CEO of Invictus Games 2018 shares why it is more than just a sporting event


Patrick Kidd was appointed as the CEO of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 in January 2017 and is on secondment from Deloitte until the Games conclude in October 2018. In an interview with Connect Intelligence, Patrick shares how he engages with fans and utilizes data in his role. 


What’s your vision for the Invictus Games Sydney 2018?
The Invictus Games Sydney 2018 is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Australia. The Games use the power of sport to inspire the rehabilitation of those who have been physically or mentally damaged during military service. They also recognise the central support role played by the families and the close friends of those who have been wounded or injured. With five hundred Competitors and one thousand Family & Friends from 18 different nations due to attend this multi-sport event the Games will be a truly memorable event for all those involved and all of those who watch it. Australia will witness the most incredible individual stories play out during the games; their power is such that for many lives will be changed for ever. Everyone will be humbled by what they witness. We also have an opportunity to use the incredible platform of the games to raise awareness over the next year about a range of issues associated with health and well-being, the treatment of people with different abilities, and the nature of service in our community.

What strategies have you utilised to maximise fan engagement?
The Invictus Games is much more than a sporting event and our opportunity is to raise awareness across a range of issues while also building excitement towards the games. We are looking to inspire people to act for their own benefit, and the benefit of others, and to reach out to people of all ages to recognise the benefits of maintaining active and connected lifestyles. We will directly engage with the local communities of Western Sydney working with our partner, ClubsNSW, to educate and create a sense of excitement for the Games. Our success will be very much measured by our ability to fill stadiums, and this is important to honour the competitors taking part. A key part of our strategy is to find and work with partners who will help us to communicate a message at the national, state and local level.

How has your last role enabled you to thrive in your current position?
As a career soldier and, more recently a management consultant, this question caused me to stop and think for a moment. I am very fortunate to have worked on this project from inception and a background in the military helps me to stay focused on the outcomes we are seeking to achieve. But in all reality it seems to me that pulling together a complicated event like this , is very much about finding your way to the the right people with the right skills at the right time. No one person knows everything.

How do you transform transactional relationships into lasting business partnerships?
The Invictus Games are not typical of many “typical” events and our approach has always been to persuade people that the cause is worthy of investment. People and companies want to see an impact and to feel that they are a part of something bigger than just a moment in time. Partners need to be integrated and involved while also giving them a sense of ownership over the outcomes.

Will data and analytics have a role to play in the Invictus Games Sydney?
Even though these games are young, we have a hunger for data that will help us to ensure we are delivering the right games services and to reduce risk. We are already drawing heavily from the experience of Canada and using the Games Management System to give us a much more precise view of a range of functions. It is also important to use data to support the longer term research into the benefits of programmes such as these. There is a long way to go in this area and it will be very important to ensure there is better collaboration and knowledge sharing across different nations. The nature of the Games helps to drive this.

Patrick Kidd OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Invictus Games Sydney 2018 will be discussing ‘Sport as Theatre – Reimagining the Biggest Stage’ at Business of Sports Summit 14 & 15 March, 2018 Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney

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