How ATPI managed travel and event logistics for the Canadian Olympic Committee


Canadian Olympic Committee



Kevin Perrin

Global Head of Commercial for Sports Business


With 447 athletes all set to travel to Lima, the challenge for ATPI Sports Travel was set…

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) formed a partnership with ATPI Sports Events in 2017, with the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games taking place soon after.

The Games presented a tight deadline and a set of complex logistics but with expertise in area of event and travel, ATPI Sports Events offered a solution that combined the complete management of travel, hospitality and ticketing services, as well as managing the needs of the COC’s stakeholders.

The knowledge acquired by ATPI Sports Events during the Olympic Winter Games enabled them to further customize a solution that would reinforce trust and open lines of communication, ready for further projects such as the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Client

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) leads the achievement of Team Canada’s podium success and advances Olympic values across Canada. Independent and predominantly privately funded, the COC delivers the resources that Canada’s elite athletes need to perform at their best and give their everything every day. By sharing athletes’ stories, they inspire all Canadians through the power of sport – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The Challenge

The Pan American Games is a major sporting event in the Americas in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of sports. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas every four years.

At Lima 2019, the Canadian Pan American Team, comprising of 447 athletes as well as additional supporting team members, required travel and events logistics. However, there were three significant challenges to overcome during the project.

Travel for athletes

The number of athletes travelling to the Pan American Games was larger than the number of those travelling to the Olympic Games and so increased volume presented a challenge in itself. In addition, the nature of the competition meant that qualification schedules left less time for athletes to be booked onto a flight than would be advisable for a typical traveller.

Communication of information

Due to the number of people requiring travel, flight and seat availability needed to be updated in real-time in order to avoid confusion. Defining procedures and tools to share this information in the most efficient and useful manner was a priority.

Limited flights

The 2019 Pan American Games were hosted in Lima, Peru, which presented further challenges in terms of getting Canadian
athletes to the event. Flights from Canada to Lima were scarce, as demonstrated by the only daily flight available from Toronto or Montreal. Any athlete travelling to the Games would need to head east in order to catch their flight from one of these hubs. Further adding to the pressure imposed on travel logistics, the Lima 2019 Organizing Committee did not allow sports to come into the village until 5 days ahead of their first day of competition and mandated a departure time set for 48 hours after the conclusion of their event.

The Solution

ATPI Sports Event’s first step to facilitate the smooth running of getting athletes to the Lima 2019 Pan American Games was to build relationships with the National Sports Organizations’ (NSO’s) Team Leaders and to get to know their specific requirements.

To build these relationships, ATPI consultants were dedicated to a specific sport, ensuring that the COC benefitted from a specialized service.

Managing tight deadlines

Overcoming the drastically shortened lead times required careful planning from ATPI Sports Events consultants, with flexibility proving key to ensuring that all athletes got to their competition at the right time. ATPI Consultants coordinated this process by working closely with airlines and COC’s team leaders, responding immediately when qualification schedules were published.

Sharing booking information and itineraries

With many people on both sides requiring up-to-date flight information, finding the right method to share this was essential to the success of the project. ATPI Sports Events implemented the use of a personalized software to fulfill its deliverables. The software displayed an inventory of available seats, ready to be broken down into the seats required for each athlete or team. These were then assigned to the travellers and communicated back to ATPI Consultants, who could book and share the information.

The software also kept a comprehensive of all communication made during the booking process and allowed live reporting of all the travellers’ data to be delivered to the COC and all team leads, with an online approval process prior to ticket issuance.

Overcoming logistical challenges

The limited number of flights from Canada to Lima, combined with the prerequisite for athletes to arrive five days before their event and leave two days afterwards demanded rigorous planning. In order to overcome this, ATPI Sports Events worked with the preferred carrier to block a sufficient inventory of seats from each gateway and organised feeder flights to move athletes from across Canada to the hubs of Toronto or Montreal in order for them to be able to travel to Lima when needed.

ATPI implemented the use of a personalized software to fulfill its deliverables

The Result

The Canadian Panamerican Team’s focus was creating the best possible performance environment for the athletes when competing. This process, which started with travel, was a smooth, stress-free journey that allowed them to stay focused.

As a result, the team’s performance at Lima 2019 was one of their best ever, with the team bringing 35 gold, 64 silver and 53 bronze medals home. ATPI is incredibly proud to have played a supporting role.

Learn more about ATPI’s sector-specific offering for the sports industry