Euro 2012 Organisers Face Hospitality Obstacles

By iSportconnect | March 27, 2012

ampoule helvetica, sans-serif;”>UEFA Euro 2012 organisers are struggling to sell corporate hospitality packages for the tournament due to competition from London’s Olympic Games and the event’s location in Poland and Ukraine, according to experts.

UEFA’s quadrennial showpiece commences just six week before the opening of London 2012. Four years ago, the Olympics were hosted by Beijing, “rather more difficult to access from Europe,” David Taylor, CEO of UEFA’s commercial arm UEFA Events, told Bloomberg. “These things inevitably have an effect.” Taylor added that while Austria and Switzerland’s staging of Euro 2008 generated hospitality sales of Eur150 million, figures for Poland and Ukraine’s tournament are expected to be 30% lower.

Tony Barnard, marketing director at Prestige Ticketing, the London Games’ official onsite hospitality seller, said clients have told him they are prioritising the Olympics. “A lot of clients are saying this year we’re going to do the big one as opposed to some of the more perennial events that they normally do,” Barnard stated. “While the Euros are normally very well attended it is a very long hike out to Poland and Ukraine and it’s a different ball game to being France and Germany or Switzerland and Austria.”

The downturn in corporate hospitality comes as UEFA revealed last week that general attendance tickets have yet to sell out. However, Taylor states that European football’s governing body is prepared to sacrifice financial gains in favour of taking the event to Eastern Europe for the first time in its history. “A very important decision has been made to actually go to Eastern Europe in the light of the awareness that this isn’t going to be the most financially successful tournament of all time,” Taylor added. “We could go elsewhere if that was our objective.”