28th January 2010

Official Line Column

28 January 2010 

Claire Furlong, UKA’s head of Marketing and Communications looks forward to the 2010 UKA Major Events series

In a little over a week the curtain will be raised on UKA’s major events season and I for one cannot wait for the opening fixture.

The Aviva International Match at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow will start the season with a bang as high quality teams from across the globe compete for the match title, and we will get a unique first view of athletes set for the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Then just two weeks later we hit Sheffield in what promises to be a thrilling trial for athletes attempting to make the Aviva GB and NI team for the World Indoors.

Finally – we welcome the world’s best back to the UK in hosting the Aviva Grand Prix – the biggest Indoor Event in the world and in my opinion the most exciting too! It is here we will see athletes breaking records, big name line-ups and British athletes taking one last chance to impress selectors

Marketing the indoor events season is an enjoyable task – the concentrated nature of an indoor programme gives us fast-paced action away from the cold, wet and snow of recent weeks. Sell out crowds flock to Kelvin Hall, the EIS in Sheffield and the NIA in Birmingham, eager for a break from the wall to wall football that is the staple sport diet for this time of year. People are genuinely excited when we bring track and field to their cities and their screens all year round, and it continues to give them a taste of what London 2012 will mean to our sport.

For the first time ever, last November we released all tickets for our major events across the entire year in one go – this was following feedback from spectators who particularly in the case of the Aviva Grand Prix, were exiting the NIA after a terrific afternoon’s entertainment and wanted to buy tickets for that summer’s trials taking place down the road at Perry Barr.

As well as this we have been working on a number of exciting additions to the athletics programme for the Aviva Grand Prix which is the ideal place for us to pilot innovative ways of demonstrating the athleticism of our key stars. If you want to be amongst the first to see a groundbreaking new way of showing the fundamental skills of athletes then don’t forget to buy your tickets. I won’t give too much away but if I said Man Versus Machine is a hint of what’s in store then you know it is going to be a fascinating feature.

There is a long year ahead of us with multiple medals on offer. The Major Events series will play its part in ensuring athletes have the best possible build up to major championships, and I am sure that fans and spectators have a year of exciting athletics to look forward to. For more information visit www.uka.org.uk