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Virgin London Marathon 2010 Volunteers & the Economic Impact Lisa Thompson – Assistant Race Director, London Marathon Limited Richard Coleman – Sport Industry.

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Presentation on theme: "Virgin London Marathon 2010 Volunteers & the Economic Impact Lisa Thompson – Assistant Race Director, London Marathon Limited Richard Coleman – Sport Industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Virgin London Marathon 2010 Volunteers & the Economic Impact Lisa Thompson – Assistant Race Director, London Marathon Limited Richard Coleman – Sport Industry Research Centre, SHU Girish Ramchandani – Sport Industry Research Centre, SHU

2 Contents Race history London Marathon facts Volunteers - source, training, number and roles Volunteers - time & equivalent monetary contribution Why volunteer? VLM 2010 economic impact study Economic impact of volunteer spending Implications and summing up

3 London Marathon History First run 29 March 1981 –7,747 runners started (20,000 applicants) Now world class international event and also one of largest mass participation events of its kind in the world Televised in over 100 countries The London Marathon is the single biggest annual fundraising event in the WORLD –76% run for good causes But what about the economic legacy? –SIRC employed to quantify this at the 30th edition of the event

4 London Marathon Facts 2010 162,000 applicants, 50,000 accepted 36,000 starters, 35,000 finishers 6,000 volunteers 660,000 bottles of water 23 water stations (1 every 3 miles) 60,000 bottles of Lucozade Sport 30,000 Lucozade Carbo Gels 40,000 foil blankets 40 baggage trucks

5 Source of Volunteers Running clubs and more recently community groups Corporate and University volunteer programmes –e.g. British Airways –e.g. University of Greenwich, Event Management Degree Teams not individuals –20 to 130 per team –Team leaders bring their team –Ease of communication

6 Volunteer Training Thorough training provided dependent upon the roles being undertaken Increased race security given the changing world in which we now live Contingencies in place to cover any eventualities linked to security risks Route split into seven sectors each run by a Sector Manager

7 Volunteer Numbers Marshals at The Start 1,000 At on-course Drinks Stations 2,500 On-course Race Marshals 1,200 Marshals at The Finish 1,300

8 Volunteer Roles (1) 7 sectors on course, each with a Sector Manager –Major time commitment, hence paid per day worked –Fully cognisant of all contingency plans for race day –Selected from experienced volunteers who were formerly Marshal Team Leaders Marshal Team Leaders Drinks Station Managers

9 Volunteer Roles (2) At the race start –Direct runners; man baggage trucks; steward entrance points; and drink distribution On course drinks station –100 people per station –Some groups have run stations for years and include children e.g. Scouts, Sea Cadets Race Marshal –Direct public / spectators around the course and at crossing points At the race finish –Handing back baggage; distribute medals and goody bags; stewarding and assisting runners and spectators


11 Case Study: British Airways BA Athletics Club provide a 130 strong team each year 21 years of BA marshalling at the London Marathon –Operate crossing points across the route for spectators. The set- up and organisation of these is always faultless, and they have been copied by other events, notably the Berlin Marathon. Provide Team Leaders including two Sector Managers Regularly work around sensitive areas (e.g. Parliament & Buckingham Palace) –Work closely with London Marathon staff and The Met. Police –An experienced team who also work at other road races in London

12 Why Volunteer at London Marathon? Habitual volunteers, have been helping for so long and progressed from Marshal to Team Leader and then to Sector Manager Hands on experience for students or budding event managers –Transferable skills, go on and manage own running events –Looks great on CV Open doors to London 2012 Olympics –Calm nerves at selection interviews based on Marathon experiences …our event allows 35,000 people each year to achieve their ambition to complete a Marathon, we should not forget that it also allows thousands of others to volunteer and fulfill their desire to give something back to sport and the community, to feel part of a team and make a contribution.


14 Background SIRC conducted economic impact studies of the 2000 and 2010 London Marathon. We present the findings from 2010 re the economic impact on London and the economic activity on the wider UK economy, with particular attention to the role of volunteers at the VLM. Mass participation events of this nature have the potential for significant economic impacts on host areas, as friends and family want to share in the exceptional human challenge being faced by their loved ones over 26 gruelling miles.

15 Economic Impact Defined “The net economic change in a host community that results from spending attributed to a sports event or facility.” Turco & Kelsey, (1992) Measuring the Economic Impact of Special Events For details of the UK Sport approved approach to economic impact studies visit

16 Information Required How many (competitors / spectators etc.)? The proportion of deadweight to eligible Locals, specific How many will stay overnight? What type of accommodation & for how long? How much will the accommodation cost? How much will they spend on other things? How much will organisers spend using monies originating outside the host economy?

17 Research Specifics 2010 5,500 completed surveys (f2f, online and telephone) –Runners (2,273), spectators (2,574), media, vols., sponsors, businesses and exhibitors at the EXPO Spectator estimate of 750,000 –Based on video analysis/aerial photography of the 2010 event and stills taken along the route of crowd density –Discussions with the Met. Police and Race Director –Repeat viewing factor (2.1) resulted in 362,000 different people Figure for charity fund-raising provided by the London Marathon Limited and is additional to figure for EI on London

18 Summary Findings - 1 Additional flow of new money into London economy £27.1m –Spectators £13.1m; almost half the additional expenditure –Runners £9.5m (exc. entry fees) –£6.9m spent on 118,000 bed-nights in London hotels & guest houses –£6.3m injection to the catering industry in London –Organisers net spend (using monies from outside London) £1.6m

19 Summary Findings - 2 Total economic activity attributable to VLM in UK £110m –£23m spent by runners’ including £18m preparing for the VLM –£22.3m spent by spectators (including Londoners) –£4.4m spent by sponsors, activating their sponsorship of the VLM –Charity fund-raising almost £50m –Net export effect from overseas’ trade was almost £3.8m.

20 Economic Impact of Volunteers Post event online survey supplementing face to face interviews at the event Around 68% from London Boroughs (c. 4,100) Almost 1,900 from outside London –93% day visitors spending on average £6 per day –Remainder stay in London mainly with friends and relatives –‘Eligible’ expenditure by volunteers c. £22,500 (London impact) –For the UK importance study c. £50,000 Happy to contribute time & effort in return for a jacket/t-shirt and free lunch plus kudos of being associated with an event that offers one of the toughest challenges that many people will face.

21 Hourly Contribution 6,000 volunteers Around 6.5 hours per volunteer Volunteers contribute 39,400 hours on Marathon Sunday Equivalent to 4.5 years in one day Using a UK average hourly wage of £12.50 (in April 2010) this represents c. £500,000 of ‘free’ labour to ensure that race day runs smoothly.

22 Summing Up Big city marathons have the potential to play a key role in a city’s tourism strategy The study provides a VFM appraisal of the costs to the London Marathon Limited & London Boroughs of staging the event Consistent with previous studies, the EI is mainly dependent upon spending by spectators and participants, BUT… The VLM would not function without its army of volunteers. To get involved contact …

23 THANK YOU ANY QUESTIONS? Lisa Thompson – 0207 9020196 Richard Coleman – 0114 2255924 Girish Ramchandani – 0114 2255461

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