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Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK

Games make their mark

Manchester bosses are already hailing the Commonwealth Games as a financial success.

With more than five days of action still left, revenue from sponsorship, merchandising, tickets sales and merchandise has made the event the most commercially successful in the UK.

"We've already bettered the 30m mark set by Euro 96," said Niels de Vos, the Games' commercial director.

"We would rather borrow expertise than pay for it"
Niels de Vos
Commercial director

"Ninety-seven per cent of our ticket allocation has now been sold, which is two-and-a-half times any previous Games' total.

"And on the first day of opening, our merchandising store did 68,000 of business - double what we expected."

De Vos was also keen to point out commercial success has been down to careful planning and use of sponsors, who have been chosen for their expertise and products rather than just their money.

For example, organisers had used a major recruitment agency to enlist and train the legion of volunteers at the Games.

"It meant we didn't have to spend lots on training and recruiting ourselves," said de Vos.

It is positive news for the Games, although the final verdict on its success as a major sporting event in the UK will not be known until long after the competition has finished.

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