Glasgow 2014 plots marketing drive

Organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are to ramp up marketing activity to exploit the growth and interest in multi-sports events in the wake of the Olympic Games.


Glasgow 2014, the organising committee for the event, claims it is “already seeing the benefits of London 2012 action”, with the company reporting that Olympic buzz from the capital has led to a sharp rise in calls from people keen to volunteer and get tickets.

The budget for delivering the event is £524m, just over 5 per cent of the £9bn budget for the London 2012 Games. David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, says that as result of the limited funds the event’s branding “will find smarter ways to work within our budget” to maximise marketing opportunities.

The marketing strategy, while still in the planning stages, will focus on using social media to get sports fans across the UK to share their ideas with the organising committee.

Grevemberg adds: “The Commonwealth Games is the second largest global multi-sport brands Games in the world and we’re already benefiting from an Olympic bounce. Companies want to do business with us and want to be associated with the Glasgow 2014 brand, mindful that there are real and lasting business benefits.”

He says that sponsorship activity should play to the event’s strengths of “community engagement” and “social responsibility” if it is to capture the Commonwealth’s imagination. He adds that the event’s sponsors, which already include Dell, Atos and SSE, will need to use social media to humanise athletes and tell more compelling stories if there marketing around the event is to be a success.

Despite no guarantee that big names such as Usain Bolt will attend the event, public sentiment towards the Games has been boosted by the reception of the London 2012 Olympics, according to YouGov.

Glasgow 2014’s buzz score – a measure of whether people have heard positive or negative things about the brand – jumped from 0.5 points on the 17 August, ten days before the Opening Ceremony, to 24.6 points a month later.

Additionally its index score, which measures brand perception, soared from 2.7 points to a new peak of 24.0 points during the same period.

Commonweath Games Glasgow 2014

  • More than 40 per cent of Scottish people said their experience of London 2012 has made them more excited about the 2014 event.
  • 78 per cent of adults said the 2014 Games would positively affect Glasgow and Scotland.
  • Demand for buying tickets had doubled from 14 per cent to 29 per cent since the last survey.

Viewpoint: Seb Joseph

With memorable moments such as Jessica Ennis’ Heptathlon victory and Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint cemented in people minds, London will be a tough act to follow for David Grevemberg and his team. Despite the challenge, Grevemberg’s strategy to encourage sponsors to focus on “community engagement” could avoid some of the criticisms levelled at the London 2012 Games becoming “over-commercialised”.

This approach will need to be backed by a strategy that uses digital channels to bring fans closer to the athletes. For the first time during a multi-sport event the athletes journeys were covered across all the different media channels throughout London 2012, an approach Grevemberg says sponsors are now starting to “buy into it.”

But success of the London 2012 Games is a double-edged sword. If Glasgow’s Games had followed Delhi’s, with its much derided athletes village and its empty seats, then it would not have been so difficult to impress.

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