Figure skating fans from around the world will be coming to London in March for the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The best figure skaters in the world, from over 50 different countries, will participate in the event from March 10 to 17, 2013, at the Budweiser Gardens (formerly John Labatt Centre), as they compete for the title of World Champion.
And the event’s festivities don’t end on the ice. Through the “Light up London” initiative and on-site Fan Fair, the entire London community will be engaged in a full week of celebrations. The Fan Fair will take place at the Covent Garden Market and Budweiser Gardens, and will feature family-oriented activities, including games, activity stations and an outdoor vendor marketplace. “Light up London” will cover the downtown core in purple, white and silver – the color themes of this year’s ISU World Figure Skating Championships – with participating restaurants featuring special WFSC themed menu items, in-house activities, contests and decorations.
The competition schedule will begin with a full practice day for the competitors on March 10 and end with an exhibition gala featuring all of the medalists on March 17. All-event tickets include access to all practices and competitions and the exhibition gala.
For the local community and the culinary community in particular, who will be an important part of the festivities, it will be the first sporting event held in downtown London to be televised around the world to millions.
An event the size of the world championships is not only going to raise London’s profile around the globe, but it will also have a tremendous economic and cultural impact as well. Skate Canada is projecting this event will generate 28 million dollars in revenue in London. Audiences for this type of event are generally well-educated and have a high level of disposable income.
Tourism London wants us all to be proud Londoners, proud to show off our city. “You can’t pay for that kind of advertising.” If we understand the motivation of a culinary tourist and what they are looking for, we can leverage our culinary businesses and send visitors home from London to tell their friends about the amazing experience they had. What better, more cost-effective marketing can you get than word of mouth?