The industry watched on with great anticipation recently when the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Committee released Expression of Interest notices for the major event supply chain to respond with interest in providing turn-key venue solutions for Yves-du-Manoir (Hockey) and Le Golf International (Golf).
The concept itself has been a topic of great debate within the industry for over a decade now.
For every Olympic Cycle, Summer and Winter, the model followed by each and every Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (OCOG) has been to in-source the delivery of all venues and all venue operations. Yes, existing venue operators have provided their own internal resources to manage and operate their own existing venues, but they have done so under the rule of the OCOG, who have brought in their own contracted supply chain of temporary infrastructure/overlay and service providers and demanded, through strict Venue Use Agreements, that venue operators adopt the OCOG supply chain, which in many and most cases have an unfamiliarity with the venues, and indeed the sport, themselves.
For the supply chain this opportunity is not something to be missed. A single source supply contract with a client who, generally, has never delivered an Olympic Games before, is commercially motivated by the structure of the Sponsorship or Value In Kind dollar attributed to the deal, rather than the operational reliability of the supplier and, most importantly, will never be a repeat client, like the International Federation has the potential to be.
Credit must be given to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the strategies outlined in their Olympic Agenda 2020 and their New Norm reforms, adopted in Nov 2014 and Feb 2018 respectively, recognising that this practice alone was a significant factor in potentially making the “Games” commercially unsustainable in the future. What is now apparent, is that this strategy provides a significant opportunity for the International Sports Federations (IF’s) themselves. Forever a reluctant on-looker as OCOG’s have built their own internal teams to plan and deliver venues and venue operations for the IF’s pinnacle event on their Sports calendar.
IF’s are now central to the Venue Turn-Key solution with an opportunity to lock in long term sustainable commercial arrangements with suppliers who know their product, know their sport and can negotiate for supply agreements that will last beyond a single Olympic cycle.
For some IF’s this model is a no-brainer. In Golf, The PGA and European Tour operators could deliver an Olympic Golf Event on behalf of the International Golf Federation with their eyes closed. For others, they now have an enormous opportunity to lock in existing commercial partners who deliver their calendar of global events successfully that can transition seamlessly into the Olympic Venue Turn Key solution.
For smaller IF’s the scale of their Olympic turn-key event delivery model provides the platform for them to secure event partners for their World Championships and Regional Championships at better commercial terms. An opportunity that did not exist before.
This new win-win model of venue turn-key solutions presents great opportunity for all IF’s, to finally take ownership of their Olympic event and build longer term sustainable commercial relationships with a willing and capable international supply chain who want, and need, to be repeat suppliers and long term partners.
About the Author:
Andrew Sharp is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EPG l Event Planning Group. EPG have been an integral part of every Olympic Games since their formation in 2005 and Andrew himself has held a number of key executive roles within various OCOG’s and other major international events around the globe. EPG operate out of four (4) global offices providing expert consultancy and project execution to a number of high profile event clients.