February 17, 2017
What happened in the previous two weeks:
- The playoffs are underway at the 2017 USA Curling Men’s and Women’s Nationals at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wash. The Seattle Granite Curling Club, Snohomish County Sports Commission, and the City of Everett are the primary local backers and organizers of these championships. The USA Curling High Performance Program team of Nina Roth, Tabitha Peterson, Aileen Geving and Becca Hamilton has secured enough points to represent USA at the 2017 World Curling Championships by reaching the finals against fellow HPP team members Jamie Sinclair, Alex Carlson, Vicky Persinger and Monica Walker.
- All National Championship games are being streamed live, in partnership with Twelfth End Sports Network and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
- Within the first few days, over 1,100 all-session passes were sold to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling in Omaha. Also 10 of 12 VIP loge boxes were sold during that time.
- All of the qualified teams for the inaugural USA Curling U18 Nationals have been determined.
- Host sites are needed for USA Curling events for the 2017-18 season.
- Over 600 all-event passes for the 2018 Ford World Curling Championships in Las Vegas were purchased in the initial pre-sale to a list of 1,200 people.
- USA’s teams skipped by Annmarrie Dubberstein and Andrew Stopera have begun round robin play in the VOIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships in PyeongChang, South Korea. The U.S. women are 2-1 and the U.S. men 1-1 at this point.
- Applications are now being accepted for the WCF’s Prague Adult Curling Camp 2017.
- The USA team of Alex Leichter, Nate Clark, Chris Bond, Calvin Weber and Andrew Stopera finished sixth in the 2017 Winter World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- USA has retained the Herries Maxwell Trophy at stake in the men’s Scots Tour, just recently concluded.
- The Hollywood Curling Club assisted with the LA2024 Olympic Bid promotions last week marking the one-year-out date for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
- Episode #4 of Curling Night in America on NBC Sports Network had a .06 rating with 94,000 households, which was especially good given the 11:30 p.m. ET time slot. The audience increased from the lead-in NHL Live program, and was the second-highest rated program of the day on NBCSN. Episode #3 had a .04 rating with 63,000 households. NBCSN also re-aired episodes 1-3 on Sunday against Super Bowl LI, from 5 – 11 p.m. ET, and drew 133,000 households during that time.
- Derek Brown and I had another call with the USOC International Games and Sport Performance divisions regarding several things for the 2018 Olympics, including accreditation, housing for athletes and staff, transportation, pre-Games processing and training, and ticketing.
Inside the curling world
- A USCA Town Hall call was held Monday, with Chairman Rich Lepping and me providing updates from the recent Board meeting and ongoing USCA activities. The quarterly USCA Board of Directors meeting took place by teleconference/webinar on Feb. 7.
- Bill Peskoff of the Plainfield (NJ) Curling Club pledged up to $20,000 as a challenge donation to support continued and enhanced web streaming of USA Curling events. At last check we were at nearly 80% of the matching goal. USCA Chairman Rich Lepping helped things along with his own challenge to match up to $1,000 of donations over $100 earlier this week.
- On Thursday, Terry Davis and I submitted additional information and video clips to a sponsor prospect interested in engaging with curling in the Olympic year. I also met with another potential sponsor who flew in on Thursday to attend part of the National Championships in Everett, Wash.
- I met earlier today with long-time USA Curling sponsor Nike in Beaverton, Ore., to continue planning for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Team outfitting and other sponsorship programs.
- The USCA Revenue Development Committee held a VIP/fundraising event in Seattle on Thursday in conjunction with the National Championships up the road in Everett. About 30 people attended, including Chairman Rich Lepping; USCA Directors Hawley MacLean (chairman of the Revenue Development Committee), Doug Potter and Beau Welling, and HPP Athlete Joe Polo. Committee member
What’s up next week:
- NGB Council meeting, Feb. 24.
What’s coming two weeks from now (Feb. 26 – March 4, 2017):
- 2017 World Wheelchair Curling Championship begins March 4, PyeongChang, South Korea.
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• The third season of Curling Night in America on NBC Sports Network debuted on Thursday. This event kicked off more than 150 hours of curing coverage that will air on NBCSN, Universal HD and NBCSports.com now through April, which will include more than 100 hours of World Championships coverage. NBC’s channels will be carrying 16 games from the Women’s Worlds in Beijing, and 17 games from the Men’s Worlds in Edmonton.
• People were lined up nearly all day long to take part in the first of two CryoMAX Curling Zone promotions as part of Frozen Fenway in Boston on Jan. 8 (postponed from Jan. 7 due to a winter storm) and Jan. 14. We enjoyed great volunteer support for both events from Broomstones Curling Club.
• Those interested in purchasing tickets for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games may enter a non-binding “Expression of Interest” with official ticket supplier CoSport. No pricing is available at this time.
• All but one playoff team has been determined for the 2017 USA Curling Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D. A tiebreaker on the women’s side is taking place this morning, with the first playoff games on tap this afternoon.
• Regional team registration was down for the 2017 USA Curling Club Nationals, which will be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in March, but a decision was made to overrule a requirement that a region must have at least three registered teams to be granted a fill spot. Thus, GNCC, MN and MOPAC were each granted an additional women’s team to fill the competition to 10 teams.
• Host sites are needed for USA Curling championship events for the 2017-18 season.
• The WCF has announced that the Füssen courses, the Füssen Junior Camp and the Sweetlake Junior Team Camp are now open for registration.
• Kim Nawyn participated in a SafeSport Program conference call regarding the USOC’s online training portal, and connected directly with the new SafeSport Agency regarding transition requirements. This program, available to all USCA members, is geared toward reducing incidents of abuse and harassment in sport.
• The Dedicated Ice Transition Group met by teleconference.
• The Ad Hoc Membership Committee met Thursday to continue to discuss ideas for more inclusive membership models and ways to enhance existing structures.
• USA Curling received two sets of stones that will be used to help develop interest in the sport in communities without current curling opportunities.
• Kim Nawyn met with several college students at the USCA National Office to discuss ideas for improving the college curling program.
• The USOC has awarded a $5,000 international relations grant for senior USCA leadership to participate in the 2017 WCF Congress in Bled, Slovenia.
• While at the Continental Cup in Las Vegas I have had several meetings with potential sponsors and other individuals who have been major financial supporters of the USCA.
• The USA Curling National Wheelchair Team beat Finland for the gold medal in the Kissakallio Cup in Lohja, Finland, last week.
• USA’s Jamie Sinclair and Heath McCormick teams helped Team North America win the WFG Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas last week, the fifth straight victory over Team World. Debbie McCormick was Team North America captain. Attendance was the second highest ever for the four-day event, at 52,753. The record of 62,498 was set in Las Vegas in 2016.
• It has been confirmed that there will be a Continental Cup in 2018, and USA teams will be invited to participate.
• The USCA HPP team led by Nina Roth reached the playoffs of the International Bernese Ladies Cup.
• The USCA HPP team led by John Shuster reached the quarterfinals in the Meridian Canadian Open Grand Slam of Curling.
• The women’s and men’s Challenge Rounds determined the final qualifiers for the 2017 USA Curling Nationals in Everett, Wash.
What’s up next week:
o USCA Revenue Development Committee teleconference, Jan. 23.
o USA Curling Senior Men’s National Championship, Jan. 25-29, Centerville, Wis.
o USA Curling Senior Women’s National Championship, Jan. 25-29, Portland, Ore.
o USA Curling Mixed Doubles Qualifying Round, Jan. 26-29, Eveleth, Minn.
o America’s Challenge, Jan. 27-29, Duluth, Minn.
What’s coming two weeks from now (Jan. 29 – Feb. 4, 2017):
o 2017 Winter World University Games begin Jan. 29 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Rick Patzke, USA Curling