1992, the U.S.
has only one medal in the sport—a silver
in 2004 in women’s canoe/slalom.
Merger talks. In 2015, the ACA and
USACK began talks about once again
merging the organizations. And in Oc-
tober, a positive vote among the 40,000
ACA members was the final step in the
process of reuniting the entire sport—
from recreation to high performance.
“From a sports perspective, I think every-
body is relieved to some degree that the
sport can take place under one house
again,” said Wade Blackwood, who has
been CEO of both groups since 2015.
Under the new arrangement, which the
U.S. Olympic Committee has endorsed,
Oklahoma City-based USACK will dis-
solve and all operations will be placed
under the control of the ACA, which is
based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
To be sure, there is work ahead for
the ACA. “Getting back together is
more difficult than breaking up,” Blackwood said with a laugh. First up is establishing a funding model to help make
U.S. athletes competitive with the rest of
the world. Funding from the USOC will
be key to paying coaches to help develop that pipeline,
has hopes that a
more organic growth
will allow the NGB to
avoid relying solely
on USOC support.
New council. A
restructuring, however, is already taking place. For the
first time, there is a competition council made up of the leaders in 15 different disciplines that ACA oversees. One
outcome may be the staging of fewer,
bigger multisport or multidiscipline
events, as opposed to the current practice of holding small events specific to a
single-paddle discipline. The new model, Blackwood said, would be more attractive to sponsors and could generate
more spectator interest as well.
In the end, having one group oversee the entirety of the sport may benefit
not only the Olympic-level athletes but
also recreational paddlers and conservationists as well. “As far as I’m concerned,” Blackwood said, “this fits perfectly within our mission.” ; J.G.