An ATPI Case Study: BBC Sport
An ATPI Case Study: BBC Sport
Preparing for the upcoming FIFA 2018 World Cup
BBC Sport is a department of the BBC providing national sports coverage for BBC television, radio and digital services. BBC Sport’s main base is at MediaCity UK in Salford, England. They deliver coverage of a wide range of sports across a vast geographical area, including some of the world’s most popular tournaments.
The range of events and locations that BBC Sport cover means that they require varied and different travel arrangements for all aspects of sport production; from business meetings with sports organisations and production recces, to coverage of major sporting tournaments. BBC Sport’s travel is arranged through the BBC Procurement Team who has preferred suppliers for domestic and international travel.
With the FIFA 2018 World Cup fast approaching BBC Sport required a travel supplier to support their production of the tournament. Following an RFP process, ATPI Sports Events was awarded as the official travel supplier in Autumn 2016, given their experience of providing transport and logistics for previous football tournaments and their knowledge of other large scale sporting events in Russia, including the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games. Furthermore, ATPI Sports Events also benefited from existing and experienced offices in Russia.
The FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia will be held from 14th June to 15th July 2018, with thirty-two men’s national teams taking place. The tournament features sixty-four matches played across twelve venues in eleven cities. Despite the vast majority of the games being played in European Russia, the locations cover a wide area.
From Kaliningrad in the west and Ekaterinburg in the east, Saint Petersburg in the north and Sochi in the south. Like many major sporting events, Russia 2018 presents some logistical challenges due to, for example, the number of host cities and the sheer size of the host nation. These challenges could also be exacerbated by differences in culture and linguistics.
ATPI Sports Events acknowledged that media companies present their own challenges, as many of the travellers are freelancers and therefore their travel information is unknown until closer to the event. Certain BBC Sport crew members will require considerable excess baggage that needs to be factored in.
ATPI Sports Events started preparing and carefully planning for the quadrennial sporting event soon after award. An ATPI Sports Events project team was set up to service the team, made up of four individuals; a team leader, two business travel consultants and one groups consultant. The project team worked alongside ATPI’s Moscow office, local suppliers and airlines to gain a thorough understanding of each of the host cities. Moreover, the team are supported by our Moscow office for booking Russian rail tickets and their local knowledge. In preparation for the games a member of the UK based project team travelled to Russia at the end of the group stages.
Thorough planning and a close partnership is key to the success of projects of this size. Therefore, the ATPI Sports Events and BBC Sport teams meet for regular meetings to ensure all travel arrangements are covered and planned, including travel options and extras that will assist BBC Sport whilst on the ground during the event. Meticulous planning and flexibility has enabled the ATPI Sports Events team to adapt to the production timeline, for example ensuring the correct level of staffing at each major milestone.
Due to a high percentage of travellers for the World Cup being freelancers there has been a lack of confirmed traveller information thus far. ATPI Sports Events has been able to work around this by holding group seats that do not require this information until closer to the departure date. To resolve the issue of certain crew members needing extra baggage, in some cases up to five bags, ATPI Sports Events successfully negotiated media baggage rates with the airlines. In turn, the project team completed due diligence checks on the domestic flights to ensure they can cater for the extra baggage.
With the event some months away, work is still in progress to ensure that BBC Sport benefits from seamless travel during the event. However, so far we believe BBC Sport has benefitted from high levels of customer service and organisational skill, which has been backed up with expert knowledge of travel and local understanding of the environment in Russia.