Kentuckian Dea Riley is a marketing executive who has helped organize and run major international sporting events including the 2002 Winter Olympics. She says the 2010 World Equestrian Games will fail to benefit Kentucky like it could have and will wind up costing taxpayers at a time when budgets are already strained.
“Kentucky has really botched the deal and the reason is the governments in charge of it –- they’re a year out and additional major sponsors have yet to sign up,” Riley said.
Riley said the Beshear administration in Frankfort seems to not be working with the Newberry administration in Lexington.
“One thing you learn about an event such as this is that everyone is in it together and the goal is everyone’s success,” Riley said. “It seems the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.”
The major opportunity provided by an event like the World Equestrian Games comes in the form of dollars from corporate sponsorships. Riley said the deal given to title sponsor Alltech, Inc. was possibly too generous and may have contributed to the lack of additional sponsors and caused great harm to the overall effort.
“The opportunity to get more major multi-million dollar sponsors seems almost impossible at this late date,” Riley said.
The World Equestrian Games are scheduled for September 25 through October 10, 2010.