October 26 - London's bid to host the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships has received a major boost after a survey identified the city as the sporting destination guaranteed to provide the highest return and media profile for sponsors.
The survey, carried out by IFM Sports Marketing, showed that over half of the 110 global industry leaders polled believe that London offers the best opportunity to increase new commercial revenues.
Highlighting the appeal that a major event in London would bring to potential sponsors, industry leaders ranked it as the world's top destination for providing an excellent return on investment, positioning the city as 20 per cent more popular than its closest rival Sydney.
Exactly 85 per cent of those polled cited strength of brand presence as one of the reasons why investing in London events is attractive, with 84 per cent claiming associated media platforms and 74 per cent saying that the city's diverse population were key drivers for event sponsors.
Meanwhile, the impact of London as a sporting host extends to a range of commercial benefits, officials claimed, with more than 50 per cent of the industry leaders asked believed London offered a gateway to new brand markets.
"This survey echoes the conversations I've had with global sports sponsors and the message is loud and clear: London is the preferred destination for major brands," said UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos.
"But this isn't just about attracting the sponsor dollar for London 2017.
"A strong sponsorship programme combined with full stadium and record TV audiences could provide our sport with a significant legacy and a real foundation on which to build a global commercial platform."
The World Athletics Championships are one of the largest sporting events in the world, broadcast to over 200 countries with a global audience of 95 million during peak times.
With an expected media value for London alone expected to be in excess of £60 million ($96 million/€69 million) in 2017, the impact for potential commercial partners is enormous, officials claim.
More than 2,000 athletes, 450,000 spectators and 14,000 personnel from over 200 counties would be in London for nine days if the 2017 bid is successful, meaning that the economic benefit of hosting the Championships to the UK would be in excess of £100 million ($160 million/€115 million).
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