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Planning Sports Events in OnePlan When You’re Playing the GOAT

Plan for the GOAT in OnePlan

When you’re due to play the GOAT (the Greatest Of All Time) things can get a bit…hectic. Whatever the sport and whoever the GOAT – be it Messi, LeBron, Serena or others – teams need to factor new elements into their planning. But hey, we’ve got you sorted! OnePlan, the MVP of event planning, has a new GOAT pack that will help you plan for the GOAT and their fans in the safest possible way. 

Here are some steps you need to consider when the GOAT’s in town. 

1: Added attention on the GOAT

GOAT object in OnePlan

The power of sport has evolved over centuries, with heroes rising in every generation – from the original gladiators to the modern super stars who grace our pitches, courts and screens. 

Into this arena emerge the current legends of sport, known now as the GOAT. The GOAT is a game-changer for sports clubs and leagues, bringing immediate access to millions of extra viewers and the potential for multi-million $ revenue upside.

When the GOAT is visiting, we’re not just talking about filling seats. It goes beyond that for planners. It means an influx of impassioned fans, VIPs and the media that follows them, and curious onlookers. 

Security Consultant Pete Dalton, who works with major sports venues and federations in multiple continents, says there are a number of additional factors that planners needs to consider for the GOAT’s arrival: “Venues need to plan with added detail for the GOAT’s arrival. It’s an extra set of challenges for planners to ensure the game is safe and presented well to a global audience.” 

The venue needs to be prepared not just to accommodate the extra fans but to ensure their safety, with precise control of entrances and exits, and being prepared for spontaneous crowd behaviors.

Pete adds: “It’s not just about preventing mishaps but choreographing an event where everyone, from the GOAT to the last fan, feels safe and celebrated.”

2: Planning for the GOAT's security

GOAT bodyguard icon in OnePlan

It’s likely that the GOAT will have his or her own security detail, with a bodyguard protecting their every move. This can include tracking the player pitch-side to ensure superfans don’t get too close to their hero, especially during a match. 

Security consultant Pete Dalton says this adds a layer of complexity to how venues need to consider their security planning: “The pitch-side role of a bodyguard is probably more cosmetic and as a reassurance to the GOAT.”

The crowd want to worship their sporting mega star, and the GOAT needs to be the star of the show. Plans need to combine crowd management, protective security, venue security and media management. After all, managing a GOAT event isn’t just about protection, but also ensuring that the fans get the experience they’re there for. 

Pete adds: “Within the stadium or arena, assuming normal governance applies, it’s likely the GOAT’s bodyguard has no legitimate role, as security is typically delivered by a comprehensive safety and security operation under the sports federation or national league guidance.”

“Without a service level agreement or clear role and responsibility the GOAT’s bodyguard may be more hindrance than help to the venue’s planning team.

So what’s the secret sauce to impeccable security? “Combining these elements into a collaborative plan to enable a single source of truth is key,” Pete adds. 

3: Making it safe for the superfans

GOAT merchandise icon in OnePlan

Soccer fans are tribal. The GOAT’s fans will be passionate and increase their volume with every play the GOAT makes. So in an atmosphere that’s ramped up in anticipation of the GOAT’s next move, how should venues best manage the fans? 

Pete Dalton says: “The level of support can become euphoric for the GOAT. With this comes potential risks of how different fan scenarios could manifest before, during and after the game.”

A number of factors come into play for fans watching the GOAT live at your stadium. Expect an additional demand for tickets, and an increased number of ticketless fans entering the stadium. It’s common too in these matches starring the GOAT that spontaneous, large crowds gather at the Players’ entrance.

Moreover, with a GOAT in the mix, the venue’s peripheral areas become as vital as the main playing area. Larger crowds mean more potential security risks, requiring effective management systems in place. It’s not just about the number of fans; it’s about ensuring every fan, wherever they’re positioned, has a safe and thrilling experience.

And with added fans watching the GOAT, it’ll mean increased demand for the GOAT’s team shirt, with the number 10 being a fan favorite. That may mean extra opportunities to sell your own merchandise as part of welcoming the GOAT to town.

4: The A-listers in attendance

GOAT family lounge icon in OnePlan

The GOATs aren’t just athletes: they’re a spectacle. Playing the GOAT often means more VIP fans – celebrities – in attendance, and with it a media circus sharing images to audiences worldwide.

Celebrity fans need to be factored into venue planning. It means an extra security focus is required on arrivals, departures and the security of VIP lounges and hospitality boxes. 

In September 2023, a guest list from the LA Galaxy vs Inter Miami MLS game was circulated widely online. It showed the incredible number of high-profile celebrities who watched the match live, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Selena Gomez, Prince Harry to Magic Johnson and more. A guest list itself full of GOATs. 

Security Consultant Pete Dalton lays out what this means for venue operations teams: “Starting with transport, event plans should consider alternate ways in and out for VIPs. In some cases, even a helipad and the associated ground transportation.”

“A greater focus on the security of hospitality boxes and segregating these areas from general admission is key,” Pete adds.

A clearly defined Event Safety Management Structure should be underlined by an integrated plan to achieve safety, security and service – typically the responsibility of the private sector. Pete continues: “Where VIPs attend, close protection and protective security is the responsibility of the police. Even so, it’s really important that these protection plans integrate with event safety management and are interoperable with stadium plans and contingencies.”

The VIP guest list for LA Galaxy v Inter Miami, September 2023. Image taken from @90min_football on X.

And for the VIPs when the match ends, the experience doesn’t have to! The Afterparty may be elsewhere in the city, and guests will want to know where it is and how to get there safely. You can plan that in OnePlan, ensuring a superstar’s exit is smooth as their entrance. 

Guest list icon in OnePlan
Afterparty icon in OnePlan

The OnePlan GOAT pack includes a ‘Guest List’ object that can be used to add VIP names who will attend the game, an ‘Afterparty’ objects, and 20+ other icons and zones you can place on your plan. 

Want to start using the GOAT pack?

Welcoming a GOAT to your event? Let OnePlan’s GOAT Pack lead the way! From ensuring grand stands fit for Serena’s slams to meticulously planned security for Messi via the ‘GOAT Bodyguard’ feature, we’ve got your back.

GOAT pack in OnePlan promo image

Map out custom pitch-side refreshment points for the GOAT’s yerba mate cravings or special electrolyte mixes. Plan for the GOAT’s team bus arrival route, and Areas for away fans. Amp up the ambiance with the ‘Selfie Zone’ feature. And when the game is over, seamlessly transition to the epic Afterparty that legends deserve.

To add the GOAT pack to your OnePlan account, simply message our team >

To learn more about OnePlan, book a demo here with one of our event experts >

Navigating the world of planning sports events with a GOAT is a bit like trying to choreograph a ballet in the middle of a rock concert – But with the precision and complexity of OnePlan, even the craziest event challenges feel planned, safe and successful. So, the next time you find yourself wondering how to accommodate the big personalities, the louder fans, and the even louder afterparties – remember, with OnePlan in your arsenal, you’re ready to tackle any GOAT-sized event.

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