Wales World Wide is turning its attention to how sport and business intertwine in November with a focus on the autumn rugby internationals and economic links with the countries Wales will be playing – Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
We will be asking: Does sport raise the profile of Wales? Is it an export industry in its own right? And how can sport be used as a vehicle for wider business links?
“When you go into somewhere like France, they know Wales perhaps because they know rugby, they know a little bit about the country,” says Stephen Davies, Managing Director of Penderyn Distillery.
“Then you go somewhere like the US and a lot of people don’t really have a concept of where Wales is as a region. We find we have to work harder in some places because of the lack of awareness of where Welsh whisky comes from.”
Sport is a Welsh asset, from our successful international rugby team to outstanding Welsh soccer players such as Ryan Giggs, Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.
Wales’s second city Swansea is making its mark in the world’s most competitive soccer league and Cardiff City is flying high in the Championship.
In boxing, Joe Calzaghe was the longest-reigning world champion, retaining the WBO Super Middleweight title for more than ten years and successfully defending it twenty one times.
In cricket, Glamorgan ranks among the most successful counties and hosts international test matches in Cardiff on a regular basis.
And, this summer the Olympic and Paralympic Games showcased a wide range of sporting Welsh talent in sports such as cycling, athletics and taekwondo. Welsh Olympic and Paralympic members of Team GB won a combined total of twenty one medals.
Stephen Davies says: “Sporting links between nations help raise the profile of who we are, and where we come from, which in turn has many business benefits.”
Wales World Wide will follow the series of autumn internationals highlighting cultural and business ties between Wales and the southern hemisphere.
Our coverage begins later this week with an exclusive interview with Roger Lewis, chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union.
We are also running a competition to win a pair of tickets for the Wales v Australia game – for details, click here.