UK Sport Gold Event Series is a fantastic London 2012 legacy says Lee
Friday, 16 November 2012
November 16 - Mike Lee, the strategist involved in a series of bid victories, including London 2012, has given his full backing UK Sport's Gold Event Series, which aims to bring over 70 of the world's most prestigious sporting events to Britain in the coming years.
The Gold Event Series, which was unveiled this week by UK Sport and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), is part of a plan to create a legacy from London 2012 by hosting major international sporting events, with 36 World and European Championships being targeted.
The £27 million ($43 million/€34 million) National Lottery funded project will provide an opportunity for 2.5 million spectators to watch sport in Britain while it is estimated that the project will see approximately £287 million ($455 million/€356 million) additional expenditure in host cities and regions across the United Kingdom.
Lee, whose international communications company Vero is working in partnership with UK Sport on several of the bids, said the project is a great legacy of London 2012.
"Putting this major events strategy in place is absolutely the right thing to do at this time," said Lee, who formed Vero after working as director of communications for London's successful 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid.
"Ultimately this a part of the London 2012 legacy, which is about utilising the venues, the infrastructure and indeed the international exposure the UK has had to bring in major championships.
"Before London 2012, it was difficult, if not impossible to do that because we just didn't have the right facilities.
"The symbol of this was Pickets Lock [the venue where Britain failed to keep its promise to build a stadium to host the 2005 World Athletics Championships].
"That was around in the early stages of the London 2012 bid and that was a major issue for us to overcome.
"We didn't have the venues, we didn't have the international clout and there wasn't a strategy that affected enough sport.
"But I think that the 2012 bid and the fantastic work of the Olympic Delivery Authority in building the venues and the Organising Committee delivering the Games has made a huge different to that."
Lee continued that the UK has a higher chance of success in sporting bids following London 2012.
"Every bid is different in terms of geopolitical outlook and so on," Lee told insidethegames here at the Aspire4Sport Conference here in the Qatari capital.
"But is the UK taken more seriously as a result of the whole London 2012 experience?
"The answer is absolutely yes.
"Now we have venues capable of hosting World and European Championships.
"If you look at the bids that have occurred in recent times, the success rate is high.
"You cannot win every bid and it is right that major tournaments are taken around the world because International Federations think globally.
"But the UK is clearly a very attractive proposition to International Federations, sponsors and broadcasters because of the 2012 Games."
The Vero chairman added that he is happy with the relationship his company have developed with UK Sport in terms of bringing more sporting events to Britain.
"I think the strategy is right and we have been very pleased to be involved in some of the bids," he said.
"The work we do with UK Sport is linked with their overall strategy on the international leadership programme [to develop sporting leaders from Britain] as well as major events.
"But we have also worked on specific bids where they think we can be helpful on presentations and on the final pitch.
"So we are contracted with UK Sport, and we help on specific bids where our expertise is called upon."
Simon Morton, the director of major events and international relations at UK Sport, has also backed the role of Vero in helping Britain secure major events.
"One of the reasons why the UK has already secured 10 World and European Championships for the Gold Event Series is the bidding expertise within the British events industry," he told insidethegames.
"Our Major Events Team has been working with our sporting and regional partners to apply some of the bidding techniques that are typically seen in mega events and the professional support of key bidding experts within that landscape has made a big difference."