|Lars Haue-Pedersen- Managing Director, TSE Consulting|
|Profile of the week|
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 10:07
A trusted strategic counsellor to numerous international sports executives and organisations, Lars, who holds a Master of Sciences in Economics from Odense University, Denmark, is the Managing Director of TSE Consulting.
Since founding TSE, he has distinguished himself as a master strategist and educator in the sports management field. He has helped build strategic management plans and international growth strategies for major international sports organisations, developed management training courses for sports organisations and event owners, and worked with national and regional governments on leveraging sports as an economic development engine.
A respected academic expert on sports economics and management, Lars has lectured at numerous international universities across Europe. Further to his work for TSE Consulting, Lars provides independent expert statements for the Regional Court in Lausanne in court cases related to sports economics.
By Marc Sibbons
You studied economics at The Odense University in Denmark. How did you end up in the sports consultation industry?
After graduating from University, I first moved into sport by working for the International Volleyball Federation, which lasted four years. At the end of my time there, I was contacted by a U.K based traditional management-consulting firm, called Beaufort Consulting. They were a group of consulting firms based in London, but may have changed their name now. They wanted to create a division for sports clients so they asked me to join, and I immediately grasped the opportunity. It was something I always wanted to do even though my background is in economics. However, because of my passion for sport, I came to the conclusion that combining sport with business could be a perfect match for a career choice.
TSE was established in 2002. How much has the company developed in the last ten years and is there room for improvement in the near future? What is the company’s mission?
We have developed very well. We started off with virtually no resources but now have offices in Asia, North/South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, so we can be very proud of our achievements. We now have an unparalleled connection to the international sports world.
The company really developed when we started to move into the area of advising public sector entities. At the beginning of TSE, we were only doing work for sports organisations in terms of management improvement and so on. Then after so many years, we found that the main focus area is not the connection between sports and the private sector, but more the public sector. What I mean by this is that cities, regions, and countries use sport/ events to promote and redevelop their country. It’s basically a way for sport to solve a wide range of issues like general social problems, obesity and diet etc. Each country/city has different needs to improve its public sector.
The company’s mission is to enhance the relationship between sport and the public sector. The relationship between sport and the private sector has been developed over the last 25 years, and doesn’t require any more focus. The private sector is now very sophisticated after 25 years of work, and it is an integrated part of the marketing mixer of many big name brands. We at TSE don’t fully believe that the public sector has developed over the last 25 years so we need to advise cities/nations to focus more on this sector to get the best out of both sides in order to improve. This is our mission.
How many different aspects of consultancy do TSE offer clients?
We have four main service areas. The first is events. This is where we advise cities/nations on how to bid and host events. This one is pretty straightforward. We don’t organise events, we advise them using our methods in winning a bid, and how they should go about their organisational work should they win the bid.
The second is called performance. This is where we advise several ministers of sports on how they can improve sport performance in the country; basically by winning more medals at the next Olympic games. We have a strong team in the U.S.A who have a lot of experience and background on this area of consultancy.
The next area is participation. It is complimentary to the performance but it is more about advising cities/nations how to get more people involved in sport. This means targeting and motivating non-sporting groups to become more active and increase participation.
The last one is facilities. We advise clients on how facilities should be structured, and what business modeling needs to be utilised in order to succeed. The facilities sector will ultimately improve performance, events and participation. It basically works in a circle formation where all these areas are connected somewhere down the line.
How do TSE approach and solve a client’s specific requirements and what is the formula for success?
I will say the formula for success, as a good consultant is not to be right, but to be helpful. It’s easy to come in with big plans, and not actually implement them. Understanding the client’s needs is the core aspect of what our job is. You need to be helpful, organised and intelligent in your approach towards their specific requirements. Furthermore, you need to bring fresh ideas to the table that you believe will make the project very, very successful in not only the short term, but also the long term.
What do you believe are the most commonly made mistakes by nations/cities?
There are quite a lot of mistakes being made because it is still new to them. There are very few documented experiences on how cities/states should behave when they move into events in comparison to the private sectors. I think the most prominent mistake that cities make is thinking an event will have a direct impact on their city. They search for what the economic, social and sporting impact will have on their city, but don’t explore this to its full capacity. The Olympics Games this summer will not have a direct impact on London straight away; it will at best, be marginal. In terms of the tourism that is attached to hosting the Olympics, it is likely that it will keep more people away from the event then the amount of people it attracts.
However, the Olympics Games can have a huge impact through the programmes involved In London. These programmes will prove to be the key in terms of city branding, economic development, and so on. The biggest mistake cities are making is that they are looking for a direct impact a major event will have on their city. Instead, it goes through the programmes the cities have put in place. It’s exactly the same as a sponsor; McDonalds will not increase sales by sponsoring the Olympics. It doesn’t work that way. However, they can improve their marketing programmes significantly. Furthermore, they will also see their internal motivation programmes grow, which will in turn see them achieving more sales. They forget that the impact is not direct, it’s indirect.
What projects are TSE currently working on? What do these involve?
I work for a range of cities worldwide where we assist them on a daily basis, so there is always simultaneous projects being worked on at any given time. There are affiliated offices towards different projects around the world, so they will focus on the city that has been assigned to them. There are no projects that hold a higher priority than another. At TSE we treat every project individually and work hard in order to satisfy every clients needs. Leading up to the Olympics, some of our sports performance work holds a slightly higher focus than usual, but we still maintain our focus in our other projects nevertheless.In terms of performance, we are assisting the Brazilian Olympic Committee on all their complex programs for London 2012. This involves identifying which kind of systems they have in place to support the athletes etc. For participation, we are doing a big project for the Danish Ministry of Culture and Sport on how to involve non-sporting groups in sporting activities. Additionally, for the facilities sector, we are assisting stadium owners in the U.S.A on how to look into new revenue streams by adjusting their facilities. Overall, there are plenty of projects underway, and there are sure to be more to follow. It’s certainly a busy time for TSE with the sporting calendar being so dense this year.