The Importance of a Sports Travel Management Company for Sports Federations

By Kevin Perrin

Many sports federations see travel management expertise as a service that’s nice to have, but not essential. However, this approach means that they miss out on working with specialists who can help them to navigate even the most difficult of industry-specific challenges.

Sports travel requires careful coordination and consideration as standard. Using a TMC with a history of working with sports teams and federations means that all logistics are taken care of, regardless of time constraints, multiple destinations, airport transfers, venues and the number of athletes and their support teams. Organization is the key to a successful event and having the expertise of a TMC can unlock hidden savings and benefits as well as save valuable time and resource.

Here are just some of the ways a TMC can provide benefits for sports federations:


The strategic element of travel is often overlooked by many organizations, regardless of industry, with attention very much focused on getting teams from A to B. However, getting athletes to where they need to be is only a very small piece of the puzzle, from managing bookings to data analysis there are many details that need to be meticulously looked at when planning travel.

With the support of a TMC, all travel can be planned centrally, allowing sports federations to book the travel that they need, when they need it, without having to worry about the accompanying admin. A single point of contact also means having to manage only one relationship, rather than with various travel suppliers to negotiate deals. Outsourcing time-consuming work to a TMC means that sports federations can adopt a more strategic role in a travel programme, such as calculating total trip cost, which can provide valuable insight into spend, other travel behaviours and organizational trends.

Duty of care

It goes without saying that athletes and support staff are important to sports federations, and it’s essential that they are kept safe and healthy whilst travelling. Any organization must take full responsibility for the care of their teams and have full knowledge of their whereabouts should an incident ever occur. A TMC can provide access to a wide range of useful tools and services such as traveller tracking and location data, a 24/7 emergency response service and travel updates and alerts to help them keep their teams safe.

Diligence on suppliers

Organising travel for large groups with limited funding and budget restraints can be challenging. However, a TMC can support federations in gaining detailed visibility into other areas of the business, helping them to overcome financial hurdles and become more commercially savvy with their travel programme. Detailed management information can be provided to analyse the total cost of a trip, which can be used to ensure funds are spent as they are intended. A specialist TMC invites sports organizations to leverage on their buying power for supplier deals, which when booking travel independently they may not benefit from.

When choosing a TMC, sports federations should ensure they find a business partner with specialised industry knowledge and vast experience in moving large groups. They should also enquire about the events and tournaments they have supported, as well as the teams and other federations they have worked with.

Athletes and support staff are the most valuable asset to a sports federation, so making sure that they are both safe and secure when travelling to and from an important fixture or event is vital. A TMC that is experienced in the sector will have a thorough understanding of the industry, destinations in question and challenges within it, and be able ensure that all travellers are looked after, as well as, delivering multiple benefits for the organization.

ATPI Sports Events is one of the world’s fastest growing events businesses with specialist teams delivering travel, events, corporate hospitality, ticketing, and branding and sponsorship activation for leading events and sports brands around the world. For more information visit:

Kevin Perrin is Head of Commercial Relations Canada at the ATPI Group.