UTS Library

A New Arena for Business Success: Business Club Australia

Client: 

Australian Trade Commission

PR Company: 

Australian Trade Commission: Austrade

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2006 C10 - 4

Year: 

2006

Executive Summary: 

Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 was the official program creating international business opportunities for Australian companies around the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The Business Club Australia concept was developed by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) to foster international business opportunities during the 2000 Olympics and Rugby World Cup 2003.

Both initiatives were an outstanding success, generating over A$1.6 billion in trade and investment outcomes for the Australian economy, and leading to the Club’s enhanced adaptation for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

A free membership program, participant companies had the opportunity to promote their business and establish new international business contacts before and during the Commonwealth Games.

The primary communications objectives were to raise the profile of Austrade and Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006,  encourage Australian and international membership, showcase Australia as a world class business and investment destination, and foster opportunities for international business development for Australian companies.

Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 surpassed all targets with results such as:
– 7,824 members
– 255 media mentions
– 197,904.48 editorial rating points
– A$1,182,083 equivalent advertising value over a 12-month period

Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 has already generated 13 export deals worth A$5.6 million, with many more under negotiation. Business outcomes will be measured over the next three years.

Situation Analysis: 

Austrade is the Australian Government agency that helps Australian companies win overseas business for their products and services.

In the late nineties, Austrade recognised that the scale and profile of major international sporting events was growing like never before.

Amidst the spectacle of media-friendly sporting competition, the world’s interest was also being drawn to the characteristics, culture, and business strengths of host nations.

While Australia was home to many high-level sporting events boasting global popularity, no structured program existed to convert the accompanying profile into a platform showcasing Australia as a sophisticated supplier of goods and services.

The Sydney 2000 Olympics provided the opportunity for Austrade to create an innovative business networking program, Business Club Australia, which was followed by Rugby Business Club Australia (Rugby World Cup 2003) and recently, the official international business program for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006.

The latest program provided the perfect forum for like-minded international business people to come together to explore potential business opportunities.

The Club attracted the then Governor of Victoria, Mr John M Landy, AC CVO MBE as Club Patron, with Qantas Chairman, Margaret Jackson AC, as Chairman of the Steering Committee (see appendix A, ref 1).

 

To facilitate business networking and business outcomes from the Games, promotional strategies using integrated communication vehicles were applied from the outset through a comprehensive communications strategy.

Research: 

Data from previous Business Club Australia programs formed the basis of the research, and challenges arising from past programs were addressed to ensure the success of the campaign was maximised.

A comprehensive ‘key learnings’ report was also commissioned to establish best practice and identify benchmarks for achievement.Conclusions drawn indicated the importance of publicising the program to a diverse target audience, leveraging stakeholder support, including the use of high quality marketing collateral, a multi-functional website, an international and Australian events series and a targeted media and public relations campaign.

A new Business Club Australia brandmark was also developed to more appropriately represent Australian business overseas.The ‘Flying Roo’ from the Brand Australia campaign was incorporated into the Business Club Australia brandmark.

This required special exemption from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and made the Club’s incorporation of the highly recognisable Brand Australia visual identity the first ever endorsed adaptation for a separate initiative.

Target Policies: 

Target Publics

Primary targets

1. Key decision makers from Australian businesses who are:

  • interested in new business opportunities
  • looking to expand business overseas

2. Key business decision makers from overseas organisations (especially Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom) who are:

  • visiting Australia before, during or after for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and interested in maximising the value of their trip by making contacts with Australian businesses
  • not visiting Australia during the Games but looking to establish contacts with Australian businesses
  • interested in investing in Australia

3. Agribusiness, biotechnology, ICT, services (financial, food, environment, education), sports infrastructure and manufacturing sectorsSecondary targets

  1. Countries with strong economic or political ties to Australia, e.g., the United States
  2. Countries hosting major up-coming international sporting events, e.g., Beijing 2000 Olympics
  3. Australian and international media
  4. Other Commonwealth countries

Communication Strategy: 

An integrated communications strategy was developed and remained central to promoting the benefits of the program to all target audiences.Business Club Australia relies heavily on virtual elements such as electronic communications and websites.

To cater to the specific needs of both international and Australian target audiences, two separate websites were established.

The program leveraged profile and interest for international and domestic events through all forms of media.Each event had a Steering Committee in place to oversee successful delivery of the event that incorporated a communications strategy covering public affairs, publicity and media campaigns before and during the event.

Given the diversity of the desired audience, the most appropriate communication vehicles for that country or industry were applied, with media relations identified as central to achieving program goals.

Implementation: 

There were four broad phases of campaign implementation for Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006:

  • Phase one – planning and strategy development (January 2005 – March 2005)
  • Phase two – program delivery prior to Games (April 2005 – February 2006)
  • Phase three – program delivery during Games (March 2006)
  • Phase four – evaluation (April 2006 – June 2006)The following tactics were employed throughout these phases:

Website

  • The website enabled membership registration, access to the online business matching service, event registration and comprehensive news and updates.

Ambassadors

  • The Club worked closely with Australian sporting identities to promote its activities to businesses through media relations activities such as John Landy AC MBE (Governor of Victoria), Liz Ellis (Australian netball captain) and Brennon Dowrick (Olympian and Commonwealth Games gymnast).

E-zines and E-communications

  • Monthly newsletters were sent to all Club members and stakeholders promoting the Club’s activities. Communications were sent to existing and potential members to encourage membership (see appendix A, ref 2).

Stakeholder Communication

  • All key program stakeholders were kept informed on key milestones and activities. These regular updates were distributed by stakeholders through their existing communication channels

Media Program

  • Preparation and distribution of media materials:
  • media kits, including releases and invitations (see appendix A, ref 3)
  • industry and country case studies (see appendix A, ref 4)
  • fact sheets (see appendix A, ref 5)
  • Development of target media lists (national business press and industry specific)
  • Media opportunities were identified and stories pitched to relevant media, including regular updates on membership, success stories, Ambassador announcements and leveraging international events in local press (e.g., Prime Minister’s visit to the United Kingdom)
  • Securing media attendance at and coverage of key events
  • Exposure of the Global Industry Leaders program (e.g., Dr Andy Thomas, Australian NASA astronaut)

Partner Promotion

Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 established relationships with key Games sponsors such as Qantas, Telstra and PWC.Cooperative examples include:

  • Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 magazine placed in Qantas business class seat pockets
  • Six audio interviews on Qantas in-flight audio business program
  • 60 second television promotion screened on Qantas inflight business channel
  • E-Newsletter and direct marketing to all Telstra SME’s in Victoria

Advertising

  • Although a minor part of the program, 11 advertisements appeared in relevant publications such as the M2006 Preview Guide, Volvo Yacht Race Magazine, Fairfax (online and print such as The Age), Cricket Souvenir during the Ashes at Lords and Company Director Magazine (see appendix A, ref 6).

Business Club Australia:Melbourne 2006 Magazine

  • An official Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 magazine (50,000 copies) was produced. 40,000 copies were distributed on selected Qantas flights (Business Class) and the remainder at Club networking events and through the stakeholder network (see appendix A, ref 7).

DVD and Video presentation

  • A five minute looped AV presentation was produced for use at all events and for distribution to media. A 60 second TVC was also produced for Qantas inflight entertainment (see appendix A, ref 12).

International events

  • 25 events across 13 countries prior to the Games maximised international involvement in the program to achieve all objectives (see appendix A, ref 8).

Domestic events

  • 32 industry and country themed business events were held in over the 11 day Games period, attracting 5,076 participants. Each event was supported by high profile business people from around the world such as Lord Sebastian Coe (see appendix A, ref 9).Networking events were also held around Australia.

Results: 

Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 achieved the following results:

  • 255 media mentions worldwide, such as:
  • In Australia: Australian Financial Review, Herald Sun, AAP coverage, The Age Business, ABC TV and radio, Sky Business News, Channel 9’s Your Business Success and Business Sunday, 7.30 Report, WA Business Review, Courier Mail, Canberra Times (see appendix A, ref 10)
  • Overseas: New Straits Times (Malaysia), National Business News and New Zealand radio New Zealand) EB Promotions and Media (Jamaica), Yorkshire Post (United Kingdom) (see appendix A, ref 11)
  • 197,904.48 editorial rating points
  • A$1,182,083 equivalent advertising value
  • 60 second TVC on Qantas in-flight entertainment for three months (see appendix A, ref 12)
  • Distribution of 40,000 magazines on Qantas business class seat pockets (see appendix A, ref 7)
  • Six guest speakers on Qantas Talking Business radio program The public relations campaign was instrumental in achieving the objective of 7,500 members - at 30 June 2006 there were over 7,800 members with 37% from overseas.

The most effective achievements of the campaign were:

  • Qantas support (magazine placement, in-flight advertisement, in-flight audio)
  • National media accounted for 32% of total exposure even though a Victorian event
  • 202 news items produced in March alone
  • News features on Channel 9’s Your Business Success (see appendix A, ref 13) and Business Sunday (see appendix A, ref 14)
  • No negative coverage
  • 28% of all coverage favourable (especially given a highly exposed government program)
  • 13 export deals confirmed within three months of the Games

Evaluation: 

The below results demonstrate that the entire campaign clearly exceeded expectations, and with budget savings:

1. Increase awareness of Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 and Austrade (worldwide)

Measure
Result
- 7 international events
- 25 international events (see Appendix A, ref 8)
- 10 domestic events
- 32 domestic events (see Appendix A, ref 9)
- 250 positive media mentions
- 255 media mentions
- 150,000 editorial rating points - 197,904.48 editorial rating points
- A$1,000,000 equivalent advertising value - A$1,182,083 equivalent advertising value
- 12 major articles - 12 major articles (see Appendix A, ref 10)
- 60 sec TVC on Qantas in flight international and domestic for three months (see Appendix A, ref 12)
- 40,000 magazines distributed on Qantas business class
seat pockets on selected international and domestic flights (see Appendix A, ref 7)
- Six guest speakers on Qantas Talking Business
radio program

Comment:
Awareness of Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 and Austrade was increased significantly in Australia and overseas.
This was demonstrated by the business calibre of members and active participation into the program.
Overall success measure: 100%.

2. Boost Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 membership (worldwide)

Measure
Result
- 7,500 members
- 7,800 members

Comment:
Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 membership surpassed expectations.
Across all industries 37% were from overseas across 25 countries and Australian membership was from across the country. Importantly, the high calibre of membership and conversion to active clients for Austrade was a key outcome.
Overall success measure: 100%.

3. Showcase the business potential and sophistication of Australia’s economy and industries and promote Australia as a place to do business

Measure
Result
- 7 international events
- 25 international events (see Appendix A, ref 8)
- 10 domestic events
- 32 domestic events (see Appendix A, ref 9)
- 250 positive media mentions
- 255 media mentions
- 150,000 editorial rating points - 197,904.48 editorial rating points
- A$1,000,000 equivalent advertising value - A$1,182,083 equivalent advertising value
- 12 major articles - 12 major articles (see Appendix A, ref 10)
- 60 sec TVC on Qantas in flight international and domestic for three months (see Appendix A, ref 12)
- 40,000 magazines distributed on Qantas business class
seat pockets on selected international and domestic flights (see Appendix A, ref 7)
- Six guest speakers on Qantas Talking Business
radio program

 Comment:
The Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 program was very professional and showcased Australian industries and economies to the highest standard, both in Australia and overseas.

This was evidenced by the calibre of keynote speakers and participation in the Global Industry Leader.

Coupled with Federal and Victorian State Ministerial involvement and official endorsement by the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Corporation.
The program had significant credibility and promoted Australia as a place to do business in the best possible light (and in association with the Brand Australia concept).

Overall success measure: 100%.
4. Raise awareness of Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 as a platform to achieve international business deals

Measure
Result
- 20% Australian members who participated in Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 activities achieving business deals within 3 years - To date 13 Australian members have achieved export deals (2.5 years to go)

Comment
Many Australian businesses joined Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 to meet with relevant and high profiled international business people. International business people timed their visit to Australia during the period of the Commonwealth Games as a direct result of the programs international activities and incentives.

Three months after the Games, 13 Australian companies have already confirmed business deals totalling A$5.6 million with many more in negotiation.

These outcomes will continue to be tracked over the next three years.
Previous Business Club Australia programs have facilitated over A$1.6 billion in trade and investment deals.

Overall success can only be measured in three years time however is on track compared to previous Business Club Australia programs.

All communications mediums used – print and online advertising, media (print, television, internet), Video/DVD, magazines, e-zines, case studies and fact sheets – contributed significantly to the ultimate program objective of creating international business opportunities and deals for Australian companies.

The unique nature of the Club required skilled communications and issues management to ensure both Governments’ needs and those of private stakeholders were met.

Innovative approaches to promotion and media relations were enlisted to carry out this function successfully, as evidenced by economic outcomes.

At 4 July 2006, the program had already confirmed 13 significant international business deals worth A$5.6 million as a result of Club participation with many more pending.

The success of Business Club Australia: Melbourne 2006 showcases the effectiveness of a truly integrated media and marketing communications campaign and with tangible business deals for Australian companies.