Sporting events are recognized worldwide for their efforts to bring the world together. All nations are invited to participate but under some certain set conditions. Sporting events can be classified as mega or small scale depending on the number of nations that are invited. Events like the Olympics, the FIFA world cup are just some of the mega sporting events. Small-scale events include the championships which primarily may include the marathon races. Others are the high school games as well as college competitions (In Grix, 2014). There is an ego that comes around with the hosting of some of these big events. However, it is unfortunate that some of the nations that host the event do not live past the event. This comes as a great loss bearing in mind the large amounts of money invested in the construction of the stadiums. It is unfortunate for such big stadiums to be left idle immediately the event over. Hosting one event should open more doors for such events since there are set resources already.
In as much as there are large sums of money required for a nation to host such an event, the impacts hosting of such events has in the economy, and the community at large can never be underestimated. They can be negative or positive. Development of infrastructure, awareness, increased tourism (International Olympic Committee, 2003) and economic profitability are some of the positive impacts of the events. Some of the possible negative effects include the disruption of the host environment as well as prioritizing of infrastructure that has no help to the local community. All these impacts can be summed up in a single word, legacy. Legacies can be material or non-material, positive or negative, tangible or non-tangible consequences that come with an event and exist much longer past the event. Legacies may include aspects of the sport itself including the stadiums as well as the sociocultural development. More so, a legacy can be said to be the direct or indirect impact that is generated from hosting of these mega-events.
Irrespective of the size of a nation, hosting of these events have vast effects, positive in this case on the community. The mega sporting events end up having more significant legacies wing to the fact that the media has much of its focus on them. Columbia and Australia are some of the nations that have meaningful legacies after hosting of the Olympic Games. The specific cities in the two nations that were host experienced vast development not only in infrastructure but also in the individual growth. Up to date, there has been an increase in the number of tourists touring the nations owing to the legacies of the nation and the events. The events came on as a blessing to the nation as more doors on tourism were opened and the tourism sector rarely disappoints. Hosting of these big events comes with many expectations from the local community (International Olympic Committee Factsheet, 2013). They are always expectant of the large audiences who serve as customers to their businesses. Similarly, hosting such events can be detrimental to economic growth, and this has invited significant criticism. A good example 1976 Montreal Olympic games. The city accumulated large loans just with the aim of hosting a landmark event. Though they have managed to clear the debt, it is very unfortunate for them
In another case, Greece and specifically Athens was the host of the 2004 Olympic Games. Large sums of money were used to construct the stadiums, but it is unfortunate that the stadiums are left empty since the event ended. To determine the levels of the legacy that are left behind after an event, researchers have come up with some approaches. They use the approaches to analyze the state of infrastructure as well as other important aspects of development. It is very possible for a city to host the same event over time, different events over time or in different cities hosting the same event over time. This is according to the benchmark approach of analyzing legacies. On the other hand, the top-down approach compares the economic indicators of the event with the same indicators if the event had not taken place. Similarly, the control-case approach tries to compare the development in infrastructure brought about by the event and the same infrastructure if the community did not host to the event. The bottom-up approach is used as an overall check to other approaches. It focuses on the negative side of the event before coming up with a reasonable conclusion on the legacies.
Primarily, there are positive aspects that are of economic importance that come from hosting of an event. In all these aspects, infrastructure can never be ignored. It mainly refers to sports facilities and neighbouring locations of the competition. Small-scale events do not oversee much of the overhaul in the infrastructure. However, in case of mega-events like the world cup and the Olympics, there is much modification as far as infrastructure is concerned. There is the improvement in telecommunication, roads, airports as well as the hotels. The entertainment sector is also not left behind as it has to play host to the visitors. The setting of infrastructure means that there is a job opportunity for the local community as well as a learning exposure. The locals can interact with the event organizers on how to go about organizing such mega events. Consequently, hosting of such mega-events has more to do with imaging. The events can be symbolic of change. Most nations have kick-started their development agendas after hosting this mega-events. It is however important that a host nation familiarizes with the negative impacts of the event such as hooliganism and other organizational shortcomings. Just as the positive impacts, negative impacts can also have lasting memories, and that is the image that the rest of the world has. The Atlanta Olympics, for example, were characterized by immense traffic congestions and that is the impression that the rest of the world has on Atlanta.
Hosting a sporting event comes with some sort of emotions. Hosting of these vents has some psychological aspects to the locals. Aspects of pride may kick in after a community has been granted the opportunity to host such as event. Such chances are rare and hence tend to promote positive aspects like visions. Similarly, negative aspects such as displacement of locals during the preparations of the vent may leave the residents disappointed. Hosting of such events creates some form of network (Hodgetts, Central Queensland University, & Central Queensland University, 2011) between the community and the rest of the world. During the construction of the stadiums, there is a probability that foreign nations will be interested in the contracts to help in the construction process. There is also a big boost on the tourism sector as the visitors who come during the event are tempted to come back afterwards especially if the place was hospitable for them. Through the networks, it is possible to start educational programs for the host residents and enhance their skills.
Culture as well cannot be played down in association with these big events. The Olympics games particularly incorporate aspects of culture. The opening ceremonies are characterized by the showcasing of various cultures of the host nation. Culture scenarios can attract or completely discourage the investors. In most cases, culture serves as a big boost to the economy as it will promote tourism (Ogilvie, 2012). Tourism seems to be a world that can never be left out while speaking of development. Tourism plays a key role as far as economic development is concerned. Hosting sporting events should, therefore, have a significant focus on the cultural and tourism sector. In as much as legacies are a focus on the analyses of developments and failures, some aspects are difficult to put into consideration because different people have different ideas on the same. It is upon the local community to make good use of that golden opportunity to do their business. They are rare opportunities that come once in a while. After the ego and the celebrations, the nation has to be left with something they can positively associate with the event. That is where legacy crops in.
Hodgetts, D., Central Queensland University, & Central Queensland University. (2011). Legacy by osmosis: Investigation of sport development legacies resulting from the conduct of a major sports event. (ACQUIRE [electronic resource]: Central Queensland University Institutional Repository.
In Grix, J. (2014). Leveraging legacies for sports mega-events: Concepts and cases.
International Olympic Committee Factsheet. (2003, December). Legacies of the Games. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reference_documents_Factsheets/Legacy.pdf
International Olympic Committee. (2003). Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reports/EN/en_report_706.pdf
Ogilvie, L. D. (2012). Community sports development & the Olympic games - outcomes from Vancouver 2010. Burnaby: Simon Fraser University.
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