By Marcus Leach

A new business directory with details of more than 400 UK suppliers for major events has been launched by UK Trade & Investment at the SportAccord International Convention 2011 in London.

The “Springboard to Success” directory will help UK firms to secure more business at major events around the world, including high profile sporting events.

“We are proud to be hosting SportAccord in the UK for the first time. This is a major milestone in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is a great opportunity to showcase UK expertise in delivering world-class sporting infrastructure and events," minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green said.

“With the global sports market expected to generate $1.5 trillion in sponsorship, broadcast media rights, merchandising and gate revenues over the next decade, and investment in sporting event related infrastructure estimated to be $200 billion over the same period, the opportunity for UK business is huge.

“UK firms already provide a whole range of services for sports and other major events - from ticketing to catering - and we want to ensure that UK companies are well placed to win future business at home and away, as part of our Olympic legacy.”

SportAccord is taking place in London from 3-8 April at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel. This annual event, owned by the International Sports Movement, is the most significant gathering of its kind. It brings together 1500 delegates from more than 60 countries including top officials from international sports federations, the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, Host and Bidding Cities, rights holders of major sports events, media, sponsors and other commercial businesses in the global sports industry.

Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman, John Armitt said:

“The venues and infrastructure at the Olympic Park are on course to be delivered a year before the Games and the contribution of UK companies to that achievement has been nothing short of stunning.

“In this sense, the Games are already the Legacy Games, providing jobs and contracts for UK plc before, during and after 2012. There are 12,000 people currently working onsite and we estimate 30,000 people will have worked on the project by its completion. None of this would have been possible without the Games which are delivering an economic legacy well before they begin.”

UKTI has been promoting the UK’s excellence in delivering sports events on this scale to future hosts of major sporting events through a series of visits and seminars this week.

Case studies:

PKL Commercial Director, Peter Schad said:

“In 1998, UKTI was instrumental in introducing the Sydney Olympic Games Organising Committee to PKL and has provided significant assistance ever since. UKTI keeps companies such as PKL aware of major world events, and provides relevant contacts and support with trade missions, several of which we have been on. This support has helped us to go on and win contracts for the supply of temporary kitchens and dining facilities to subsequent Olympics and other global sporting events”

Eloy Mazon, Managing Director of 4global said:

"UKTI has been key to our international expansion within the Major Sporting Events sector. Working together with UKTI’s Global Sports Projects Team we have been able to expand our international operations and client base very quickly. The support, market intelligence and access to key decision makers that UKTI provides worldwide through the British Embassies has been key to our expansion and success. I would strongly advise any companies in the UK who are serious about international expansion to contact UKTI and start working with them ASAP."

Input Media’s Executive Chairman, David Wood, said:

“I first encountered UKTI at Soccerex in Johannesburg in 2008, where I was invited to a local networking reception. They have given us strategic and mentoring advice along the way that helped us to attain our goal of broadcasting at last year’s World Cup in South Africa.”

Seventeen companies are taking part at the UK Lounge, to promote UK capability in supplying global sports events, including Sheffield-based Sportworks Logistics Ltd and The Works, a creative and events firm from Leeds.