LOCOG readies marketing push for unsold Olympic football tickets

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Team GB: football team set to play in the Olympic competition
Team GB: football team set to play in the Olympic competition

The organisers of London 2012 are being forced to undertake a major marketing campaign to turn around lacklustre sales of tickets for the Olympic football competition.

Organising body LOCOG has confirmed that just one third of tickets to the football matches, 800,000 out of a total 2.3m, have been sold so far.

To avoid the embarrassment of empty stadiums during the Games, it is planning a print, outdoor and digital campaign, which will break  in April, immediately after the draw for the competition.

Matches are taking place in Glasgow, Newcastle, Coventry, Cardiff and Manchester, as well as in London. LOCOG is therefore set to target those living near the venues to compensate for a potential lack of visitors from overseas attending  those games being played outside the capital.

Ads, by McCann London, will run primarily in local newspapers, a shift from the outdoor-led campaign promoting the general ticket sale last year.

LOCOG is confident that sales will increase once the draw has taken place. Countries that have already qualified to compete in the 16-team men’s tournament include  Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Switzerland, Belarus, Egypt, Morocco and Gabon. As the host nation, Great Britain qualified automatically.

Teams must be made up predominantly of  players under the age of 23, with only three ‘over-age’ players eligible to play. This has led to specu-lation that stars nearing the end of their careers, such as David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, could be selected for Great Britain. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is among the younger  stars likely to play.

LOCOG’s ticketing arrangements caused controversy earlier this month when its website, which  allows consumers to re-sell unwanted tickets acquired in last year’s ballot, crashed after technical difficulties.

 The aim had been to enable the public to sell on and purchase tickets in real time, but a glitch meant that consumers were attempting to buy tickets that had already been sold.

 After being taken down for 11 days, an overhauled system has been put in place, enabling consumers to sell unwanted tickets until 3 February, be-fore a second ballot in April.

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