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IMAGE LEVERAGING OF SPORTS MEGAEVENTS: GERMANY AND THE 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP


OVERVIEW Introduction  Rationale for hosting sports ‘megas’  Case study: Germany  ‘Social’ leveraging and the ‘feel-good’ factor  Summary 


INTRODUCTION ‘Image’ leveraging extends traditional research on sports ‘megas’  Extant literature tends to focus on ‘post-hoc’ impact studies of ‘legacy’  ‘Leveraging’ studies looks at strategies of how to produce a legacy  Most work on economic leveraging of events 


TREND TOWARDS ‘IMAGE’ LEVERAGING 1.

2.

3.

4.

Majority of recent/upcoming SME bound by focus on leveraging ‘image’ Less interested in host nation elite sport performance ‘Emerging’ states wishing to alter their image/with troubled histories = most to gain Concept of ‘soft power’ can aid explanation of image legacies

      

2008: Olympics, China (Beijing) 2010: Commonwealth Games, India (Delhi) 2014: Winter Olympics, Russia (Sochi) 2014: FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2016: Olympics, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) 2018: FIFA World Cup, Russia 2022: FIFA World Cup, Qatar


SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

Major shift from advanced capitalist states to developing, small and ‘emerging’ states Rationale for hosting usually premised on 5 broad hoped-for ‘legacies’


LEGACY 1 Mega-events/elite sport = participation (key Olympic legacy) – little empirical evidence


LEGACY 2 Economic = ambiguous; tourism = often lower


LEGACY 3 Urban regeneration – yes, but beneficial to society? (cf. ‘social cleansing’; Westfield Group-owned shopping centre etc.)


LEGACY 4 ‘Feelgood’ = some empirical evidence, but not leveraged


LEGACY 5 Enhancing national image (‘Soft Power’) = evidence that states believe this to be the case


CASE STUDY: 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP Successful event for changing national image  Germany central to history of political use of sport (1936/1954/1972/2006; GDR)  Prior to 2006 Germany’s image v. negative  2006 FIFA World Cup = witnessed by a cumulative global TV audience of all matches over 26 billion (FIFA 2011) 


GERMAN STRATEGY FOR LEVERAGING ‘IMAGE’ Focus on ‘leveraging’ rather than hoping for ‘legacy’  4 key ingredients to success: 

1. 2. 3. 4.

Leveraging strategy Long-term, carefully planned campaigns to improve Germany’s image abroad Fan-centred approach Feelgood-factor


1. WHAT IS ‘LEVERAGING’? Pre-event strategy to get the most out of an event  ‘Leveraging’ generally understood as the activities ‘which seek to maximise the longterm benefits of an event’  Deliberate, strategic modus operandi as opposed to haphazard, hopeful and lucky  Usually targeted at something specific (economic/urban regeneration/’image’) 


2. GERMANY 2006 – IMAGE CAMPAIGNS A ‘cluster’ of campaigns designed to leverage the most out of the FWC  German National Tourist promoted Germany as a travel destination well in advance of the FWC  ‘National Service and Friendliness Campaign’  ‘Augmentation’ – events around the FWC  Land of Ideas=showcasing Germany and attracting tourism and foreign investment 


3. FAN-CENTRED APPROACH Public viewing ‘spaces’ unprecedented success  Over 20 million people joined in the parties at public ‘Fan Fests’  Large viewing screens set up in the 12 host cities in Germany (women=44%; 22% in stadiums)  2 million foreign visitors to Germany  All games were 98% full to capacity 


4. ‘FEEL-GOOD FACTOR’ Little research on ‘feelgood’ factor in sport  Clearly something accompanying mass sports events  Germany set out to create a feelgood factor  …which leads to a sense of ‘communitas’ a ‘weness’ among fans/participants  The scale of a sense of ‘celebration’ and ‘social camaraderie’ in Germany unexpected  How can communitas be marshalled to affect change in society? 


INCREASE IN TOURISM Year-on-year increase in tourism and ‘overnight stays’


SUMMARY Germany (2006) successful ‘image’ leveraging = probably influenced recent/next hosts  Fan-centred approach and ‘feel-good’ factor will be central in future  Sports mega-events with the greatest impact have been those who have pre-planned, preevent leveraging strategies 


Jonathan Grix - University of Birmingham