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Speaking Appointments

An accomplished public speaker, Don Schumacher has focused on opportunities to emphasize the continued growth of sport tourism and its recession resistant qualities. Primary audiences have been conference sessions, governor’s conferences on tourism, and international audiences.

Schumacher has been privileged to speak at domestic conferences such as the TEAMS Conference, the annual meeting of Destination Management Association International, the Southeast Tourism Society and many others.

Hardly a year goes by without the opportunity to speak at a state governor’s conference on tourism. At last count, Don has spoken at 24 different conferences, plus two opportunities each with Illinois and Minnesota.

Sport tourism is as important internationally as it is in the United States. Beginning with the SportAccord Conference in Madrid in 2003, he has spoken at a total of seven of these annual conferences. He has also spoken at City Events and the Smart Cities Sports Summit.

Additional international engagements include Ottawa, Tokyo, Osaka and Cape Town.

Don is one of eight founders of the new International Association of Sports Cities (IAEH). This association seeks to broaden the experiences of international bid cities through information sharing and discussion. This makes the third organization he has helped found: the Greater Cincinnati Sports & Events Commission, the National Association of Sports Commissions and now the IAEH. This progression has followed the pattern of local, national and then international interest in sport tourism.

Schumacher has also been called upon to offer expert testimony in several cases involving arena operations, a dispute between a hockey team and arena management, two different trials involving an NBA franchise, and a case involving Disney’s Wide World of Sports where he was cross-examined by Johnny Cochran and Will Gary. His experiences with seat license sales, arena management, and sports facility management were brought to bear in each case.

Don is also continually asked to comment on industry issues. These media interviews have involved the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Sports Business Journal and Sports Travel, Sports Events, Athletic Business and Sports Destination Management magazines. These are in addition to local media appearances during many consulting projects and following issuance of final reports, most of which are presented in a public forum.

He is also invited to speak to annual meetings of members of the NASC or at special occasions (when they are awarded significant recognition). Some of the cities visited include St. Louis, Nashville, Erie PA, Kansas City, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Sports NC, Alabama Parks and Recreation Association, Upper Midwest Association of Convention Bureaus, Fox Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and Kentucky Travel Industry Association.

  • I have been especially pleased at how Don shapes his recommendations for each destination as a unique opportunity, not merely repackaging information.
  • Don Schumacher’s Analysis and Strategic Planning Report were precisely on point! Within two months of presenting the final report we were contracting new tournaments in our parks. The process and quick results far exceeded our expectations!
  • To build a successful program, you must first have a successful TEAM behind the effort. This includes outside 3rd party participation and someone who has “been there and done that”. Our choice was Don Schumacher & Associates. Don’s knowledge of the industry and industry/destination needs is second to none and he leads the field of sports tourism. When we decided it was time to build for the future, Don was the first person that we got involved with the project (2008 & 2013) for feasibility, research and consultation. This year that vision becomes reality. I personally recommend Don to other destinations because of his thorough work ethic.
  • I had the distinct pleasure of working with Don when he consulted with the City of Round Rock on a facilities audit. Don went to great measures to research Round Rock, our facilities, user groups and potential for the future. With his experience and knowledge on a national level, the report was thorough and comprehensive and provided the information the City Council and City Manager needed to make tough decisions. Don’s consulting did not end with the delivery of the report. He continued to check with us to make sure we had all the information we needed and answer any questions we had.
  • When we were creating the Cobb Sports Alliance we turned to the best in the sports business to help us – Don Schumacher. His thorough knowledge of the industry coupled with insightful research and a sports facility inventory assessment led our community to create a unique alliance that understands the power of working together to bring sports to our community. Three years later we still refer to Don’s work and insights to help guide our efforts. It was an exceptional project with exceptional results.
  • Don Schumacher's experience and knowledge of the sports travel industry is unrivaled. This was evident when Don conducted a strategic review of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. After new sports facility development occurred in The Palm Beaches coupled with increased resources provided to our Sports Commission, Don was the first person I called to discuss strategies to prepare for the future. Don's analysis was insightful, detailed, and comprehensive. Applying his industry knowledge to our unique landscape allowed us to create a strategic plan to enhance operational efficiencies and grow our business. Furthermore, sourcing Don and his vast knowledge through the National Association of Sports Commissions brought our Sports Commission great credibility. Today, we are in the process of implementing changes to our organization and adopting a strategic plan based on recommendations offered by Don.
  • Don is an excellent resource with his vast sports facility and sport tourism experience. I have been a part of several projects that included Don and he has always been spot on with his recommendations. I have and will continue to recommend his services. He is the gold standard in our industry.