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Gowling WLG becomes Birmingham 2022’s first signing

Birmingham 2022 has signed its first Official Sponsor for the Commonwealth Games multi-sport event through an agreement with law firm Gowling WLG.

Gowling’s appointment as Official Legal Adviser followed what Birmingham 2022 described as a “rigorous” tender process.

The firm will be advising on a range of services including brand protection, corporate governance, procurement, disputes and risk management, as well as general commercial matters.

David Fennell, chief executive at Gowling WLG, said: “This appointment builds on our strong track record of advising on major projects across the public and private sectors, and we’re committed to playing our part in making Birmingham 2022 a huge success for the UK and on the international stage.

“We have a strong affinity with the Commonwealth across our global network – and will be making the most of every opportunity for our clients, communities and people to get involved in this standout sporting and cultural event.”

As an Official Supporter of Birmingham 2022, lawyers and staff from across Gowling WLG’s 18 offices will spend the next three years supporting the English city’s Games.

The firm’s multi-disciplinary legal team, led by partner and board member Michael Luckman, will be working alongside Birmingham 2022’s chief legal officer, Caroline McGrory, over the next three years.

In July 2017, the umbrella body, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), launched a joint-venture partnership with the Lagardère Sports agency to help deliver the three major Commonwealth Games cycles up to 2030. Birmingham was announced as the host city for the 2022 Games later that year.

Under the new model, dedicated CGF Partnerships delivery teams will fully integrate with host city teams. Among their responsibilities, the delivery teams will work on the development of new and long-term commercial revenue streams, including sponsorship.

Lagardère Sports, which has been recruiting for candidates to strengthen its sponsorship sales team for Birmingham 2022, has significant Commonwealth Games experience.

Sponsorship rights to the Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 games were sold on behalf of the respective organising committees by the Lagardère-owned Sports Marketing and Management agency (now known as Lagardère Sports).

Lagardère Sports would not confirm that the agency was behind the Gowling deal when contacted today by SportBusiness Sponsorship.