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Don Schumacher, CSEE, has a lifetime of experience in the field of communications, family entertainment, theme park marketing and operations, arena and stadium marketing and operations, event management, sports marketing and facilities consultation. For almost forty years he has focused his activities on sport tourism, and has consulted with more than 175 cities on strategies to increase market share.

From 1994 until 2017 Schumacher was the executive director of the National Association of SportsCommissions (NASC), an organization he helped found in 1992 and which now has more than 850 members. He has earned the distinction of Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) from the NASC.

Don has been adjunct professor at Xavier University and Ohio University. He created a partnership with Ohio University’s Graduate Program in Sports Administration to produce CSEE courses in conjunction with the NASC. These include both online and live courses in sport tourism.

Schumacher is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant on the sports travel industry. He has made many presentations for groups as varied as Destination Marketing Association International, National Recreation and Parks Association, United States Olympic Committee, the Association of Luxury Suite Directors, the TEAMS Conference, the World Congress of Sports, plus SportAccord and the Smart Cities Sports Summit, two international conferences on sports business.

Schumacher has been invited to speak on the industry in international destinations including Madrid, Lausanne, Ottawa, Quebec City, Beijing, Athens, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, and Osaka. He has also been a featured speaker at about twenty-five different state governor’s conferences on tourism.

In addition, Schumacher is continually consulted on industry questions relating to bidding procedures, economic impact of events, and issues of concern to the future of the industry. He has served the arena and stadium industry as a facilities manager, event promoter, and event bidder, owner, and developer. He understands why event owners decide which cities and facilities are suitable for their needs, and how cities can find these events. Schumacher has quoted regularly in industry publications and daily newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, SportsTravel magazine, Sports Events magazine, Sports Business Journal, and Athletic Business magazine. Schumacher was named one of the “25 Influential People You Should Know” by Sports Events magazine.

In March, 2017 he was inducted into the NASC Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.

Don Schumacher

Mr. Schumacher’s experience includes the following:

  • College Football Hall of Fame and Galbreath Field, General Manager – bid on and developed state high school football and soccer playoffs games, professional soccer exhibitions and the NCAA Division III National Football Championships (Stagg Bowl).
  • Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum (now U.S. Bank Arena), President – Guided the development of the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships and secured the 1987 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships along with multitudes of family shows, concerts and sporting events.
  • Riber Sports Marketing Group, Vice President – Created the Greater Cincinnati Sports & Events Commission, worked on the LPGA Championship, Kroger Senior Classic, the World Cup of Golf and reintroduced professional hockey to Cincinnati with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
  • Don Schumacher & Associates, Inc., President – Founder and owner from 1992 through 2010, and conducted the market analysis for Kentucky Speedway, and created and sold seat licenses leading to construction of Paul Brown Stadium and Kentucky and Iowa Speedways. DSA managed both the Greater Cincinnati Sports & Events Commission and the National Association of Sports Commissions.
  • DSA Sports LLC, President – The leading authority and consultant to the sport tourism industry. Services include sport facility audits, feasibility studies for new sports facilities and strategic planning.

Awards & Recognition

Don was elected into the NASC Hall Of Fame in March, 2017. The Hall of Fame was created to honor those persons demonstrating a lifetime commitment to the sport tourism industry and the National Association of Sports Commissions. (photos after April 1)

He also earned his designation as Certified Sports Event Executive (CSEE) from the NASC.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • I have been especially pleased at how Don shapes his recommendations for each destination as a unique opportunity, not merely repackaging information.