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Small businesses using the Festival for exposure.

Is commercialism distorting the original reasons for sport?

Sport has always grabbed people’s attention and it’s no hidden fact that large companies and organisations offer sponsorship deals in order to make money out of sport which more often than not a benefit for both parties. However, it is becoming more apparent that small independent companies are trying to make money out of sport too in whatever ways they can.

Small businesses are constantly endeavouring to make revenue on the ever-growing sports industry and as a result are attending large sporting events such as this weeks Cheltenham Festival which 250,000 people are expected to attend over the week. The main objective for small businesses is to hire a space there in the hope that it will increase the exposure of their business which will hopefully generate future bookings as well as giving their profits a boost due to the amount of footfall that the four-day event attracts.

The Cheltenham Festival attracts over 250,000 people over the four day event

Large betting companies will be getting a big turnover this week but they are no longer the only ones making money and increasing their exposure as small independent companies are hoping to generate turnover and exposure too.

The Cheese Wedge are attending the Festival for the fifth time. They have six staff working for them this week including their owner Alex Horn and he is expecting to do around 700 transactions a day which will be around 2800 transactions over the four days of the Festival.

A punter at the Festival buying food from The Cheese Wedge

Two people who are prepared to take the risk in the hope that it will help their business in the future is husband and wife duo, Jayne and Mark. The couple own the Stone Baked Pizza and normally are waiting to serve the Bride and Groom, but not this week as they are making their first trip to Cheltenham to serve punters who are attending the Festival. Speaking exclusively to Park Life Sport Mark explained:

“We have never event been to a major sports event so we have no idea how much money we will make, it is a big risk but we hope it is worth our while with all the effort we have put in getting ready. We were looking for a sporting event to come along to, we chose the Festival as there are so many people that come from all over the UK so we felt this would help increase our profile the most. Our main objective is to expose the company and our values of using local produce which will hopefully increase bookings for future events so it is more of a long-term plan.”

Companies such as the Stone Baked Pizza using local produce helps to put more money back into the local economy. It is great to see the small business thriving and using big sporting events to increase their exposure but more can still be done by the Jockey Club to encourage more small business to turn out at future events which will help the local economy. The Jockey club could for example offer reduced rental costs for local business.

It is becoming more apparent that commercialism in sport is constantly evolving. It is no longer just big sporting events helping large companies, we are now beginning to see even more big sporting events giving small companies an economic boost by enabling them to increase their exposure.

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