Athletics Needs the Right Mix of Mature and Developing Economies for Sponsors- Rupert Pratt

December 7, 2011

By Rupert Pratt

UK Athletics recently stated that the IAAF’s sponsors would much prefer a World Championships in London! Whilst supporting the event would certainly assist build relationships with the Qatari Government and key stakeholders, the London 2017 UK bid offers the sponsorship community a more balanced international B2B and B2C marketplace.

Qatar has a very small population so from a consumer sponsorship perspective offers a very low ROI for sponsors. This is why the Qatari bid looked to match funding by supporting IAAF events elsewhere.

There is no doubt that the sport in the UK in the run up to 2017 will be crowded with major sporting events (2012, RWC, Glasgow 14), but this will create a nice stepping stone. Both 2012 and Glasgow 2014 also have the opportunity to suck new sponsors into athletics so I see it as a real advantage. RWC 2015 will be popular with sponsors but highly competitive amongst an already defined Rugby marketplace.

The continuity from London 2012 to 2017 is a major bonus for UK Athletics, the London 2017 bid was a genuine coup for London 2012’s legacy promise and Athletics in the UK. UKA now needs to plan long term and build its commercial infrastructure.

Qatar wants to use athletics as a way developing and growing an economy that comes with hosting major games, as well as using the event as a catalyst for infrastructure development, showcasing their country and creating a stepping stone for other major event bids. Major sponsors need the right mix between existing and developing economies and London 2017 offers international sponsors a platform in a consumer and commercial hub.

Rupert Pratt
Managing Director
Generate Sponsorship
Co-Founder / Managing Director of one of the UK’s top sponsorship agencies
Rupert oversees the day to day running of the business  and its service divisions (Consultancy, Activation / PR, Events and Sales) as well as the agency’s expansion and development. He also manages its relationships with partner offices in Atlanta, Paris, Doha, Beijing and Shanghai
Generate is one of the fastest growing agencies year on year and Rupert is a regular contributor to sponsorship conferences, articles, forums and best practice (visit<> to understand more)

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