DIARY: Marketing man drops Irish joint bid hint as Scotland targets Euro 2008

There's more than one way to skin a cat, as evidenced by the latest

ploy to guarantee that the Scottish football team qualify for the 2008

European Championships.

A campaign is gradually swinging into action to bring the tournament to

Scotland in seven years time, with arch Scots PR firm Beattie Media

taken on in the role of communications adviser.

The embryonic Euro 2008 bid (the bidders will not officially throw their

hats into the ring until closer to UEFA's May 2002 deadline) is a joint

effort between the Scottish Football Association (which retains Beattie

for PR help) and the Scottish Executive (which, judging by current

legislative efforts, will do their utmost to keep the firm at arm's


Beattie financial head Mark Whittit told PRWeek the agency would promote

the benefits of automatic qualification for the event, an economic boost

of £500m for the nation, and aim to garner the business

community's support.

The bid's marketing director Simon Lyons, who along with project manager

John Henderson spearheads the bid, said the agency had been selected on

the back of its past work for the SFA, and will work with the body until

at least the end of the year.

Lyons also mentioned that Beattie's Irish presence - it recently opened

an office in Dublin - was a 'very important factor', hinting at a

possible joint bid with the Republic of Ireland (a possibility earlier

dismissed by the SFA).

Such a bid would not be the most blatant attempt at securing

championship qualification: Scandinavian ne'er-do-wells Norway, Sweden,

Denmark and Finland are plotting a joint bid that would see four of the

16 slots in the tournament taken up.

Joint UK bid, anyone?

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