Monday, 28 July 2014

Tour de Force

It brings a tear to my eye every time I see the footage of the amazing crowds on the Cote du Buttertubs on Stage One of this year's Tour de France. Bringing the world's largest annual sporting event to Yorkshire was a master stroke by the UK sports community, wasn't it?

Well actually, no. Because Le Tour wasn't brought here by any sports body. It was won, and run, by a tourism agency, and it was a classic demonstration of how an event should be used. Because events should rarely be run for their own sakes. Like all tools in the communicator's box, they should be an used as an appropriate way of achieving a wider objective.

Welcome To Yorkshire clearly identified the county's scenery, historic houses, countryside and outdoor pursuits as central to attracting tourists. What better way to showcase that than bringing a world-renowned event to the county for two whole days?

Chief Executive Gary Verity deserves a knighthood for what he achieved in organising the grandest of all Grands Depart. He also deserves a place in future communicators' text books on how to use an event to achieve a wider goal.

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