Glasgow Meets Sport on Spec

Online sports event guide Sport on Spec celebrates the diversity of recognised sports in the UK and the excitement of watching top-class local events in the flesh, writes Tim Underhill, founder of the company.

From mainstream spectator sports such as football, swimming and golf to sports with a lower profile such as netball and speedway, if an event is inspirational and entertaining to watch we will include it. The concept is unique as for the first time an A to Z of weekly sporting events are promoted on a level playing field and ticket information (always at face value or better) is available to the consumer from one easily accessible source.

British Passion for Sport

Research published by Deloitte in 2012 demonstrates that the British public has an appetite for watching elite sport that is unmatched. Attendance at professional sports events in the UK in 2012 reached 75m and the country’s spectator culture is such that in absolute terms and relative to its population size, the British appetite for attending sporting events is unmatched anywhere in the world.


As a lifelong and passionate sports fan, I witnessed first-hand at London 2012 how people in the UK can engage not only with sports they already love, but also with sports they’ve never seen before when the right opportunity is made available to them.

Notwithstanding the above it is the case that the vast majority of UK sporting events do not sell out, with one of the chief barriers being a lack of awareness of the multitude of sporting events taking place locally each week. Awareness being not just the mere fact an event is occurring, but for minority sports in particular getting the message over about how enjoyable the sport can be to watch live as well as the context (i.e. the back story) to a particular event.

By overcoming this awareness hurdle it is our belief that there exists an opportunity for all sports to ensure existing fans are kept up to speed on events they enjoy, and secondly to re-engage lapsed fans as well as gain new ones. With financial and resource constraints that is of course easier said than done, but how that can be achieved is where Sport on Spec plays a big part.

So where to launch a new business around spectator sport in the UK? Pondering the question in early 2013, three cities stood out as obvious candidates, namely London, Manchester and Glasgow. And it was to be Glasgow that got the unanimous nod …


Why Glasgow is a great sports city?

Glasgow is a city rich in sporting heritage and one that has punched above its weight down the sporting ages. A glance at the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame throws up names such as motor racing giant Sir Jackie Stewart, Tour de France cyclist Robert Millar, world champion boxer Jim Watt and football legend Kenny Dalglish who all hail from the city. A city passionate about its football it also boasts ice hockey, rugby union and basketball teams all competing at the highest level.

Glasgow’s sporting roots may be deep but it is the city’s present and future commitment to hosting live sport that made it such a compelling city to launch a new business such as Sport on Spec.

Voted No.9 in the 2012 SportBusiness Ultimate Sport Cities Awards, 2013 saw Glasgow host the UCI Juniors World Track Championships, the World Youth Netball Championships and World Cup Gymnastics.

Fast forward to the present and it is as if the stars are aligning in 2014 with the Diamond League athletics in July a precursor to what promises to be an amazing celebration of sport between 23 July and 3 August and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. And no sooner will the excitement have died down from the Games when in September the Ryder Cup arrives at Gleneagles in Perthshire, just an hour’s drive north of the city.

The FIFA World Cup in Brazil may have other ideas but with only one home nation, England, in action, there’s a strong case to be made that the centre of the sporting universe this summer is the city of Glasgow.

Looking to the future the city shows no signs of resting on its laurels with a commitment already to host the IPC European Swimming Championships in 2015 along with the European Judo Championships and World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Truly exciting times that Sport on Spec is delighted to be a part of.


How does Sport on Spec work and what next?

We cover sport in Glasgow and surrounding areas: namely Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Falkirk and Stirlingshire.

Since our launch at the end of August 2013 we’ve highlighted circa 500 events from sports as diverse as roller derby, badminton, squash, boxing and table tennis, along with mainstream sports such as rugby union, motorsport and cricket.

Our e-newsletter is sent out every Sunday evening with events for the following seven days, including news on ticket availability as well as some background to each event. We also have regular features on different sports on the Sport on Spec website to give our users a better understanding of both the sports and events coming up. Alongside we promote events via our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter @sportonspec.

Having focused not just on raising the profile of Sport on Spec to consumers but also on building credibility and trust with the sports themselves, we are looking forward to improving the Sport on Spec offering as we launch a revamped website later in 2014.

The next phase is to introduce real-time listings on the website for events taking place in the next seven days, with our e-newsletter and social media channels to work in tandem with weekly sporting highlights as well as regular ticket competitions and promotions.

For further details contact:

Tim Underhill – founder of Sport on Spec – email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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