Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, tickets sales, public relations and etc.
This week we will be featuring DE TURF Sports Complex Executive Director Chris Giacomucci. As Executive Director, Giacomucci manages the day-to-day operations along with overall business development of tournaments, leagues, camps, clinics and sponsorships. Before becoming the Executive Director of DE Turf, Giacomucci was the Director of the Delaware Sports Commission. Giacomucci’s fascination and passion for utilizing sports as a means to generate economic development and tourism has led him to establish the DE Turf as one of the best sports complexes in the state.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Giacomucci: My job is to serve as the Executive Director of the DE TURF Sports Complex located in central Delaware, a 12-turf field sports venue that hosts dozens of tournaments and events. It is a travel sports destination. We have restrooms, concession stands and even Wi-Fi on site. I am responsible for managing the day-to-day operations along with overall business development of tournaments, leagues, camps, clinics and sponsorships.
How long have you been in this area of work?
Giacomucci: 2 years.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Giacomucci: I always had a passion for sports and knew I wanted to work in the sports industry in some capacity. In grad school, I worked on several economic impact studies for sports events such as the Penn Relays and Dad Vail Regatta and developed a fascination with the concept of utilizing sports as a means to generate economic development and tourism. From grad school I accepted a position as Director of the Delaware Sports Commission, a non-profit whose mission statement was just that. My job was to attract and develop sports events across the state that would attract out-of-state visitors, fill hotel rooms and patronize local businesses. I worked with a variety of different sporting events including high school basketball showcases, lacrosse tournaments, NCAA events, USA Basketball events, Collegiate Taekwondo championships, regional softball and volleyball tournaments. During this time, the sports complex was being developed and I was asked to serve on the board, then eventually as Executive Director.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Giacomucci: I have two answers. On weekends, it’s receiving a thank you from local restaurant owners and hoteliers who are reaping the benefits of the events we are bringing. During the week, it’s seeing hundreds of little kids on our fields enjoying the facility, making friends, getting exercise and having fun. They are the future.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Giacomucci: Great question. Facilities are expensive to operate. A lot of people think they are cash cows. That is a misperception. Not everyone can afford to play travel sports so its making the facility, accessible and affordable while ensuring we are meeting our financial obligations. Looming competition as well. Everyone thinks they can build a successful sports complex in their town.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Giacomucci: You have to be willing to work nights and weekends. In the business of youth sports, you work while everyone else plays. It’s a extremely rewarding job and a well rounded experience. I have been fortunate to learn so much in a position like this.
If you would like to know more information about DE Turf Sports Complex: Click Here