Saturday, 14 November 2009

Celebrate Englishness: CWG England Marketing director

Commonwealth Games England marketing director Duncan Lewis has called on the nation to celebrate its Englishness at Delhi 2010 in a bid to diversify Team England from London 2012.

With less than a year to go until Delhi 2010, Commonwealth Games England has recently been revamped with the appointment of a new board and the development of a new brand. The brand has been packaged with a rallying motto 'We Are England' with the intentions of attracting sponsorships and providing commercial potential to prospective investors.

The economic downturn, coupled with a rivalry, in terms of attracting sponsorship, with London 2012 ensures coming by sponsors is no easy task. But Commonwealth Games marketing director believes that Delhi 2010 will mark the gateway to Great Britain's golden generation of sporting events and insists the Commonwealth Games can capture the public's imagination.

And things are currently moving at quite a pace. A new board has been appointed and a new brand brought into place, which aims to encourage the country to celebrate England. There's a bit of a reticence in this country to do that. There sometimes seems a fine line between sporting patriotism and nationalism. But we see on occasions like the Ashes with the English cricket team that it can happen. It's very contemporary and inclusive if you consider how diverse the country is.

Preparations for next October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi have been tumultuous to say the least, with organizers calling for Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper to be sacked last month.

CGF president Mike Fennell has also advised Delhi 2010 organizers to accept international help to get preparations back on track but his words of wisdom have so far been ignored.

One of the best things about the Commonwealth Games for the English public is that they are guaranteed success, added Lewis. Of course there will be clashes and some athletes will not be able to compete but we're still going out there to win.

Take swimming for example. We want to prove we are competitive with the Aussies before London 2012.

Security is also a major problem on the sub-continent with England feeling forced to withdraw from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad earlier this year amid fears of a terrorist attack while the death toll in last November's attack in Mumbai reached 172.

We can only concern ourselves with things we can affect ourselves and that unfortunately is not one of them, he added.

But the recent trip by some of the board was very positive. Delhi 2010 is all part of a 2020 Olympic bid from India so they have a great deal riding on getting things right.


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