DD1464 World Series Boxing 2016

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD1464
Date signed: 
16 March 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval to commit £75,000 from the Major Sports Events Fund towards the delivery of the 2016 edition of World Series Boxing, focused on the delivery of the three British Lionhearts team events to be staged at York Hall between February 19 and March 18 2016.

Decision

That the Executive Director:

•    Approves expenditure of up to £75,000 in grant funding and entry into a funding agreement with GB Boxing to contribute towards the delivery of 2016 World Series Boxing

•    Notes that £25,000 is to be committed to England Boxing in grant funding as part of the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund (part of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme), approved by DD1335, as a contribution to its costs of delivering a grassroots community legacy project associated with the 2016 World Series Boxing event. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     Background

1.1.1    The success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has cemented London’s position as a world-leading host of major sporting events. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has also added significantly to the range of world class sporting facilities available for hosting events in London. A key part of the on-going legacy of London 2012 is ensuring that these facilities and others around London be regularly and fully made use of.

1.1.2    London has already secured a portfolio of additional events for the years ahead that will help sustain our position as a world-leading host and is in keeping with the stated legacy aims from London 2012, one of which is to ensure that the facilities built for the Games continue to be used to stage high-level international sporting events. They include the 2015 Rugby World Cup, 2015 European Hockey Championships, 2015 Formula E Championships, 2016 European Swimming Championships, 2016 Track Cycling World Championships, 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC World Athletics Championships. 

1.1.3    Recognising that most major sporting events require some level of public support, the GLA allocated £2.4 million over four years to future major sporting events as part of the 2014/15 budget setting process. This Major Sports Events Fund supports the Mayor’s major sporting events strategy for London, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, which was published in April 2014. 

1.1.4    This new London-wide approach to bidding for and supporting major sporting events establishes the Mayor’s Office as the first point of call for anyone looking to bring their event to London, and firmly establishes the Mayor’s Office as London’s strategic lead for major sporting events.

1.2       World Series Boxing

1.2.1    World Series Boxing is an annual international competition that pits national teams from 16 leading boxing nations against each other. Great Britain is represented by the British Lionhearts. This year, the Lionhearts have been drawn in a group alongside the USA, Mexico and Morocco. The Lionhearts will have home and away matches against each of these three opponents, with the top two teams from the group qualifying for the knockout stages.

1.2.2    It has been confirmed that all three home matches will be staged at York Hall, in Bethnal Green, the spiritual home of boxing in London. The first match, against Mexico, is on February 19th, with the final match, against the USA, taking place on March 18th. All matches will be broadcast live on BoxNation, whilst it is also expected that the feed will be picked up in a number of other territories. Further ongoing information about which other territories show the matches will be provided as it becomes available.

1.2.3    A request was made by GB Boxing to the GLA to provide a contribution of £100,000 towards the costs of staging the three events at York Hall. This funding would be used to cover a range of costs, including venue overlay, logistics, marketing and communications. In exchange for our investment, the GLA would draw significant association with both the World Series of Boxing and the British team itself.

1.2.4    A key strength of the proposal from GB Boxing was to use the event as a platform for developing a significant community engagement programme around the event. The GLA Sports Team has long been seeking the right platform for helping take forward grass-roots boxing in London and it is felt that World Series Boxing provides an ideal opportunity.

1.2.5    GB Boxing submitted a funding application to the GLA Major Sports Events Fund for a £100,000 contribution towards the delivery of the event. The application submitted by GB Boxing set out how the event would satisfy the evaluation criteria set out in the GLA’s Major Sports Events Strategy, “London: Home of World Class Sport”.

1.2.6    Evaluated against the criteria, it was deemed that: 

•    the Economic Impact of the event falls below our minimum expectation; 
•    the International and Domestic Broadcast proposal for the event was evaluated as bronze/silver. 
•    the Community Engagement proposal for the event was evaluated as silver. 

1.2.7    Overall, the 2015 event scored bronze against our evaluation criteria. The GLA Sports Team therefore recommended a reduced contribution from the GLA of £75,000. The GLA Events Steering Group (GESG) approved this recommendation.

1.2.8    In addition to the £75,000 contribution to the event, £25,000 has also been allocated from the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund (part of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme), approved by DD1335, to contribute toward the delivery of a grassroots community legacy project associated with the event. 

1.2.9    The overall budget for the event is approx. £604,000. UK Sport, GB Boxing and AIBA are together contributing £380,000 towards the event, with the remaining income being generated from ticket sales, general spectator income, sale of broadcasting rights and private sector sponsorship.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1          The objectives of the proposed funding are to:

•    Support the successful hosting of World Series Boxing 2016;
•    Support delivery of the Mayor’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    Increase economic investment into London;
•    Increase international exposure of London;
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to participate in sport and physical exercise programmes associated with major sporting events;
•    Assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    Increase opportunities for Londoners to volunteer at a major sporting events;

Equality comments

3.1.    Every major event that seeks financial support from the GLA must demonstrate how the event will engage with the local community, in line with the Mayor’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’ and the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme.

3.2    An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports  Legacy Programme.

3.3    According to the most recent Sport England Active People survey (APS 8 published in January 2015), levels of participation in sport and physical activity are variable across different socio-demographic groups in London. Across all 33 London Boroughs, average figures indicate that 43% of men participate in sport at least once a week compared to 32% of women. 37% of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people participate weekly compared to 39% of people of white origin. 19% of disabled people participate weekly compared to 40% of non-disabled people. 17% of people over the age of 65 participate weekly compared to 52% of those between the age of 16 and 25. 41% of people from socio-economic groups 1 to 4 participate weekly compared to 25% of people from socio-economic groups 5-8 (based on the National Statistics Socio-economic classification system).

3.4    Sports programmes supported by the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme engage significant numbers of women, disabled people, BAME people and people from lower socio-economic groups, both via sports participation programmes and training opportunities. We are seeking to increase participation opportunities for these groups through the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund that this event has also bid to.

Other considerations

4.1     Key Risks and Issues

 

 

Risk

Likelihood / Impact

Response & Mitigation

1

That the event does not deliver against London’s key strategic objectives

Medium / Low

The evaluation process undertaken in order to determine city support for events is robust and thorough.

 

Assumptions made in GB Boxing’s proposal were tested and challenged by the GLA and partners prior to deciding to offer financial support in order to ensure confidence that the event is likely to deliver on its claims.

 

The GLA is represented on the event steering group to oversee operational delivery.

2

Another funding partner withdraws support, or projected commercial income is not realised, putting the event at risk, and thereby exposing the Mayor/GLA to reputational risk.

Low

Prior to committing GLA funding, a comprehensive and robust event budget with evidence of commitment from a range of public and private sector partners was submitted, thereby ensuring that the risk is spread.

 

UK Sport are standing strongly behind the event, and there is an underwrite in place form the National Governing Body.

3

Reputational risk of the event failing to sell all tickets and broadcasting pictures of the venue internationally with empty seats.

Low

GB Boxing and its partners have a strong track record of attracting spectators to York Hall. The 2015 edition of the event managed to fill the venue – through a mixture of paid for and free tickets – with very little lead-in time. The more structured approach being taken this year gives confidence that strong ticket sales will be achieved.

 

4.2     Links to Mayoral Strategies & Priorities

GLA support for the event will:
 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s major sports events strategy, ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’;
•    support the aims of ‘Inclusive and Active 2’ strategy for increasing participation in sport and physical activity amongst disabled people in London; 
•    support delivery of the Mayor’s grassroots sport policy, ‘A Sporting Future for London’;
•    assist in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Health Inequalities Strategy; 
•    promote social development in London;
•    assist the Mayor in delivering his commitment to a lasting sports legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
•    support the Mayor’s priorities around volunteering and his Team London programme.

4.3     Impact Assessments and Consultations

4.3.1     An equalities impact assessment has previously been undertaken on the overall Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme. Further information is available at Section 3 of this document.

4.3.2     In writing ‘A Sporting Future for London’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with over 400 individuals from over 100 different groups and organisations including national governing bodies of sport, the Pro-Active Partnerships, senior representatives from local authorities and a wide variety of sports clubs and community organisations. 

4.3.3     The conclusions reached received broad support from all key stakeholders and reaction to the plan itself has been very positive.

4.3.4    In writing ‘London: Home of World Class Sport’, the GLA Sports Unit consulted extensively with various national governing bodies of sport in the UK, Sport England, UK Sport, London Sport, relevant Local Authorities, LLDC, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, London & Partners, sports venue owners in London and Transport for London. The strategy has been greatly welcomed by all key London stakeholders and partners, as well as the key national agencies identified above.

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of £75,000 of grant funding to GB Boxing to contribute towards the delivery of 2016 World Series Boxing. This grant will be funded from the Major Sports Events budget.

5.2    The GLA has also committed £25,000 to England Boxing in grant funding as part of the Major Sports Events Engagement Fund (part of the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Programme - DD1335).

Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1    The GLA Sports Team is working closely with GB Boxing and other stakeholders to ensure effective planning for the event. 

7.2    The GLA is represented on the event stakeholder board which oversees:

•    The event budget; 
•    The event marketing and communications strategy; 
•    The event ticketing strategy 
•    Planning and operational delivery of the event; 

7.3    The Event will take place between 19 February and 17 March 2016.

7.4     It is noted that due to delays in getting this decision approved and the tight timescales associated     with the project, it is now in part retrospective as the     event has started. Whilst this is not the     preferred process, the outcome of the first event is now known and it is clear that it was a great     success, with tickets almost selling out, a strong performance by the British team and good     press     coverage and broadcast exposure. A formal report will follow as part of the requirements for drawing down funds.

7.5    Next steps are as follows:

Activity

Timeline

DD Signed

March 2016

Funding Agreement signed

March 2016

Event delivery

March 2016

Event monitoring report submitted

May 2016