Sports business plan gaining momentum
By ED SOUTHORN
LOCAL surfing identities are supporting a Gold Coast City Council taskforce aiming to attract more teams like the Titans and more events like the Quiksilver Pro to the region, with a continuing economic spin-off for the Tweed.
Association of Surfing Professionals president Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew will be master of ceremonies at a cocktail party on March 1 during the Quiksilver Pro surfing contest, when business and sports identities will workshop ideas to help foster a "sports business" region.
The Quiksilver Pro contest site at Snapper Rocks is beginning to take shape, with scaffolding and cranes in place yesterday and vehicle access limited for the duration of the contest, from February 26 to March 11, the first event on surfing's World Championship Tour for 2007.
Mr Bartholomew said the Quiksilver Pro was a great example of an event generating national and international exposure, injecting more than $5 million into the local economy.
Gold Coast Deputy Mayor David Power, who went surfing with Mr Bartholomew yesterday, said: "The Sports Business Taskforce was established in 2003 and has grown rapidly. "But it cannot achieve its goal alone.
"That's why the sports industry must band together to exchange ideas and form a united front."
Surfing Queensland chief executive Andrew Stark, whose organisation is event manager for the Quiksilver Pro, said sporting events and teams were a big part of the local economy.
He said guest speakers at the March 1 function at the Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club ? Quiksilver International president Bruce Raymond and Quiksilver Australia president Craig Stevenson ? would preview the giant surfwear company's future plans and provide tips on how sports businesses can work together to reap economic benefits.