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Commonwealth Games Public Relations Feature

Commonwealth Games - News Analysis

By The Drum | Administrator

November 16, 2007 | 4 min read

Let the Games begin

It is still relatively early days, and no doubt the winning bid team is still nursing hangovers, but as you might expect, The Drum’s mind has already turned to the question of how much of a marketing budget can be generated to ensure that the 2014 Glasgow games are the best ever?

According to Tony Hill, the marketing director who oversaw Manchester’s Commonwealth Games in 2002, “the Commonwealth Games doesn’t have mega budgets.”

Ultimately, he says, that TV revenue is the key: “The selling of TV rights to the TV channels across the world in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and probably India is the key. Certainly, when we hosted the Games in 2002, Channel 7 in Australia were the firm who spent a decent amount of money, mainly because the Australians bring a swimming team that fundamentally wins all of the Gold medals. That’s where big money will come in – from the broadcasters.”

And that’s without having any idea of just where online media will be in seven years time and how much of the Games will be broadcast or promoted through the internet.

Certainly the Games will attract the sponsorship of big name international brands, while Scottish brands will also be given a world stage to use, should they wish to take it.

Fife Hyland, chief executive at sports agency Platinum One, says that the Olympics being held before Glasgow’s Games will be of huge benefit in allowing potential sponsors the opportunity to see what backing such a major UK sporting event can have for their brands.

He says: “It is of huge benefit in terms of exposure. It’s a chance for brands to associate themselves with achievement and excellence, alongside the best in the world and, from a statement of ambition, scale and scope, brands will benefit hugely through association.”

How many Scottish marketing agencies will benefit from more work needed for the marketing of the Games has yet to be seen, but it would seem certain that Scotland’s media will expect a large amount of advertising spend across its many media platforms.

Elaine Ward Fincham, head of advertising at News International, said that she expects Scottish media platforms to see “a substantial increase” in advertising revenue from blue chip and large brands during the period of the Games.

“I would think that there will already have been meetings in boardrooms to discuss how to maximise an event as major as the Commonwealth Games. People will want to capitalise on this fabulous opportunity and a lot Scottish brands will look to support the Games.”

“I can’t imagine that we will see a great deal of activity straight away, it won’t really start until the genuine run-up to the games and during the games,” says Andrew Dunn, business director at Mediacom. “The event is a great marketing tool. It’s probably the biggest sporting event we’ll ever have in Scotland, so sponsorship connected to the event itself will obviously afford opportunities for advertisers, particularly Scottish advertisers.”

Already, the IPA has expressed its concern over the Government’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games Bill, which states that any commercial association with the Games, other than by an official Games sponsor, will be outlawed.

Before the announcement had even been made, controversy had been stirred up by the IPA who claimed that the proposed ‘ambush marketing’ restrictions which would be passed through parliament as part of the Glasgow Games Bill would prevent Scottish business for directly benefiting without first becoming an accredited partner.

“With every big event the restrictions can prove to be a double edged sword,” explains Fife Hyland. “They have got to be very tight and restrictive to attract the sponsors in, make sure they are protected and making sure there is a balance of local brands and local businesses which are benefiting themselves.”

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