Arup, the multinational professional services firm, have been working with The Boat Race Company to explore and better understand the social value and economic impact of one of the UK’s largest sporting events. Arup’s work in delineating figures into a report that can be analysed and widely shared is crucial in the continued growth and development of The Boat Race.
As a significant fixture on the domestic sporting calendar, understanding the impact of The Boat Race on London beyond the river itself will inform future planning of The Boat Race, engage wider audiences and meet the needs and expectations of today’s major event spectators. In an age where an event’s digital footprint is growing in both size and importance, Arup’s report not only highlights this growth potential but also reflects on the strong local community connections that exist.
The research was carried out by Arup’s host cities team, comprised of engineers, city planners, economists, designers and consultants. The team supports cities, bid and organising committees across the globe through the feasibility, bid, delivery and legacy stages of their events.
Jerome Frost OBE, Arup’s Global Cities Leader, said: “Iconic sporting events such as The Boat Race are looking to move into the digital age. Increasingly spectators are expecting to get closer to the action than ever before. Advances in hand-held technology, virtual reality and streaming media are helping make this happen and are increasingly helping local events to attract a global audience. This report shows the economic and social value that The Boat Race has already created for the local community, and the UK, but most importantly it highlights the huge potential for growth in the future.”
Michelle Dite, Race Director at The Boat Race Company, said: “This project has provided The Boat Race with tangible insights into how spectators engage with our Race Day. The data is of significant value to our organisation, our partners, spectators and the city of London. The outputs and recomendations will help us to enhance The Boat Race experience not just on Race Day but throughout the year. We now have a platform to work from to influence the experience on the banks of the Thames and with those who engage with The Boat Race globally via television and online platforms.”
The results of this joint research can be found here: Arup Report