The earliest sponsorship West Nally launched in athletics was across schools in the UK in the mid ‘70’s with Kraft foods. Way back in 1976 West Nally were writing proposals to involve global products into global events – including to World Money/Visa.
Adriaan Paulen as the then President of the IAAF was a visionary and seeing the development work in football wanted the same for athletics. Patrick Nally and the West Nally team worked closely with Adriaan to develop a wide range of athletics events. In 1976 a document was prepared on The Track and Field World Cup and International Technical Aid programme.
In 1978 the IAAF approved the draft rules for a first ever Athletics World Championships and West Nally got to work on planning the marketing and fundraising aspects.
The IAAF Citizen Golden Series was also introduced in 1978 with two objectives established by the IAAF. They were to provide athletics fans with truly world class competition on an annual basis and finance the IAAF Development Programme. The Athletics World Cups in 1977 and 1979 also benefited from superb quality official films – both arranged and funded by West Nally.
That same year, 1978, West Nally proposed its appointment as exclusive television, marketing, promotional and fund-raising consultants to the International Amateur Athletics Federation. This to be for 5 years from 1979. and the proposal also covered licensed merchandise and music.
In 1981, Patrick Nally met with Dr Primo Nebiolo who had taken over as IAAF President. Discussions on the First World Champion in Athletics were firmed-up and West Nally appointed to secure the funding, sponsors and television coverage. In 1983 this First World Athletics Championship in Helsinki became a reality.
Prior to that, West Nally had been the prime mover in the first London Marathon in 1981 and followed with the Citizen Golden Marathon in 1982. The success resulted in West Nally developing a European Marathon Circuit – involving Rank Xerox.
Other West Nally athletics achievements included the 1983 and 1984 World Cross Country Championships, individual athletics meetings and assistance with the development of technology within the sport.
In 1983 Patrick Nally and Dr Primo Nebiolo had a further historic meeting to review progress to date and define a future course for international athletics. By 1984 West Nally had spent ten years making a considerable contribution to athletics at grass roots, national and international levels. This role, together with future plans and results from the 1983 Helsinki Championships are included in a new four year programme for the IAAF presented in 1984.