A few weeks ago we marked another lifetime event in our young Herculean lives: the inaugural Hercules Trophy in New York was a big hit! Another proof that sports for all really works! We are now in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the US in only 2 years time.
Fans from all over the world sent us very sweet personal messages saying they were amazed we pulled this off in only a few months time in one of the most difficult markets in the world. Even my mum was proud for a second
Did we work hard? Oh yes! Is it hard to organize a good Hercules Trophy? Yeps, extremely. Did we have serious setbacks? Daily! Were we challenged by the Gods? O yeah baby. Do we have an awesome team? Yes we have (and Koen Blanquart: you are a rockstar!). Did we have amazing fans believing in us? Yes we did!
I’m always happy to be in the USA for a week. Especially in New York. So much energy, such an entrepreneurial spirit, such hard working people, so extremely hard to reach them, but once you get a chance to talk to them: they open their hearts and love to help you with your dream and make it their dream! In a few months time we made some “new best friends for ever”.
New York is one of those markets where business leaders understand why team sport is such a brilliant metaphor for everything that happens on the corporate work floor. That sport unites people. That sport doesn’t care about who you are. That you can do a lot of good through sports. That it’s a great networking opportunity. That you should bring supporters and kids to join you in all the fun. That it’s an investment and not a cost. In Dubai and Johannesburg we get the same messages. Wonder what the British did to get that message across. That’s probably one of the reasons why London was Olympic host for 3 times already.
A lot of of European business leaders still struggle with these statements, although we host more than 500 Hercules teams a year. In Europe, most people discovered corporate sports for individuals, but corporate teamsport is not generally accepted yet. Some still think that running the Ekiden with a few people or climbing the Mont Ventoux with colleagues is a team thing. No guys, these are corporate sporting events but they are not about teamwork, they are about individual achievements. Once you’ve participated in one of the Hercules Trophies, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Wonder if we will take a break now? Who needs sleep when you are having fun? We are in full preparation mode for 2013. Our US Managing Director is here with us to discuss the future, this week we are in Dubai for the launch, Inge is in India in 2 weeks and I will be in Australia shortly. In the meantime we are working on mind-blowing new plans for Belgium and we’ll soon launch the South African edition. Hope to see you there.