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Commonwealth Games 2002: Marketing Plan

Clientcomm games

Manchester City Council - 2002


A successful Games was essential to ensure a positive legacy for Manchester, in terms of the city's physical regeneration and its reputation. We addressed three key marketing challenges in the run-up to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester:

  • A considerable tranche of tickets were still unsold after the first marketing burst
  • Vast numbers of international journalists were expected to attend the Games. But they would have spare time in the UK. This represented an opportunity to achieve extensive worldwide coverage by encouraging them to write about the delights of Manchester and the North West from a tourism perspective.
  • Cooperation and "joined-up" thinking would be essential across a wide range of customer-facing public organisations and businesses


  • We developed a targeted marketing strategy aimed at shifting unsold tickets as quickly as possible
  • We developed a media relations strategy aimed at encouraging international journalists attending the Games to visit the region and write about its tourism appeal
  • We proposed a central "hub team" to coordinate the many disparate non-sporting organisations, whose activities would be critical to the overall success of the Games. This included information distribution, visitor management, and making the most of opportunities presented by non-sports journalists


  • Spectator attendance was high. Many events sold out. The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games was considered one of the most successful to date, largely thanks to the organisers and the people of Manchester
  • Substantial international media coverage was achieved extolling the tourism appeal of Manchester and the North West. A successful Games and positive media coverage made a major contribution to changing perceptions of Manchester
  • This ensured a powerful legacy and international reputation for Manchester as a vibrant modern city, with welcoming people and a "can-do" attitude.
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