The Offshore Superboat Championships is Australia’s premier superboat racing series, with events held across Australia featuring local, national and international teams.
In its 4th year running in Lake Macquarie, the Superboat Championships presented a unique opportunity within the race series to feature 360-degree viewing opportunities of the entire race circuit and unprecedented on-water viewing options.
Attracting in excess of 20,000 spectators each year, the event highlights the lifestyle benefits of Lake Macquarie to local, interstate and national visitors. The event is also part of a number of initiatives designed to build the profile of Lake Macquarie as a tourism, event and lifestyle destination.
In 2016, Con Saloumidis, Offshore Superboat Championships event promoter, saw an opportunity to bring the Offshore Superboats to Lake Macquarie. The venue offered a unique chance to provide an enhanced spectator experience with 360 degree viewing,. However, one of the major challenges he faced was securing funding for the event.
Destination New South Wales (DNSW), the primary government funding body for tourism activities, are generally hesitant to deal directly with event promoters. They prefer to work with an intermediary that can provide sufficient analysis and reporting that validates the genuine tourism and broader economic impacts of the event.
A further challenge was to secure a longer-term commitment from Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) to strengthen the event’s likelihood of success. This necessitated a longer-tenure of statutory approval for the event.
- Communicated the benefits of the event to LMCC to gain support and approval of the event. We undertook modelling and presented LMCC with the results that showed the positive economic impact of this significant tourism event.
- Helped secure a long-term statutory approval of the event. Traditionally, events of this nature are considered on a year-by-year basis. However this can make it difficult to lock in suppliers and supporting events and activities that would add to the success of an event of this scale. We helped all parties realise the benefits of a longer-term approval, and as a result secure a 5year statutory approval was issued.
- Secured DNSW funding on behalf of Offshore Superboats, enabling the event to take place. This was achieved through our existing relationship with DNSW and our ability to demonstrate and articulate the broader benefits of such a tourism event to a regional city.
- Managed the post-event reporting requirements and liability of DNSW from both Council and the event promoter through direct, early, and frequent engagement with key DNSW staff. This ensured funding was secured in the current year and ongoing.