A good and focused sports event strategy can produce success – and the lack of it is often the main reason for ending up spending a lot of money without creating impact or generating the desired benefits.
Having a strategy does not mean that bids won’t be lost or that every event will result in radical change for the city; but it does mean that every bid and every event will have a defined role to play in the overall objectives of the city.
So, how can you make sure your sports event hosting strategy is strategic enough?
Our experience of working with many cities around the world tells that it is crucial to start your strategy development process with answering the question: “why should your city, region or country host sports events?”
To bid for and eventually host an international sports event can never be an objective per se for any city. A Mayor of a city is not elected to bid for and stage international sports events. Rather, his or her main task is to run the city in the best way possible and to take care of its citizens. However, events can help the Mayor in achieving this where the identification of event objectives becomes relevant.
A successful and goal oriented event strategy focuses on identifying the right path by linking the city’s objectives and its events in an increasingly effective way year-by-year, building from one event to the next. Therefore, when bidding for any event, cities need to combine their various objectives with what the events can potentially offer.
There is no magic formula that can be used to develop a successful sports event strategy. However, there are surely areas of thought that are worth studying – and you first and foremost must make sure that your sports event strategy is strategic enough. Is your strategy effective in terms of linking to your city’s objectives? Does it have a clear and compelling focus? Is it competitive in a global market – and are you winning?