INTERNATIONAL: EC holds a megapitch for education through sport

BRUSSELS: More than a dozen agencies are pitching for a £1.2m PR and advertising campaign to promote the use of sport in education across Europe.

The campaign - led by the European Commission - is set to start in late April to raise awareness of the European Year of Education through Sport 2004.

EC officials confirmed 13 agencies are in the running for the work, which includes PR, advertising, graphic design, event organisation and sponsorship work.

While the EC declined to confirm which agencies were included in the pitch, it is understood the following consultancies were among those to register interest: Porter Novelli, Hill & Knowlton Belgium, Media Consulta Deutschland and Publicis Consultants.

PR work involves high-end strategic counsel, alongside media relations work focused on a public awareness and education drive.

EC Education and Culture official Pedro Velazquez said the invitation to tender - put out last September - solicited 177 requests for information, with 13 agencies submitting formal bids.

The EC is hoping to complete the pitch process by mid-April.

'The European Year of Education through Sport is an initiative that aims to convey the message that sport can be an excellent tool for education,' said Velazquez. 'In some European countries sport and education have been worlds apart and we think sport could be an interesting element of education in and outside of schools.'

The work is set to cover all 15 current member countries within the European Union and will target all age groups, but will focus specifically on children aged 12 years and over.

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