The year 2012 may seem like a long way off, but for Scottish business
the opportunities arising from the London Olympics are just a javelin's
throw away. Companies all over Britain are set to benefit from the
IOC's decision in July, but it is Scotland that may be the surprise
victor. Businesses north of the border, if they grasp the opportunities
springing from London 2012, can gain just as much as any English based
company. What is vital, however, is that they enter the race now to
avoid missing out on the chances that this event creates.
The obvious winner in Scotland (sport aside) is undoubtedly tourism.
Yes, the main Olympic stage will be in London, but at least one event
will be part hosted in Scotland. Football supporters will descend upon
Hampden to watch teams from around the world going for gold. It is also
likely that tourists travelling to London for the Games will extend
their stay and travel further a field. The tourism opportunities are
vast and need to be explored, in order to take full advantage.
Construction, advertising and retail in Scotland are just three further
examples of business areas that can benefit from London 2012. Scottish
business has already succeeded in entering the Olympic market.
Navyblue Design Group, an Edinburgh based business, played a key role
in the successful London bid. The Group won the £500,000 tender to
design the bid document including the candidature file and promotional
literature. Another successful Scottish company was Kirriemuir-based
Hi-Fli Banners and Flags who were involved in the production of the
promotional and branding material for the bid. Pagoda PR, also
Edinburgh based, led by example when they pro-actively approached the
bid team and suggested that it may be beneficial to promote the rewards
that a successful London bid could have in Scotland, Ireland and
North-East England. If such businesses can profit before the bid was
even won, consider the opportunities available to Scottish businesses
in the years leading up to and after 2012.
With the publication of the Government's London Olympics Bill, the
playing field has opened up in the commercial arena. The Bill creates
an Olympic Delivery Authority whose role it is to deliver public sector
obligations for the Games. Venue construction, transport and
advertising are some examples of areas covered by the Bill and areas
that Scottish businesses should seek to explore as soon as possible to
benefit both nationally and internationally. The exposure created by
such work would be invaluable for any business involved. The Bill is
currently before the House of Commons.
Of course sport will benefit greatly from the Olympics, including
sporting bodies in Scotland. The inspiration a home Games creates is
unparalleled. It is likely that children and adults alike will be drawn
towards new and different sports and activities in the build up to
London 2012. Sports clubs, sports societies, and sports businesses will
all benefit. If, as it is hoped, more Olympic venues are allocated to
Scotland, new stadiums and arenas may be built. This will provide
Scotland with opportunities well beyond 2012.