Managing Sports Events - Making the best choice

Managing Sports Events - Making the best choice

Managing Sports Events can be a mammoth task like any other large project. Start by planning, planning, planning.  Spend some of your time visiting similar sporting code events and see how your spectators and competitors react within their environment. If you can’t get to visit live events watch similar events online. Look deep into the camera angles and play them over and over again.

1. Create a project plan

Your first step to managing a sport event is to understand your objectives or goals.  Define these clearly and only then should you start to outline the deliverables that will help you reach those goals.

  • What are the legislative requirements in your region?
  • Are there licenses required?
  • Why are you holding the event?
  • Which venue will you use?
  • Where does the funding come from?
  • Do you have sponsors and what are their requirements?
  • How many participants do you expect?
  • How are you marketing the event?
  • How many spectators to do you expect?
  • What size team will you require?
  • What specialists will you require?
  • What technology will you require?
  • What safety and security is required?

These are just a few of several hundred titles event planners use every day when building a project plan.  The answers to these questions will become your top level project items and each will have several child objects below.  For example, under Safety you would include, Medical Team, Parking for Ambulances, Access control and accreditation for medical staff, Indemnity signage, evacuation plans, disaster management plans, etc.

2. Develop a budget or Plan to the Budget?

So who “owns” the event? If this is your own event, the budget should be determined by yourself.  If you are managing this event on behalf of another owner, you may have been given a fixed budget or perhaps requested to compile a budget.  Either which way it is imperative you understand your costs and ROI (return on investment).  When planning a budget consider the variables like incoming funds from participants, gate fees, sponsors and services like food and beverage.

3. Appoint a Team

In our game its very much like any team sport where players have positions, goals and responsibilities.  The same applies when appointing your team to plan and manage your sports event.  If your internal skills are shallow, look outward for freelancers that can add the skills and credibility to your team.  The additional cost of adding professionals to your team will most definitely pay for themselves.  Your team needs to understand the overall objectives and goals and what part or roll each player has in achieving of these goals.

4. Sponsorship’s & Funding

Before you race out trying to secure sponsors, understand your value and what type of return you can offer your sponsors.  All too often sponsorship doors will be closed because of the poor pitch. Typically, the big corporate brands receive hundreds of proposals every week.  So ask yourself a few questions and discovers the answers before your presentations:

  • Why should this company sponsor my event?
  • Are the spectators and/or competitors an audience the sponsor wants to engage with?
  • Will the sponsor get 3-5 times the value per Rand (Dollar) spent at my event than if they used traditional advertising mediums?
  • What can I offer the sponsor? Space, advertising, association, target audiences, naming rights?
  • Am I asking for cash, product, association, venue, staff, skills? What do I want from the sponsor?
  • Prove to the sponsor that you don’t need them!

The last point may sound crazy but it’s true.  Most event owners finance the event on sponsors investments.  This make potential sponsor nervous.  Make sure the sponsor understands when their investment will be utilized.

5. Choosing the Date

Event dates can be determined by numerous factors.  Are you part of a series or tour?  Does your sporting code have a specific season or perhaps the weather would have a huge impact on the event?  Most importantly though, are your competitors available and aren’t already committed to another event on the same day?  Are there any other major events in your city or province on the same day?

6. Marketing of a Sports Event

Having a great idea for an event is only one of the many ingredients that will be required to deliver successful results.  Marketing your event using the correct channels, mediums, creative and campaigns is paramount.  Design a concept and plan the campaign roll out using the media and social channels targeted at your audience.  If you have a media partner or sponsor, be sure that they are aligned to your total media plan.

7. Feedback, Feedback, Feedback.

All too often events happen and you write down a few notes to discuss how to make it better next year.  Perform details surveys of all aspects of your event.  Contract a research house to assist you in developing the questions to ensure you get the answers you need.  Always remember that no feedback is bad feedback if used wisely to better the next event.
If you are looking for advice or perhaps want to bounce some ideas around, please do drop me a line.

Shaun Brickell | Umlilo Brands

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