A round-up of happenings at SportAccord Convention 2012 from SportBusiness Editorial Director Kevin Roberts:
Are cracks beginning to appear in the apparently seamless build-up to the Olympic Games? Some suppliers appear to think so.
One says that, having had more or less all of the margin squeezed out of original contracts, they are taking a particular delight in charging super-premium prices for last minute demands for products and supplies which had been under-ordered, mis-specified or simply forgotten.
Organisers of the Africa House in Kensington Gardens during London 2012 are hoping that newly created South Sudan will be able to organise an officially recognised National Olympic Committee in time to join them at the Games.
Given the current state of affairs in the country they could be a little preoccupied but the addition of South Sudan would take the number of African NOCs to 54. Nearly 30 of them have signed up to be part of Africa House which will include an exhibition component showcasing the culture and economic achievements of the participating countries as well as Club Afrique, where visitors are promised the warmest of welcomes as Africa celebrates its medal successes.
As no single African nation felt able to fund its own Olympic House in London, this collective effort is seen as a creative solution. The House is funded by fees paid by exhibiting nations and any profit will fund bursaries for young athletes.
Congratulations to the City of Glasgow for winning the Branding category in the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.
An oversight by a flustered and somewhat thirsty presenter meant their achievement was overlooked during the awards ceremony at SportAccord Convention. Slainte!
How do you measure the growth of women’s football? Well stadium attendances at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Germany are an obvious indicator but according to Uli Wolter of the German Football Federation (DFB) which organised the tournament there is another. He told the audience at the Sportaccord City Forum that he really understood how important the tournament had become when Panini decided to make it the focus of its first ever women’s football sticker album.
The sale of organic bratwurst at stadia was, he said, another indication of football’s changing demographic.
A warning from Michael Masquelier, head of IMG Media: “Kids want short form video and they don’t want to pay for it. If we don’t adapt they may divorce sport.”
London Olympic Delivery Authority boss Sir John Armitt says that a holistic approach will be taken to the sale of naming rights for the Olympic Stadium which, with only 64 days to go and seven year on from winning the bid, still has no anchor tenant.
In effect that means the ODA will work with a football tenant to get the best possible deal but Sir John bridled a little at a suggestion that the real value for brands lies in a connection with the home of a Premier League football team rather than simply a multi-use venue.
The examples of Etihad (Manchester City) and Emirates (Arsenal) are evidence of the strength (and increases the value of) the bond between brand and club when a club’s main sponsor embraces the stadium naming rights as well as shirt sponsorship et al.
The situation is made trickier by the potential of future sponsors of the stadium to category-clash with those of events which may be staged there. Remember, the 02 is the North Greenwich Arena for the duration of the Olympic Games and even Munich’s Allianz Arena had to drop its name for the 2006 World Cup.
SportAccord Convention Notebook – Kevin Roberts