Berliner Tageblatt - Paris seeks to boost sluggish sales for Paralympic Games

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Paris seeks to boost sluggish sales for Paralympic Games
Paris seeks to boost sluggish sales for Paralympic Games / Photo: © AFP

Paris seeks to boost sluggish sales for Paralympic Games

Organisers of the Paris Paralympic Games are set to launch an advertising campaign on Monday to boost sluggish sales for the event this August and September, with only 300,000 tickets purchased by the public so far.

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The billboard and online campaign 100 days before the start of the event will feature several leading French Paralympic athletes with the tag line: "We aren't missing anything, only you."

Around 900,000 tickets -- one third of the total -- have been sold so far, but 600,000 have been purchased by French public sector organisations and the Olympic and Paralympic committees, according to figures from the organising committee.

The sales data has barely changed since the turn of the year, even though seats are priced for as little as 15 euros including at the most prestigious locations around the French capital.

"We want to say to everyone, French people first: it's time to mobilise around the Paralympics," Julie Mathikine, brand director for Paris 2024, told reporters.

"It's a shock advertising campaign, to create a reaction, to make people understand and realise," she added.

Michael Aloisio, deputy director general, acknowledged "that French people don't know our Paralympic athletes. We need to speak about them, to personalise the event".

But he and others stressed that Paris 2024 was no different from the London Games in 2012, where around 40 percent of Paralympic ticket sales occurred after the end of the Olympics.

The Paris Olympics run from July 26-August 11 followed by the Paralympics from August 28-September 8.

"We understand the extent to which the Olympic Games are the best promotional tool because people want the party to carry on and experience the Games at home," Aloisio added.

Although ticket sales might be low, organisers have sold the broadcasting rights for the 22-sport Paralympics to a record 160 nations and territories.

Some of the best-known Paralympians are set to appear in Paris including quadruple amputee Bebe Vio, an Italian fencer, American "armless archer" Matt Stutzman and "blade jumper" Markus Rehm.

The sport will take place in the same stadiums that will be used during the Olympics, including at temporary venues at the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Grand Palais and Versailles Palace.

Organisers of the Paris Games are promoting a new, lower impact model, with only two new sports venues and the athletes' village built from scratch.

L.Dubois--BTB