Commonwealth Games showed Glasgow and SSE at their best
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games were, in the words of Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Imran of Malaysia: “The biggest and best ever.”
From the Scottie dogs at the Opening Ceremony to Kylie’s breathtaking performance at the Closing Ceremony with spectacular medal-winning performances and heart-warming acts of kindness in between, everything about Glasgow 2014 was a spectacular success.
SSE’s sponsorship was something completely new and different for a company that has never attempted such a major sport sponsorship before.
But despite this I believe SSE played its part in helping to deliver a stunning Commonwealth Games and make Glasgow 2014 an event that will live long in the memories of everyone who was there.
There are too many highlights for me to list here, but for me our best achievement was the brilliant hospitality that we put on for our partners and customers.
Thanks to SSE, thousands of our customers, business partners, suppliers and other key contacts not only enjoyed some fabulous sport but also fantastic customer service in keeping with our proud record of top class service.
Over the last two weeks I’ve received hundreds of messages from guests who enjoyed our hospitality programme saying how great they found it.
Many of them have told me that they now view SSE differently and almost all of them said they were impressed by our professionalism.
I thought former Olympic athlete Leon Taylor summed it up when he told some of our guests: “When these guys decide to do something, they do it properly.”
Other successes were our giant #GO on Glasgow Green which more than 10,000 people had their photograph taken in front of and thousands tweeted.
We lit up the SSE Hydro gold to mark Team Scotland’s record-winning medal haul, getting great publicity in the process.
And our More For You website kept customers up-to-date on our SSE athlete ambassadors, Next Generation athletes and a lot more besides in the run-up and during Glasgow 2014.
But the SSE activity that will truly leave a lasting legacy is our SSE Next Generation programme.
Our partnership with SportsAid is truly significant to them, and over the last two weeks I have been blown away by the difference that SportsAid funding has made to young athletes.
I have now spoken to dozens of athletes who have received SportsAid backing early in their career and they are all very grateful for it.
We have so far supported 50 athletes – with three of them competing at Glasgow 2014 and two of them winning medals – and will support 50 more following our decision to increase our involvement.
Thanks to Scottish success in our #GO contest, 25 of those new places on the scheme will go to young Scottish athletes.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have come and gone. There might be a few tears shed as friends who came together for the games say goodbye and people start to reflect on 11 days that were truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.
But at SSE we’ve achieved a lot at these games for our customers, our employees, our business and – most especially – for young athletes. And for that we should all feel exceptionally proud and privileged. I know I do.