EuroBasket 2015 Zagreb

Date:  5. – 10. 9. 2015
Location: Arena Zagreb, Croatia
Organizer: SORA Catering, Sport Media Focus
Client:  Croatian Basketball Federation
Event type: Sport Event Corporate Hospitality

Big sport events like EuroBasket bring a lot of positive energy to a country. This can be smartly directed into successful business opportunities. Arena Zagreb sports hall offered VIP seats in Sky Boxes which were soon reserved by the sponsors. SORA Catering and Sport Media Focus, a sport management company, offered an additional option for business participants. In agreement with competition host, Croatian Basketball Federation, they created a Corporate Hospitality concept.

A VIP tent was constructed right next to the sports hall. Special ticket package was made including VIP parking, entrance to Corporate Hospitality with high-end catering services and best seats at a selected match. Corporate Hospitality offered environment and services perfect for business use. Companies could buy one or more sets of 8-10 tickets. This way they had an opportunity to impress their clients by taking them to lunch/dinner to a special business environment and treating them to their favorite team’s match.

Creativity

Corporate Hospitality is a new business model in the region. It has a long and successful history in Western Europe. Since this is a logistically and financially challenging project, local sport federations use it seldom. Still, final goal of the concept is to add value to ‘ordinary’ ticket. Tickets are included in the price of Corporate Hospitality Services and are sold on higher price than normally.

Innovation

Corporate Hospitality is an innovative sport event concept. In Zagreb it was built from scratch. The tent was divided into pre-match Business Club and post-match Lounge. It amazed its guests by impressive appearance and got a lot of attention also from passing by visitors.

Execution

High quality tents were constructed right next to the sports hall. All partner works were running smoothly and the facilities ready on time. EuroBasket 2015 Zagreb Corporate Hospitality tent was a high-end business event showcase. It was divided into two hospitality parts. Corporate Hospitality tickets enabled guests to access the Business Club where they could enjoy official catering services two hours prior the match. Finest lunch/dinner menus were offered to guests with best beverage selection. After the game, they could enjoy drinks and desserts in the post-match Lounge for one hour after each game.

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Key challenges:
Both organizing companies were official partners at past EuroBasket event in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2013. Therefore they had previous experience in successful organization of Corporate Hospitality concepts. Since this was the first time of a tent set-up at Arena Zagreb it took more time than expected to agree on exact location and size. At most parts of the project partners and audiences responded in late phase of the project. This intensified the execution in the final stage of the project.

Measurable results:
The event lasted for 5 days. Corporate Hospitality was open to guests during 10 most attractive matches. From 180-300 guests participated at each event. Corporate Hospitality packages encouraged tickets sales in central spectator seating part of the sports hall and ensured added value for client by profiting from Corporate Hospitality services.

Event Communication:
Client communication process was managed by Sport Media Focus and SORA Catering offered in-house marketing and sales support. The target audience was very specific, so the communication was addressed to sports organizations and to the strongest companies in the region. News about Corporate Hospitality tickets were sent to 10.000 existing business contacts and about 300 focused companies were contacted personally. Forty companies and individual clients in total confirmed their purchase. Guests attending the events were mostly their business partners, this way the number of company names participating at Corporate Hospitality multiplied. as all guests became potential clients for future Corporate Hospitality projects.

After Event: Sustainable solution
All customer communication and ticket sales were online, so the paper materials were minimised. Tent construction was of local origin and had minimum transfer miles.

SORA Catering had health and safety, sustainability, environmental and sustainable procurement policies in place and their staff was fully trained and were integral in the delivery of the business environmental objectives. Menus were planned using in‐season, fresh, local and organic food, with SORA Catering avoiding the use of disposable items by using reusable dishes, cutlery, glassware and linens (no paper, plastic or polystyrene cups, no paper napkins or table cover, no plastic cutlery).