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14 February 2012 08:33 am

Sports Day proving healthy for firms, too

QNE
QNE
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Less than two months after the Qatar National Day was celebrated by the country’s residents, merchandising companies, event managers, PR firms, sport goods outlets and lastly caterers across the country are having a wonderful time on account of the National Sports Day celebrations, being celebrated for the first time today. The government has declared the second Tuesday of February as National Sports Day. The publicity for the inaugural Sports Day festivities appear to have overshadowed whatever marketing strategies put in place by businesses to promote the Valentine’s Day celebrations, which also incidentally falls today. Inquiries made with a number of businesses in the city revealed good demand for sports-related goods thanks to the National Sports Day. Some of the suppliers said that they could not cope with the demand for T-shirts, caps, flags, shawls, banners, stress balls, souvenirs, medals, mementoes and similar items. The buyers included government departments, publicly and privately-owned companies, clubs, residential compounds, and associations. Mazhar Khan, a senior official at Advent Worldwide, a merchandising firm, said that his company was still receiving a large number of orders even on the eve of the celebrations. “However, the real problem this year was the shortage of suitable materials in the market,” he said. Inquiries at various public, government and international companies revealed that most had allocated huge budgets for the celebrations. “A number are organising competitions for their staffers, their families and even for the general public,” said a spokesperson of an event management company engaged by a government organisation. Olympic Sports manager Roya M Pour said: “In the last couple of weeks, we had many customers seeking footballs, volleyballs, wrist bands, head bands, caps, T-shirts and other sport accessories.” She said local businesses had a hard time procuring materials from suppliers, which are mostly based abroad. Outlet owners said companies in China, the main supplier of essentials for sport celebrations, were themselves swamped by local demand because of Chinese New Year-related festivities. Thus many Doha merchandisers had to find alternative suppliers in order to meet their orders. Sports clubs such as Al Arabi, Al Rayyan, Qatar Sports Club and Al Gharafa had placed large orders with merchandisers; all have engaged event managers to organise the celebrations today. T-shirts seem to be in great demand and some government organisations have placed orders for 5,000 and above, said the manager of a merchandising firm. Advertising companies too have benefited from the National Sports Day boon. As late as yesterday, staffers were busy engraving digital logos on souvenirs and T-shirts to be supplied to their customers. A few advertising firms have even hired personnel from manpower companies to meet their deadlines. Caterers have also reported relatively good businesses. “Local schools and other offices have placed orders with our company for luncheon parties as well as for the supply of cakes,” said the marketing co-ordinator at a catering company. Gulf Times