THREE groups have been given the rights to sell packages for the Olympic Games after a bidding process which saw them beat a field of other companies to the finishing line.
The main UK domestic packages are being run by an alliance between Prestige ticketing and Mike Burton-Sodexo, while US agency JetSet has also been given a podium place.
Thomas Cook has also been chosen and will offer short-stay hotel packages for the Games along with tickets for events.
JetSet will get access to around 60,000 tickets and Mike Burton-Sodexo with Prestige ticketing around 70,000.
That will account for just under two per cent of the total 10m tickets that will be sold for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
The JetSet one per cent will cover all sports and include a range of prices andwill cater for international visitors.
JetSet has worked for the last ten winter and summer Games and was a key provider of travel and hospitality packages at the Beijing Olympics,
Meanwhile Mike Burton (pictured in his playing days) is a former England rugby union international whose company provides packages for sports events, mainly rugby, tennis and golf.
His tie-up with Prestige has created one of the leading sports hospitality operations across the globe and the
company has been chosen to provide the hospitality for the next rugby World Cup.
For the London Olympics the operation will provide the only on-site hospitality at Olympic venues, with plush surroundings and gourmet food on offer for the lucky recipients of sought-after tickets,
Prestige marketing chief Tony Barnard told City A.M the hospitality at the Games would be the best ever seen at a sporting event, with a guaranteed “wow factor”.
The company has already received more than 5,000 expressions of interest in its corporate tickets which will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Full details of the plans have been kept under wraps, with blueprints of the venue to be released next month.
“What we have planned is absolutely amazing — no-one could be disappointed with what we are offering. We are not talking about a marquee or something like that, our hospitality will be in a building created especially for the Games. It’s going to be something that people will remember.
“The corporate hospitality market in the UK is very mature and the expertise that the Mike Burton-Sodexo operation brings to the table is invaluable.
“Their experience in providing hospitality for the Rugby World cup makes them a top player.”
Any suggestions that the corporate hospitality industry was depriving tickets for “true sports fans” was dismissed by Barnard.
“The truth is these events would not be able to take place without corporate ticket sales. The reality is that we have a tiny proportion of the total number of tickets available for the Games,” he said.
“This is the way modern sport and all these amazing spectacles come about. They have to be paid for.”
Applications for Olympic Games tickets will be accepted up until 26 April. Thomas Cook has a range of short stay packages available for events, starting at £99. The deals include a £399 price for a three-night stay in a north London hotel with a ticket for the men’s football semi-final at Wembley, plus some athletics heats. The most expensive deal on offer for Thomas Cook is £6,499 per person and includes the opening ceremony, table tennis and volleyball competitions.
Stephen Vaughan, managing director, Thomas Cook, London 2012 Partnership, said; “London 2012 is a huge opportunity for our customers who will be able to benefit from a great range of Games Breaks to suit all budgets. We are counting down the days until this once in a lifetime event begins.”
A London 21012 spokesman said:
“We are hosting the two biggest sporting events on the planet and providing tickets to international audiences is a standard part of hosting an international event. The JetSet one per cent will cover all sports and a range of prices and the international visitors are an important part of tourism to London and the UK that events such as the Olympics and Paralympics can provide.”
Guide to ticket firms:
The company is providing the only on-site hospitality at Olympic venues. Its tie-up with Mike Burton-Sodexo means it can offer all round hospitality with top quality food and drink as well as the promise of the best seats in the house. Its tickets start at around £4,500. For more info go to: prestigeticketing.london2012.com
The travel firm is offering short break packages for the London games, with shuttles from hotels to events included in the price. The prices are wide ranging with the most expensive package, taking in the Olympic opening ceremony. There are a wide range range of packages. Call 0844 800 9900.
A massive player in the US, the company has been involved in global sporting events, including the Beijing Olympics. JetSet will provide packages to bring in travellers from across North America – and the globe – to the Games which will showcase London.
Go to Jetsetsports.com for more information