Exclusive: Huge interest but still no deal for London 2012 reveals Forman
Wednesday, 08 June 2011
June 8 - Lance Forman, managing director of the luxurious Forman's Fish Island, the closest venue to the Olympic Stadium, has revealed that the next six to eight weeks will be crucial for his company as they looks to close a multi-million pound deal on hiring out his premier hospitality spot for the London 2012 Games.
Forman became somewhat of a legendary figure in the East End of London after he triumphed in a highly-publicised legal battle with former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
Forman's original premises were right in the middle of where the main Olympic Stadium now stands and he was given a compulsory purchase order by the London Development Agency (LDA) to make room for the Games.
It was suggested the fourth generation salmon smoking family business move well away from the Olympic Park but Forman resiliently stood his ground to secure a stunning location on the banks of the River Lea, offering premier views of the new Stadium.
Forman now looks set to make a fortune hiring out his key venue for corporate hospitality during London 2012, with a figure of £1 million ($1.6 million) a day being mentioned.
Major sponsors and National Olympic Committees are said to be interested but Forman says that the next six to eight weeks will be crucial in deciding what happens at the venue during the Games.
"Unsurprisingly there has been a huge amount of interest in the venue because of the close proximity to the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Park but no deals have been signed just yet," Forman told insidethegames.
"But clearly the clock is really ticking now and the next six to eight weeks will be crucial in deciding exactly what is happening here during London 2012.
"We are currently building a multi-purpose temporary structure adjacent to our existing premises which is 100 metres from the Olympic Stadium and will be ready before next July.
"We are also thinking of having Sunseeker Yachts in the river in front of us that can be used for hospitality purposes during the Games and we have other ideas such as putting up a giant screen showing the sporting action so we really do have a huge number of options open.
"The key for us now is to find a partner we can work well with so that we can really get the best out of the unique experience the Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide."
Major companies, including Nike and Visa, have been mooted as potential London 2012 tenants while the location is also attracting accredited and non-accredited media looking to broadcast the Games from the temporary venue next door to the restaurant.
Earlier this year, Forman appointed former head of sport for the BBC and ITV Brian Barwick and former chief operating officer of England's 2018 World Cup bid Simon Johnson to represent his organisation in discussions with the interested broadcasters, while there are also rumours that the Foreman's Fish Island will be hosting a major VIP party during the Games.
"This is a very unique situation and we are really excited about what will happen moving forward," continued Forman.
"This is not about ambush marketing or anything like that which is why we have top people like Brian and Simon here and we are constantly talking with London 2012 to see how we can be the best possible neighbours.
"But we know we are in a very lucky position and we are going to do our upmost to make sure that we can exploit the opportunity of an Olympics and Paralympics to the fullest."
April 2011: Barwick and Johnson appointed by Forman's for 2012 TV studio negotiations
February 2011: Forman still looking to close multi-million pound deal on premier hospitality venue for London 2012