Emily Allard here. I am the Director of Marketing and Sponsorships at the NFCA. In short, I work alongside the companies investing in softball and love to figure out how they can fit best within our Association, impact our members and amplify our sport on a daily basis. I also assist the NFCA staff in marketing our major events and sponsored items, in addition to running the Exhibit Show at Convention each year. As we like to joke around the office, the above items listed are only the main things I tackle outside of "other duties as assigned," which for me also include, "Hey Em, can you come reach this thing off the top shelf for me?" I'm lucky to be surrounded by the most down-to-earth team, led by a tireless leader, but you're probably wondering why in the world you are even reading this right now.
Over the last six years of my career at the NFCA I've been amazed at the passion of our membership and the fortitude of our leadership. There's just one thing I wish everyone had a better understanding of: the behind-the-scenes of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
As you all know, almost all levels of our sport have grown in leaps and bounds over the last several years. And as our members know from the NFCA's Annual Report (you can find this in your members-only Coach's Box – speaking of that, you have logged in to your membership before, right?), the NFCA has grown tremendously over the last four years in particular. Since 2015, membership numbers are up over 40%, sponsorship has grown over 120% and Convention attendance has grown 17%. Even with a global pandemic, you know our sport is resilient and will bounce back stronger than ever. You see and hear all of these great statistics (or if that's the first time you've read them, COOL, right?!), and yet, many of you have absolutely no idea what goes on in our office on a daily basis to help generate some of that momentum.
That's where I'd like to come in. I approached Carol (our Executive Director) a few weeks back and said, "I'd like to tell our story."
The staff of 12 who only exist because coaches came together 37 years ago to have a neutral voice to educate and celebrate their peers.
The staff of 12 – with no dog in the fight – serving an Association-high 5,800+ members.
The staff of 12 wanting to do nothing else but what is right by the sport.
So, welcome to the NFCA's first-ever blog.
In Beyond the Fence you'll hear from me, about us, on a variety of topics surrounding the inner workings and history of the NFCA. I hope you'll stick around … for the good of the game.