"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
- Dr. Martin Luther King
The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions for so many in our industry and beyond. Whether you are back to playing or waiting for the green light, we hope you are keeping your chin up and pushing through to get to the other side of this pandemic. Please let us know how we can continue to support you and your businesses during this challenging and ever-changing time.
In this month's newsletter, we will share updates on our lobbying efforts, announce the board positions for the remainder of FY21, highlight how our sponsors and partners are continuing to support our industry, share the industry impact survey results and Safety Guidelines, and share some important announcements.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Krissy Greenleaf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Your SSIA Team
Continued Response to COVID-19
Over the course of the SSIA's COVID-19 crisis management, many of our members requested that we focus our efforts towards lobbying on behalf of our industry. At the beginning of June, we asked owners and operators of sport and social clubs to help bring awareness to our industry and its plight by reaching out to Congressman Max Rose and his co-sponsors regarding the Youth Sports & Working Families Act.
Although that bill ended up being too far along to make changes to include adult sports, our voice was heard on the Hill and the lobbyist who has guided the PLAY Sports Coalition, Terri Lakowski with Active Policy Solutions, reached out offering to help us. The EC approved a two-month contract to work with Terri on the following initiatives:
Keeping SSIA informed of federal legislation that can provide relief and support for its members through:
Legislative tracking of bills
Providing a weekly summary of key policy issues (through APS Policy Pages)
Providing advice and analysis on legislation as appropriate for opportunities for activation
Hosting a members-only call at on July 7th to answer questions
As needed, serve as SSIA boots on the ground to advocate for federal relief legislation for SSIA members including:
Identifying key legislation with opportunities to advocate for inclusion of the SSIA membership such as:
Advancing SSIA’s agenda in meetings with Members of Congress
Supporting SSIA to develop talking points, sample emails, and meeting request letters to activate members for advocacy
We determined that the best use of our industry's resources was to help bring awareness to the RESTART Act and ask state senators and representatives to sign on as co-sponsors to the bill, which would create a new loan program like PPP, but base the loan calculation amount on gross receipts instead of payroll. It would also expand allowable expenses and how loan forgiveness is calculated (based on lost revenue). Click HERE for the bill's summary and to view the list of industries across the US that are pushing for its inclusion.
After several weeks of outreach via email, social media, phone calls and rallies across multiple industries, the RESTART Act currently has 47 co-sponsors (24 democrats, 22 republicans and 1 independent). Although the initial draft legislation does not currently include the RESTART Act, it includes some of its concepts by recognizing the need for long-term working capital loans and targeting the relief towards businesses that have suffered significant revenue loss. For this reason, it is imperative that our industry continues to push lawmakers this week by:
Placing the focus on senators not currently co-sponsoring the bill by emailing them and contacting them on social media. Click HERE for a full list of senators and to see who has / has not signed on. If they are located in your state, please contact them as a constituent. Click HERE for instructions.
Thank you everyone in our industry who took the time to complete the SSIA Industry Impact Survey! It has been a helpful resource to reference in our public relations and lobbying efforts. Thank you also to Robert Kinsler with United Fray for its easy-to-read design! Please keep an eye out for a follow-up survey going out in August.
Please note that the individual results were aggregated, and that the SSIA Staff are the only ones with access to individual results.
As clubs were preparing to return to play, a number of SSIA members volunteered to create the SSIA COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. Thank you so much to the following people for their efforts:
Despite COVID-19 delaying our elections this year, we are excited to welcome the Executive Committee for the FY20-21 term!Thank you to all of the clubs that voted AND to everyone who ran in the EC Election.
The new board met for their first monthly Conference Call on July 9th to determine officer and chair positions, and to start thinking about upcoming initiatives for this term, which will end in April 2021.
Brian Irving with Chicago Sport & Social Club will continue serving as President this year, as the President serves a 2-year term and the remaining officer and chair positions are 1-year terms.
Long-time SSIA Partner, Jason Webb with Bell Anderson Insurance, has been a great resource for members as they've navigated insurance needs in a post-COVID world. He has even been able to arrange for our members to report their participant numbers on monthly or quarterly bases so that clubs are only paying for what they need. This is also helpful in the event of coronavirus spikes and / or shutdowns.
Thank you so much to everyone who shared and contributed to the Save Social Sports GoFundMe campaign! We ultimately raised $3,961, which the SSIA matched dollar for dollar, bringing our campaign total to $7,922.
With the funds, each SSIA member had the choice to apply their portion towards their own business expenses, credit for future membership dues or conference fees, or donating it back towards COVID-related initiatives.
Fifteen members donated their portion back to the SSIA, which allowed us to begin our lobbying efforts with Active Policy Solutions. We'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the following organizations:
Atlanta Sport & Social Club
Austin Sports & Social Club
Boston Ski + Sports Club
Players Sport & Social Group
VAVi / CLUBWAKA
Nashville Sports Leagues
Madison Sports & Social Club
Game On VT
Circle City Athletics
HUB Sports Boston
Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee
During the 2020 Conference, it was identified that more conversations and actions are needed around diversity, inclusivity & equity within the social sports industry. Post-conference, an #inclusion Slack channel was created and fostered healthy dialogue post-conference. In recent months, even more members have been asking SSIA to step up and help deliver more resources so we can collectively do better as an industry.
On July 15th, the EC voted to approve the Diversity Equity & Inclusion Chair position on the board. As a committee, the DEI Committee will seek to elevate and facilitate ongoing and continuing efforts to build a culture and environment of mutual respect. DEI will aim to set best practices, policies, shared resources, and a safe space to check blind spots as it relates to creating inclusive, equitable, and diverse messaging and activities for the social sports industry, members and participants. As an industry, we want to be leaders in inclusion, equity and diversity practices. DEI will:
Collaborate with Executive, Marketing, Sponsorship and all other Committees with the objective to determine how best to operationalize DEI into all aspects of the organization
Provide formal and informal knowledge shares with members
Set goals and encourage equitable practices for members and their businesses and their participants
Since forming, the committee sent out a survey and are working to identify how and where they will focus their efforts to have the most impact. Next steps will include:
Working to conduct surveys and host focus groups to better understand current needs
Analyze surveys and focus group data to structure a framework of short-term and long-term objectives
There has been a lot of discussion and ideation that is already leading to positive action