Positive steps have been made to ensure the success and longevity of the Stawell Gift for 2018 and beyond.
The Stawell Athletic Club signed a three year deal to run from 2018-2020 with 360 Sport and Entertainment to assist with the organisation of Australia’s richest footrace.
The company will take on multiple roles including event management, marketing, media, digital and sponsorship acquisition and maintenance.
New Stawell Athletic Club president Kieren McIntosh said it is crucial to have the assistance of a professional company such as 360 Sport and Entertainment.
“A lot of the time leading up to and even during the event there is only so much us a committee can stretch ourselves,” he said.
“Having the services of the 360 team will be really important for us, especially in the lead up trying to organise sponsorship and what the sponsors need.
“They will do a lot of the running of our digital stuff in the lead up trying to keep people involved in social media as well as maintaining our media opportunities so we can best show who we are.”
2018 will be McIntosh’s first Gift as president and he has taken over at a particularly difficult time in the club’s history.
After a number of major contracts ended, the club was unable to land a naming rights partner in 2017 and is currently struggling for major sponsors for next year’s event.
360 Sport and Entertainment managing director Trent Taylor said acquiring sponsors for next year will be the biggest challenge for his team.
“(Sponsorship) is absolutely the number one priority and whether that is title sponsors or filling in some of those major sponsors holes, more than half of our efforts are focused on sponsorship acquisition,” he said.
“Obviously our title sponsorship is the goal which is one of the most difficult sells in all sport let alone for the Stawell Gift. To get those big bucks is tough to get across the line.
“We have already brought forward a couple of small deals which the committee is assessing that gets the ball rolling.”
Despite the tight time frame Taylor said he is confident his team will be able to run a successful event.
“Our team created and implemented the Iron Man Melbourne event in four months which basically shut down Melbourne in 2012, so we have plenty of experience working with tight deadlines,” he said.
“The process for us has just been education and really understanding what are the resources the SAC has, what are the systems and protocols in place and getting a real grasp around that.”
Taylor said while there is a lot of work to do he and his company are “very excited” to be involved with the Gift.
“The first time I met with Kieren and the committee I said it would be an honour to be involved in it (Stawell Gift),” he said.
“We’re hoping to deliver a good financial result for the club and continue the ongoing reputation the event has around the country.”
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