If the Boston Marathon was a target for terrorists, that lone act could change the landscape of the event industry and greatly effect sponsorships associated with larger events.
Professional sports have long put security measures in place to make it seem like those steps are enough to curtail violent acts at major sporting events. And while this may be a one-time incident, security issues now facing larger events could put a big damper on how they’re run.
Consider all the large running events, major festivals, state fairs, semi-professional sporting events - the list of events that could be greatly impacted by this act is endless. There’s really no way to effectively police all of these events and insure the safety of participants and guests. And without that assurance, attendees, participants and event sponsors may depart for safer pastures.
I didn’t hear the name, but the John Hancock logo dangling from the smoke filled air isn’t what I would call a positive impression value. An insurance company in the throws of a disaster doesn’t want to be considered the victim, rather the valiant hero helping people. My spidey - PR radar tells me that a good PR team (that David D’Alessandro has put together there – read Brand Warfare) will react swiftly to leverage the disaster somehow. The incident could actually prove to help John Hancock insurance agents a way to truly differentiate themselves.
So, the real issue may be cost. It takes a lot of money to put on these large events. Registration fees, sponsorship dollars, along with support from city and state services can help defray those costs, but when you have to add high level security to prevent future incidents – those costs almost prevent the event from happening again.
What’s more – without showcases the high level security, the event may begin to erode its value to the city and sponsors if there’s no guarantee for safety of both participants and spectators. The success of an event is based on its spectators and the participants – without both – there is no event. So, without both feeling secure about their participation, it undermines the success of the event.
All this being said, our hearts go out to the victims and families of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
What are your thoughts?