POSTED: January 22nd 2010

Q&A: Andreja Wieser on how the recession is hitting hospitality plans at World Cup and Games

PROSKE had a number of clients for the 2006 World Cup / Image: Proskegroup-en
PROSKE had a number of clients for the 2006 World Cup / Image: Proskegroup-en

Andreja Wieser, in charge of sports for PROSKE Group / Image: Proskegroup-en
Andreja Wieser, in charge of sports for PROSKE Group / Image: Proskegroup-en

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA, Jan. 22: Hospitality at major sporting events has certainly been hit by the global worldwide recession and head of sports for the PROSKE Group, Andreja Wieser, talks exclusively to about her point of view.

The PROSKE Group has provided hospitality support for sponsors and corporations in over 60 countries around the world since it was founded in 1986.

Some of their engagements have included Coca-Cola, UBS and Burger King at the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006 and then Coca-Cola, again and Swisscom at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

Currently the PROSKE Group is looking to raise its profile in the UK market in view of the upcoming London 2012 games and has appointed Calacus director David Alexander to provide PR support.

Wieser has some interesting insight on the future of hospitality trends for some of the upcoming major sports events.  

From a hospitality standpoint do you think the recession has bottomed out and is on the rise or on a plateau?

If we believe current studies, the recession has reached its peak. We are certainly optimistic about upcoming global sporting events.  We believe that London 2012 will definitely be a catalyst for the growth of the sports market and the hospitality industry.

At PROSKE group, we have recently recruited 11 new staff as we bid to maintain our position at the forefront of corporate and sponsor markets in view of London 2012. We are also going ahead with our plans for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012.

For us, it is only natural that new staff specialisms include native Polish speakers ahead of Poland co-hosting the UEFA EURO 2012. We want to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading hospitality companies by hiring top level staff to add to our offering.

Many American companies have been criticized for lavish spending on hospitality in the recession. What has been the trend that you have seen worldwide?

We carefully study developments in international business of sport in times of global financial crisis. In times of global financial crisis, corporations and companies evaluate carefully before they invest either as a sponsor or as a host at major sporting events.

The requests and inquiries for corporate hospitality packages for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup have so far been lower than at the last tournament in Germany. 

We get fewer inquiries for corporate lounges, hospitality boxes and business seats. Corporations ask for lower end hospitality due to limited budgets. In times of recession, companies want to ensure that high costs for large events are a secure investment. They therefore need a reliable and competent partner.

The customer expects a state-of-the-art hospitality service and a tighter budget does not necessarily mean an inferior service. Our philosophy is based upon creativity and professionalism and we believe in first class provision of services that must result in absolute customer satisfaction.

Fewer clients are now accepting high-end hospitality invitations by corporations today than a few years ago because it is not considered to be appropriate for a number of reasons. Corporations are also taking longer to commit to buying hospitality packages or to buying tickets. It has become more of a last minute decision.

Will you be doing hosting at the World Cup and how are you dealing with the security issues?

PROSKE group has been working on hospitality packages for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, a number of factors, including costs in particular, have prevented corporations from buying high cost hospitality packages.

There are security concerns everywhere and as a full-service agency, of course we advise our customers and educate them on country-specific experiences and local habits or traditions. We advise our customers to behave like they would normally behave in any other international city.

Every country has its own security measures and as a hospitality expert, we advise our customers where it is safe for them to go on their own for a walk or shopping or where it would be advisable to be accompanied by a professional local host/hostess and/or guide.

Ensuring the safety and security of our customers is our top priority. When it comes to our customer security, we take it very seriously, no matter for which country on which continent.

Do you have any special plans for the London Games?

The UK is a burgeoning location for sports events, particularly with London 2012 just over two years away. In view of London 2012, we are aiming to further strengthen our position in the global sports community as a leading hospitality partner for global sponsors and corporations with the emphasis on professionalism and our experience.

Having worked at the last four Olympic and Paralympic Summer and Winter Games in a wide range of protocol positions, as well as the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2008 UEFA EURO 2008 will maintain our position as first class hospitality experts in the international sports world.

PROSKE group Head of Sports is Andreja Wieser, who has more than a decade of experience in Olympic and Paralympic Protocol and Hospitality. She also worked for the Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

Keywords · PROSKE Group · Andreja Wieser · Calacus · David Alexander

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

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