Oct 30 2015 Edition

    What happened in the last two weeks:                                                                                                 

    • The signing of the contract is pending, but all appears to be headed in the right direction for a new USCA sponsor in the business of cold packs, athletic tape and braces, and other athletic training and personal therapeutic devices. More details will be provided once the deal is complete.
    • If you’d like to get to know one of USA’s high performance program athletes better, I urge you to check out Jamie Sinclair’s excellent digital journal, at Curl Up With Jamie.
    • NBC Universal Sports will be shutting down next month, which may seem like a bad thing depending upon which media reports you read, but in actuality is a good thing in terms of NBC’s Olympic sport coverage. Peter Diamond, Senior VP of Olympic Programming for NBC, called me with this news and assured me that there will be plenty of homes for curling, such as on NBCSN, where Curling Night in America will air again in 2016. This move is actually helpful, and that previously we were required to provide Universal Sports with some sort of programming (at our cost) any time we wanted to show something on the other NBC network channels, as Universal Sports had primary contractual rights for all Olympic sport related programming.
    • I have had correspondence with the Denver Curling Club recently in regard to the Mixed Doubles National Championship in the wake of the news that the winner of the Nationals will not automatically represent USA in the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Championships. We have had a positive exchange and plan to put more attention on the fact that the Mixed Doubles is now a new Olympic discipline. As of today, 23 teams have registered for the Nationals (compared with 23 total last year), with the registration deadline not until Nov. 4.
    • DeVry University and the USOC have announced that ALL National Governing Body members (i.e., all members of USA Curling) are now eligible for discounted tuition rates through DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management, and Chamberlain University. This has previously been available only to Team USA athletes and family members, and NGB staff. Those interested may choose from an array of associate and bachelor’s degree programs at DeVry University, pursue a master’s degree at Keller Graduate School of Management or launch or advance a nursing career by enrolling at Chamberlain College of Nursing.
    • To date, 4,781 all session tickets have been sold for the 2016 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas. The two-day ticket packages went on sale Oct. 22, and single draw tickets will go on sale in about a month.
    • Met with executives of USA sponsor Ram Restaurant and Brewery in Lakewood, Wash., to discuss our ongoing partnership and ideas to maximize the benefits for both entities. The Ram has been a USCA sponsor since 2010.
    • Conducted a very successful site visit in Everett, Wash., as part of a bid overview for the 2017 men’s and women’s Nationals. This is a joint bid from the Snohomish County Sports Commission and the Seattle Granite Curling Club.
    • I had the honor of participating in a celebration and World Championship banner raising ceremony for the 2015 World Senior Champion Lyle Siegteam at the Seattle Granite Curling Club on Oct. 24.
    • Scotland is all but confirmed to be the fourth nation participating in the Curling Night in America event in Eveleth, Minn. Dec. 3-5, along with China, Japan and USA. Event planning continues in earnest. I am still seeking a head official for this event, so if you or anyone you know is interested, please contact me.
    • Terry and I are planning digital fundraising campaigns for November and December. Terry also participated in a webinar Thursday targeting maximizing the use of social media in fundraising.
    • I began interviewing top candidates for the Deputy Manager position this week, and will continue next week.
    • Paralympic HPP athletes Stephen Emt, Jimmy Joseph, Penny Greely and Justin Marshall won silver in the Stirling Wheelchair Curling International in Scotland recently, finishing with a 6-2 record overall. The team of Patrick McDonald, Kirk Black, Meghan Lino and Tim Kelly competed at two events in Switzerland in the same time period, placing sixth at the first Lucerne Wheelchair Curling Cup and fifth at the Wetzikon Wheelchair Curling Cup, going 6-10 overall.
    • USA’s Erika Brown and teammates Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad and Natalie Nicholson continued a highly successful World Curling Tour season by finishing fifth in the Canad Inn’s Women’s Classic last weekend, finishing 5th to vault further into the lead in the race to claim the U.S. women’s invitation to the 2016 WFG Continental Cup. Brown’s team has 92 points, with the HP White team (led by Jamie Sinclair) second with 67.
    • Both the HP men’s Red Team (led by John Shuster) and the HP women’s White team (led by Jamie Sinclair) have been invited to compete in The National Grand Slam event Nov. 11-15 in Ontario.
    • Nine U.S. men’s teams are playing in the Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic in Sarnia, Ontario, this week and weekend.
    • Derek Brown and I had our regular Sport Performance Partner call with USOC on Wednesday. One topic of discussion was a revised resource allocation request we have put forth to support Mixed Doubles.
    • The World Curling Federation will be releasing statements today regarding the current debate over brush head technology.

    What’s up next week:

    • USCA annual audit, starts Monday.
    • NGB Council teleconference, Monday.
    • USCA Town Hall teleconference, Thursday.
    • Youth Olympic Games Trials, Nov. 5-8, Blaine, Minn.
    • WCF Road to Olympics Tour, Milwaukee Curling Club, Nov. 6-8.
    • World Wheelchair Team Trials, Nov. 6-8, Wausau CC.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Nov. 8-14)

    • USOC Sport Performance call, Nov. 11. 

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