Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Interview with Peter Abraam, CEO Victorian Major Events Company

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Interview with Peter Abraam, CEO Victorian Major Events Company

Article excerpt


The Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC), located in Melbourne, Australia, declares its mission as being "to attract major events of international significance to Melbourne and the State of Victoria". VMEC is considered a world leader in its field. Peter Abraam (PA), interviewed by Con Stavros (CS), explains the role of VMEC in maintaining Melbourne's position as 'sporting capital of the world' in the context of global events development, the involvement of government sponsors and use of best practice, as demonstrated through the Formula One Grand Prix.


Victorian Major Events Company



Formula One


CS: Is Melbourne the 'sporting capital of the world'?

PA: Absolutely. When you consider Melbourne's calendar, I believe we are the pre-eminent city in the world for events. There are very few cities that have a tennis Grand Slam, a Formula One Grand Prix, a Superbike world championship, a MotoGP, a world renowned horse-racing carnival and a football grand final of the nature and size that Melbourne does. And I haven't even begun to cover the one-off events--the Commonwealth Games, FINA World Swimming Championships, Volvo Ocean Race Stopover, FIG Gymnastics World Championships, Deaflympics, ILS World Life Saving Championships and so on. In a global context, I would certainly say that the Victorian Major Events Company (VMEC) is not alone in believing that Melbourne is one of the world's leading cities. Certainly our organisation has concentrated on sustaining this momentum and securing key events to ensure we maintain a world-class event calendar.

With respect to the title 'sporting capital', Melbourne has always been very proud of this long-held reputation. Go back 10 years and VMEC's events portfolio was primarily sporting. However, when you look at Melbourne's calendar now, you'll see a range of other events sharing the space with the major sporting championships, with a greater share between sports and cultural and entertainment events, which provides a much better balance. So while we continue to enjoy the 'sporting capital' status, our broader and internationally recognised calendar of events is best captured by our brand--'The world's event city'.

CS: Is there a number two city in the world that Melbourne should be looking over its shoulder towards?

PA: I'm not sure who the number two city is, but I think cities such as Berlin, Edinburgh and Indianapolis are working strategically and investing significant resources in events. National bidding organisations have also been developed in Ireland, Scotland and Denmark, along with new players in the international market including the cities of Dubai, Doha and Hong Kong. It's very competitive now. Governments and cities around the world have realised that event-driven tourism is a significant generator of the economic benefits that can be brought to a city. As a consequence of that, more locations are recognising that they need to spend more money in order to attract the events that drive event tourism.

CS: What is the role of VMEC?

PA: The role of VMEC is to procure events, both sporting and cultural, that provide the state with economic benefit as well as international exposure; branding exposure that promotes Melbourne the city, and Victoria the state, to the world as a tourist destination. The events themselves bring economic benefits through visitation and associated activities. Events have a range of other great benefits, particularly triple-bottom-line benefits.

CS: Procuring major events has become big business across the globe. What does Melbourne offer?

PA: We are very fortunate because we have a marvellous palette to work with. What Melbourne offers is a friendly, welcoming environment. If I look at the factors that are critical to securing events, the first is support. …

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