Trends & Features

Go for gold

The 2012 Olympics offers unrivalled opportunities for sports retailers, says Business Link

It’s the taking part that is important, not the winning. Don’t you believe it. Six county cricket grounds are among hundreds of sporting venues announced on March 3, 2008 as official pre-Games training camps for overseas teams in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. As the sports industry gears up for contracts, it is an example that sports retailers should strive to emulate.

Early estimates suggest the London Games could generate over £2billion in increased revenue for Britain’s visitor economy, with two-thirds of this growth occurring in the preceding four years. An opportunity on this scale comes along only once in a generation, if at all, so prepare, participate and prosper.

With consumers spending £4.4billion on sportswear in 2004, these figures suggest unrivalled opportunities for the sports retailer. As the planning process is already in motion, it is imperative to begin securing contracts with your key suppliers, particularly those who will hold 2012 licenses for sponsorship and branding.

Advice is readily available with the launch of the London 2012 Business Network, which comprises three core elements:
1. Information: comprehensive information on London 2012 business opportunities, including policies and guidelines.
2. Events: national programme of business events run by London 2012
3. Compete For: an online resource that gives access to London 2012 business opportunities, acting as a brokerage service between buyers and potential suppliers throughout the London 2012 supply chain.

As a small retailer, you may ask yourself what the benefits might be. First and foremost, you need to position your business within a market arena that will receive unprecedented press, thus enabling you to:

• Sustain your business against the competition.

• Attract a customer base that will be aspiring to purchase sportswear of their preferred team or sport.

• Enhance your public profile.

• Increase sales.

Consider sponsoring local teams or creating local competitions.

London 2012 is an opportunity to inspire everyone to develop their interests and volunteer – in sport and more widely within their community.

The London 2012 Sponsorship Programme gives companies a once-in-a-lifetime chance to access powerful business benefits associated with helping to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The official London 2012 Education Programme launches in 2008. The programme will offer children and young people in the UK and around the world ways to get involved – no matter what their inspirations.

The major projects include a World Festival of Youth Culture and a Celebration of Disability Arts and Sports. Sport charity projects are already underway, opening up opportunities for sponsorship.

Whilst these may appear external opportunities, it’s an example of how your business can actively create promotions and sponsorship, influencing your suppliers and encouraging local community activity.

Place your business in the forefront of the London Games spectacular. Take part, be noticed and go for gold in 2012.


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