Dec 23 2016 Edition

    What happened this week:

    Inside the curling world

    • USCA Director Nick Wellen is chairing an ad-hoc committee to collect history about the USCA and its member clubs. Contact Nick if you are interested in assisting, and/or can provide historical information on your club members’ results in USCA regional playdowns and national championships.

    • Longtime European curling journalist, sport ambassador and WCF Hall of Fame member Erwin Sautter of Switzerland has passed away at the age of 92.

    • Several USA Curling athletes who participated in the Athletes for Hope seminar held in Jacksonville during the 2016 Nationals have continued to engage with this non-profit organization dedicated to fostering relationships between athletes and charitable causes. USCA National Team athletes Monica Walker, Jamie Sinclair and Vicky Persinger visited the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota as part of a Holiday Campaign in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

    Events/Sport Education
    • Draws for the 2017 USA Curling Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s Nationals have been posted.  There are currently 18 women’s and 16 men’s teams registered for the new USA U18 National Championship playdowns. Combining these numbers with the overall Junior National Championship entries and comparing it with 2016 Junior Championship registration numbers, there are 10 more junior- aged women’s teams signed up across the two events, and just two fewer junior-aged men’s teams, with seven regions still open for U18 registrations through Jan. 4.

    Bids are now being accepted for hosting several 2018 USA Curling events, including the Junior East & West Challenge rounds, Men’s & Women’s Challenge Rounds, Mixed Doubles National Championship, Senior Men’s & Women’s Nationals, Junior Nationals, U18 National Championships, Club Nationals and Mixed Nationals.

    Grants/Sponsorships/Revenue Development

    • The USOC Challenge Grant program will continue for two more years (through 2018), albeit with the matching amount lowered to $20,000 for 2017, and other qualifying conditions applied for 2018. A limited number of National Governing Bodies are invited to apply and ultimately accepted for this program every year. The USCA has been approved for both 2017 and 2018, after which the program will be discontinued. We have received a total of $150,000 in USOC matching funds through this program in the previous 5 years.

    • I have finalized negotiations and a management agreement with the USOC for staging the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. If we hold mixed doubles trials (contingent upon qualifying in April 2017), the total management fee paid to the USCA for these events will be $75,000. The USOC will also provide in-kind support in on-site signage and other operations, and is assisting us with developing and presenting sponsorship agreements to USOC family sponsors.

    • Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine marketing representatives contacted me this week to renew discussions of sponsorship opportunities beyond the VIK support the clinic is already providing to National Team athletes.

    • A follow-up call has been scheduled for Jan. 4 with an Olympic Family sponsor I presented proposals to last week, after an initial conversation Dec. 13.

    • A year-end digital fundraising campaign featuring 2016 USCA Volunteer of the Year Don Piche will be launched today.

    • NBC Sports Network has announced an extensive schedule of re-airs of the nine original programs for Curling Night in America 2017, adding up to 58 hours already. The first episode airs on Jan. 19.

    • The “12 Days of Deliveries...” promotion to help drive visitors to the USCA web site concludes on Sunday. We are about halfway to the goal of 40,000 visitors by the end of 2016 to earn an additional $25,000 in media fees from the USOC for the year.

    • Video submissions are being accepted through Dec. 27 for the “This is Why I Curl” promotion created by Terry Davis. Voting for the fan favorites will be conducted Dec. 28-30.

    • Check out NBA star Steph Curry’s pre-game warmup that includes curling.

    • Karyn Cousins of Broomstones CC has lined up nearly 20 volunteers so far to assist with the CryoMAX Curling Zone Curling exhibition as part of the 2017 Frozen Fenway promotions on Jan. 7 and 14.

    • In a groundbreaking move to connect fans to the Olympic Movement all year round, the International Olympic Committee, U.S. Olympic Committee and NBCUniversal have created a comprehensive Olympic Channel content and distribution plan in the United States. “Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA” will debut in the second half of 2017.

    Competitive Programs
    • Five men’s and four women’s teams have qualified directly to the 2017 USA Curling Men’s and Women’s Nationals based on Order of Merit points.

    • The HPP men’s Blue Team led by Heath McCormick won its fourth World Curling Tour event of the season, claiming the Curl Mesabi Cashspiel title in Eveleth, Minn., on Sunday. 2006 Olympian Cassie Potter and her teammates finished second in the women’s event of this same cashspiel.

    • HPP teams led by Craig Brown and Nina Roth both reached the semifinals in the Qinghai International in Qinghai, China, last week.

    The Junior HPP team of Andrew Stopera, Luc Violette, Ben Richardson and Graem Fenson won the Abbotsford Junior Cashspiel title, going 6-1 in the tournament.

    What’s up next week:

    o USCA National Office will be closed on Monday in observance of Christmas.

    What’s coming two weeks from now (Jan. 1-7, 2017):

    o USCA National Office will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2, in observance of New Year’s Day.

    o USOC Challenge Grant 2017 planning teleconference, Jan. 5. 

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