Coventry and Warwickshire will be using the lure of Wasps to attract international business to the Ricoh Arena and the region.
Wasps and the Ricoh Arena have signed up to support the city and county at the largest commercial property development and investment show next month – and hope to bring more large-scale events to the area.
Former skipper Chris Bell – who is now Head of Partnership Delivery for the Wasps Group - will be joined by first team player Matt Symons at the four-day show in March.
They will be helping to promote the area to possible inward investors, using their successful move to Coventry as an example of the help available to businesses looking to locate in the region, but also looking to increase the level of events hosted at the Ricoh Arena.
Wasps Group Chief Executive Nick Eastwood said: “We host around 850 events a year at the Ricoh Arena and they range from small business meetings through to corporate conferences, and from exhibitions to 38,000-capacity concerts so we can cater for a very wide variety of events.
“We believe that ability plus our proximity to Birmingham Airport and location in the centre of the country makes us perfect for more international business and that is something we are looking to build at the Ricoh Arena.
“MIPIM gives us the perfect stage to do that, and Chris and Matt will be selling that strong point to the international audience which attends.
“Coventry and Warwickshire as a whole has also really upped its game in terms of events. Winning the UK City of Culture 2021 – which we have sponsored since the bid’s earliest days – will make a huge difference to the perception and profile of the city, while events such as Godiva Festival and Motofest draw six figure crowds from around the country.
“That is something the city and the county has to build on and we are happy to play our part in that. The success of our move to Coventry is now well known, rugby has very strong roots in the property industry and we are only too happy to tell the audience just how good the move to this part of the country has been for us.”
Les Ratcliffe, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Champions, which helps support the presence at MIPIM, said: “Wasps are the perfect ambassadors for the area and are a big draw at MIPIM, and their advocacy of the area as a business destination sends a very powerful message on many levels.”
Coventry & Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership is made up of around 20 private sector companies and organisations who help finance the area’s presence at the four-day event. Coventry and Warwickshire is part of a large Midlands UK delegation at the show which attracts around 30,000 industry professionals.
From left: Matt Symons, Nick Eastwood and Chris Bell