Sports Marketing Expert Shares Legacies Opportunities From Sport Events

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In March 2008, the RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series brought Alan Pascoe, chair of Fast Track sports marketing agency and vice-chair of London's bid for the 2012 Summer Games, to British Columbia to discuss how communities and local businesses can capitalize on major sport events. Pascoe made presentations in Victoria, Vancouver and Richmond as part of the series.
"There are massive business opportunities as part of a greater Games economy," said Pascoe. "Making the most out of sport events includes training volunteers, improving existing event venues, and maximizing economic spin-offs."

Other examples of needed products and services include temporary buildings; Braille inscriptions on medals and cups; and customized wheelchair ramps.

Communities can also create their own event to generate business. Pascoe cited the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, England, which he and his team envisioned and developed. The event gave competitors an outstanding sport experience and gave the City of Manchester a four-to-one return on its investment.

Pascoe emphasized that organizations have to be Olympians to win business – they need a winning mentality. Also, hosting sport events is now a catalyst for social change and includes legacies – including Games expertise – and sustainability.

"That's where 2010 Legacies Now and VANOC have really led the world," said Pascoe.

He described elements that could help facilities win hosting bids. These include an outstanding experience for competitors; legacy and sustainability plans; ambassadors and volunteers in place; community, sport organizations and media support; and a plan as to how an event in the facility contributes to the greater good of the sport.

Pascoe also talked about opportunities for arts and cultural organizations, saying that arts make the Games come alive. For example, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Arts Festival comprised more than 50 major productions and 50 exhibitions in 45 venues.

"The legacies are the greatest benefit from hosting Games," Pascoe said. "That's where the reward is."

The RBC 2010 Legacies Now Speaker Series hosted ten internationally-acclaimed speakers who shared their Olympic and Paralympic expertise with businesses and communities throughout BC. From 2006-2008, these speakers visited several communities to share their knowledge and experience. They also participated in an interview which was webcast live and archived online at The program was sponsored by RBC, CTV, the Province of British Columbia and the Vancouver Sun.