An Interview with Doug Wheeler, co-principal and owner of Summit Performance Group | Sports Destination Management

An Interview with Doug Wheeler, co-principal and owner of Summit Performance Group


Years in industry?
I've been in the industry for 30 years. Summit Performance Group has been in business since May 2003.

Years in current position?
I've co-owned Summit Performance Group since May 2003.

What is the mission of your organization?
Summit Performance Group, and PacificXPOSURE are leading providers of meeting & event logistics, site selection, individual and group incentive travel, national & international sports hospitality, fan-affinity programs, sports tournament organizers & event registration. provides concierge level service to individuals, companies and groups who want to attend the world's ultimate sports and entertainment events, including regular season games as well as the Super Bowl; MLB World Series; The Masters;the Stanley Cup; Kentucky Derby; Indianapolis 500; 2010 Winter Olympics, and National Finals Rodeo.

Launching in June 2010, PacificXPOSURE is our newest venture, the first-ever "all-inclusive" Southern California Lacrosse tournament. An opportunity for competition in a safe, fun, family environment, PacificXPOSURE recognizes the exponential growth of lacrosse nationally and particularly on the West Coast. The three-day event and extension "Re-LAX" vacation program will take place June 25 - 29 in North County and Coastal San Diego.

Nationally, how many participants do you have?
We have 12 employees at SPG in San Diego, Scottsdale and Pittsburgh. Our participants in sports-related events vary from 12 to 2000 throughout the United States and Canada depending upon the event.

How many events are held each year?
Annually we plan and execute 50 to 100 general meeting and incentive programs. Our direct sports-related events range from 10 to 15 events per year.

In what regions/locations are they held?
We have events throughout the US and Canada and internationally.

As an organization, what do you look for in a location?
There are a few key components we look for in a location: price, airport and transportation access, accommodations, weather, security and safety, facilities.

From an event management standpoint, what is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The sheer volume of different logistics between site procurement, accommodations, transportation, officials, sponsors, exhibitors and attendee services is one of the biggest challenges of what we do at SPG. Overall, it's a major balancing act. Marketing in a challenging economy to individuals and organizations is also very challenging. Particularly in the last few years, people are making very last-minute decisions on what they are willing to participate in and spend money on.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The most rewarding part of my work at SPG is planning and executing an outstanding program and event and knowing that the participants had a wonderful time and look forward to participating in a future event. It's such a great thing to know that participants take away a lifelong memory.

Please describe how you feel your knowledge, skills and experience have contributed to the success of the sports events in which you are involved.
As an organization, we have been directly involved in planning and delivering close to 1000 tailored events throughout the US, Asia/Pacific, South, Central America, Canada and Europe. Every event requires extensive logistics planning ranging from pre-site procurement to registration, staffing, production, meeting and event delivery, food and beverage planning and overall financial management. Every audience is diverse and no two events are alike. Today, organizations and people are very concerned about return on investment, while also demanding a unique experience with a great "takeaway." This requires a flexible, well-trained, proactive and experienced team, and that's what SPG delivers.