CBC Launches Capitol Sports Management

CBC Launches Capitol Sports Management

Capitol Broadcasting Company recruited another team this month. In an attempt to bring a major sporting event to the Triangle, CBC created Capitol Sports Management.

The goal of Capitol Sports Management (CSM) will be the development of a multi-sport, Olympic-style event in the Raleigh-Durham area. CBC enlisted two top players for the venture. Hill Carrow, who left his position as Director of Corporate Partnerships and Services for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Vice President of Olympic Properties to join the new company, will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer. Winkie Laforce, most recently on the CBC payroll to spearhead the effort to bring the Pan American Games to the Triangle, will serve as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Events.

Hill Carrow

CSM President and
Chief Operating Officer

Carrow and Laforce are no strangers to CBC or major sporting events. Carrow served as the USOC Liason to the U.S. Masters Swimming, he headed up the Triangle’s bid for the Olympics Festival in the mid-1980s, and in 1993 began overseeing the Olympic sponsorships for Sara Lee Corporation. Laforce was Vice President with the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games (SOWSG) before redirecting her energies to the Pan Am Bid Committee. Earlier this year she also coordinated the effort to bring the World Military Games to Raleigh-Durham.

CSM developed as a result of the convergence of the ideas of Carrow, Laforce and CBC President and CEO Jim Goodmon. Goodmon wanted to continue his idea of regionalism for the Triangle area, uniting Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and other small towns in the heart of North Carolina towards common goals. Laforce had already been at the forefront with Goodmon in working to get major sporting events to the Triangle. Carrow’s career had been focused on Masters and adult athletics. After the attempt to bring the World Military Games to the area fell through, Carrow tossed the idea out to Goodmon and Laforce, and the three joined forces.

Winkie La Force

CSM Executive Vice President and
General Manager of Events

The purpose of CSM will be two-fold. They will first seek a major event for the Triangle. Among other things, that will involve selecting the sports, determining where to hold the event, and touching base with sports bodies. Secondly, CMS will provide consulting services, marketing teams and working with sponsors and other events. At this point, Carrow and Laforce are working to determine which sports to include in the 2003 Olymipc-style event. They hope to select 15.

The 2003 event will take place over 10 days, from a Friday to the following Sunday, sometime in mid-summer. 2003 is the target date because it gives CSM time to plan the event, it is a non-Olympics year, and because it is the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kill Devil Hills. They hope to commemorate the anniversary of flight in the theme of the event. Mid-summer is optimal because it is the best time of the year for the adult athletes to be able to attend. Triangle hotels are also less congested during this time of year; the event would actually create a market for them. CSM will focus on athletes from all over the country, but those from other countries can be eligible to participate as well.

The sporting event may be as large as the SOWSG in terms of the number of participating athletes, but it will not involve the scale of volunteer need nor money. However, there will be plenty of chances for Triangle residents to be a part of the festivities. Each of the fifteen sports will require several hundred volunteers, and additional volunteers will be needed for services such as transportation and opening and closing ceremonies. CBC’ers will get an opportunity to help make another historic event a reality.

The idea seemed particularly inviting because the event would be one that Capitol Broadcasting owns; therefore, the group won’t have to bid or beg for it. “It would be something we would develop. We would own it,” said Carrow. “It would be something that would initially be in the Triangle and grow and perhaps be something that could move around the United States and go to other communities as well down the road.”

At this point, CSM is analyzing which sports will be the best to include in the event. They will seek to get governing groups for those individual sports that are included to sanction the event so that athletes can set records, etc. The event will be for amateur athletes. Carrow calls these adult athletes the “ultimate amateurs” because they are they are not professionals; they are responsible for paying their own way to the event.

The headquarters for the CSM are currently located with the corporate offices of CBC, but the CSM staff hopes to soon re-locate to Durham.

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