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Sport Management Review, 2001, 4, 193–219 © 2001 SMAANZ

Enhancing Sport Marketing through Cultural and Arts Programs: Lessons from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festivals Beatriz García Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

This paper discusses the potential to broaden the marketing appeal of sport events by associating them with cultural and arts activities. The theory of polysemic structures and event augmentation are used to explain the value of offering cultural and arts extensions to sports programs. The Olympic Games are considered a paradigmatic case that illustrates the possibilities because arts and culture are compulsory components of the main event and have traditionally been staged simultaneously with the sports. However, research on past official Olympic cultural programs indicates that there is still a paucity of marketing and promotional strategies to enhance such a combination. The Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festivals are used as a case study to identify reasons and circumstances affecting the relationship between cultural and sporting programs. Data collection for this case study included 87 semi-structured interviews with Olympic Arts Festival organisers, producers, artists, sponsors and the media. The interview data are cross-referenced with archival data and a content analysis of newspaper data on the Olympic Arts Festivals. This study argues that the limited success of joint sports and culture event promotions is mainly due to a lack of effective integration mechanisms between sport and cultural programs. To change this trend, it is necessary to broaden the ways that the core product of sport events is envisioned. Sport marketers are encouraged to explore the incorporation of cultural events and activities in order to foster the appeal of sport events to market segments that might not otherwise be reached.

Increasingly, sport events are acknowledged as moments of symbolic significance. The significance is grounded in the high level of social interaction they provide, the Beatriz García is with the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Av. Corts Catalanes 6; 7-4 S. Adrian de Besos; 08930 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: Beatriz.Garcia@uab.es

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intensely personal identification they generate in their audiences, and the subjective valuations to which they are consequently submitted (Holt, 1995; Lever, 1983; Melnick, 1993; Slepicka, 1995; Sloan, 1989). Moragas (1992) concurs, arguing that sport events are fundamentally cultural performances and, as such, they are an extension of the values, meanings and identities of the social actors involved. Understanding sport events as moments of symbolic significance that are affected by cultural contexts and values opens new doors for event marketing. It suggests that the appeal of sport events can be enhanced by implementing activities that increase social interaction, personal identification, or subjective valuations. This paper argues that arts and cultural programs can play such a role and can be a key enhancer of the sport event experience. Consequently, it is argued that arts and culture can play a relevant part in event marketing strategies. The purpose of this paper is to identify means by which sport marketers can maximise the benefits that cultural programming can bring to sport events.

Literature Review Recent research in sport marketing suggests that it is useful to augment sport events by identifying and promoting those features that enable television viewers, spectators, or participants to find personal meanings in their relationship to the events (Chalip, 1992; Chalip, Green, & Vander Velden, 2000; Green, 2001). That work questions the value of such concepts as “positioning”, “unique message”, and “niche marketing” (Ries & Trout, 1986; Trout, 1996) for event marketing strategies. Chalip (1992) has been explicit in his critique of positioning theory within event promotion by pointing out that it “does not provide a ready means for promotional messages to vary for different market segments” (p. 95). Green (2001) extends that notion by observing that event augmentation can broaden the range of market segments for whom the event may be attractive. This line of work suggests that sport marketers can increase the attention paid to events and the diversity of event audiences by incorporating non-sport activities and experiences. Chalip (1992) proposes the theory of polysemic structures to explain fan interest and motivation to follow sport events. The theory states that audience interest in sport events can be enhanced by designing events and event communications in a manner that generates multiple meanings. Chalip identifies three tools to achieve that end: multiple narratives, embedded genres and layered symbols. He describes them as follows: Multiple narratives create varied stories that attract diverse audiences … Embedded genres appeal to diverse audiences by serving as parallel and simultaneous invitations to fascination … Layered symbols promote spectator interest by making ceremonies and rituals representative of more than a mere game or contest. (p. 90)

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The theory has been applied in a range of contexts, one of the most recent being a study of television viewing patterns among American adults for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games (Chalip et al., 2000). According to that study, “Sport marketers can enhance the size and commitment of audiences for sport events by purposely planning their use of narratives, genres and symbols … The impact will be amplified if significant narratives are incorporated into the festivals and spectacles that are also designed for the event” (p. 39). Green (2001) corroborates those arguments by identifying the benefits of event augmentation strategies in sport marketing, and recognising that sport events have become a common tool for local and regional economic development. Consequently, she notes, “Organisers are expected to attract as many visitors as possible in order to maximise each event’s economic impact [which] has required event organisers to think beyond the nature and quality of sport provided [and] invent ways to make events more appealing to more people” (p. 1). Green goes on to argue that whether the objective is to increase the number of spectators or the number participants, a key tactic is to provide a variety of add-on activities and services that will enhance the appeal to particular market segments. She concludes that: We need to consider more deeply what our core product is when we are promoting an event. A casual examination of event advertising might suggest that fun, excitement, entertainment, challenge, or the sport competition per se are the core products …Yet concepts like “fun” and “excitement” are so global that they have little practical utility … What matters are the features and factors from which such global ascriptions derive. (p. 15)

The consideration of factors related to fun and excitement as the core products of a sport event corresponds with one of the final suggestions by Chalip et al. (2000). They reflect upon the applicability of polysemic structures, and note that most literature examining the influence of narratives, genres and symbols on sport events has been developed by sport sociologists rather than by sport marketers. As Chalip et al. note: Perhaps one reason is that the sport marketing literature has assumed that the industry’s core product is sport. In the jargon of marketing … the sport marketing literature might have confounded the core product with the tangible product. Although sport events, sport personalities and sport merchandise may be the industry’s most tangible products, the sport industry’s core products may be the narratives, genres and symbols that its tangible products enable. (p. 55)

This paper argues that the production of cultural programs in a sporting context can assist the development of narratives, genres and symbols in a manner that is consistent with the methods that Chalip (1992) has recommended for event marketers. The paper further argues that cultural progams are useful because they provide the kinds of augmentation to sport events that Green (2001) advocates.

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Contextual Background In order to examine cultural and arts events as effective marketing tools for sport events, it is useful to review briefly the evolution of recent arts market initiatives. The arts event market appears to be growing exponentially since those responsible for their management – from museums to theatres, music halls to arts foundations – have recognised the value of marketing and communications strategies as means to increase the appeal of the arts and to attract private funds (Australia Council, 1999; Rose, 1988; Sano, 1996; Satchell, 1994). This growth has been complemented by the development of numerous festivals, fairs and public displays dedicated to popularising the arts and related cultural activities, sometimes in the form of event extensions (Delpy, 1999; Green, 2001; McDonnell, Allen, & O’Toole, 1999; Satchell, 1994). A key incentive for these developments has been the continuous decline in public funds which has caused cultural institutions to seek private investment to sustain their level of activity. Many private corporations have responded by shifting from donations and patronage to sophisticated sponsorship programs and partnerships (Cornwell & Maignan, 1998; Townley & Grayson 1984; Witcher, Craigen, Culligan, & Harvey, 1991). The Telstra Adelaide Festival in Australia provides an instructive example. As the name indicates, the festival is officially sponsored by Telstra, Australia’s primary telecommunications provider. The artistic director for the year 2000 explained that Telstra has an interest in the Adelaide Festival because it offers the company many key associations which allow for strong narratives to be used in the company’s internal, corporate and marketing communications (Archer, 2000). Associations that are beneficial for Telstra include the festival’s ability to contribute to the prestige of Australia, its international prospects, and the emphasis placed on creative uses of technology. In 2000, this latter aspect took the form of an ambitious and innovative website hosted and maintained by Telstra. These associations have been exploited through advertising media and internal communications among staff and key stakeholders. Telstra’s presence in the festival has also been used to provide hospitality for key customers and suppliers. Despite the numerous successes of arts marketing and the apparent potential of event extensions to increase public appeal and spectatorship, the benefits of using arts components to enlarge the appeal of sporting events has not yet been thoughtfully explored by marketers. In this context, it is relevant to look at the case of the Olympic Games. The Olympic case is significant because of the remarkable combination of sport, festival, ritual and ceremony (Chalip, 1992; MacAloon, 1984; Moragas, 1992), and because the event incorporates, as a part of the Olympic Charter regulations, the staging of artistic and cultural programs.

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Rule 44 of the Olympic Charter states that: 1. The OCOG [Organising Committee for the Olympic Games] must organize a programme of cultural events which shall be submitted to the IOC Executive Board for its prior approval. 2. This programme must serve to promote harmonious relations, mutual understanding and friendship among the participants and others attending the Olympic Games. By-Law to Rule 44: 1. The Cultural Programme must include: 1.1. Cultural events organized in the Olympic Village and symbolizing the universality and the diversity of human culture; 1.2. Other events with the same purpose held mainly in the host city, with a certain number of seats being reserved free of charge for participants accredited by the IOC. 2. The cultural programme must cover at least the entire period during which the Olympic Village is open. (International Olympic Committee, 1999, pp. 68–69)

In principle, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations are a reflection of the educational and cultural aims of the Olympic Movement – the philosophy which underpins the staging of the Games (i.e., Olympism). Additionally, it can be argued that these regulations have provided host cities and countries with an opportunity to display their cultural characteristics, and to expand the number and diversity of local and international participants. Furthermore, the cultural program provides the Olympic Movement with elements that differentiate the Olympic Games from other sport events. The obligation to stage Olympic cultural and arts programs must not be confused with the staging of Olympic ceremonies and rituals. While the first are open to the interpretation and preferences of the host city and country, the latter comprise the key elements of Olympic protocol and their implementation process is described in detail in the Olympic Charter. Olympic rituals and ceremonies include the torch relay, the protocol sections of the opening and closing ceremonies (parade of athletes, Olympic flags, Olympic anthem, Olympic oath, official speeches, lighting of the cauldron), and the medal ceremonies. These elements are all carefully supervised by the IOC, and have changed very slowly over the years. The cultural programs, on the other hand, have undergone substantial change since their debut in 1912; their function and nature have never been clearly defined or controlled by the IOC. They were initially conceived as arts competitions, and artists were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in parallel to athletes. After 1948, infrastructural limitations and difficulties with objective judging criteria caused arts competitions to be replaced by arts exhibitions and festivals (Stanton, 2000). This is the form that the official Olympic cultural program maintains at present. The

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timing and length of events and their program content has varied from host city to host city. In some cities, the cultural program has lasted for the two weeks corresponding to the sporting competition, while in others it has lasted the entire four years of the Olympiad1 . The focus of cultural programs has also varied – some have had a national focus (i.e., domestic art and cultural events), and some have been directed at international audiences (i.e., including art, cultural products, and performers from around the world and/or exporting arts). Finally, the program has had a changing range of styles and types of cultural and artistic activities – from fine art displays and elite performing arts to community events; from traditional folk events to contemporary shows. On occasion, the program has also included scientific congresses and fairs. Interestingly, despite the continuous commitment of the IOC to maintain cultural events as an integral part of the Olympics, Olympic cultural events have not achieved the outstanding international profile enjoyed by the sporting events. Moreover, in contrast with the media appeal of Olympic ceremonies and rituals, Olympic arts programs and festivals are barely present in current media coverage of the Olympics, and receive little support (if any) from marketers (Good, 1998, 1999; Stevenson, 1997). Research undertaken throughout 1999 and 2000 – before and during the Olympic Games in Sydney – has confirmed these observations (García 2000b). In addition, a comparative analysis with the Atlanta ’96 and Barcelona ’92 Games has demonstrated that the promotional difficulties associated with the Sydney Cultural Olympiad have been remarkably similar to the limitations found in prior Olympiads (García, 2000a). Since very little has been done to market the cultural and arts events associated with the Olympic Games, it is not surprising that scant attention has been paid to their use in sport event marketing. This provides a relevant basis for reflecting on the constraints that prevent cultural and arts programs from playing a more effective role in the marketing of a sport event – a consideration that is particularly informed by Green’s (2001) observations regarding the value of event augmentations. The Sydney 2000 Olympic cultural program is a particularly instructive case because the Sydney Olympics, as a whole, contributed significantly to the development of Australia’s image internationally (Brown, 2000; Chalip & Green, 2001). In other words, the Sydney Olympics achieved more than attendance and audience interest; the Sydney Olympics served as a vehicle for enhancing the image and attractiveness of Australia in its core trade and tourism markets. If event augmentations do have the potential to enhance the interest of some market segments, they can also be expected to enhance the impact that an event has on the image of its host city or country. However, if included arts activities are not well integrated into the sport event’s administration or marketing, the potential for their impact is diminished. 1

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The term “Olympiad” is often misused by journalists and commentators. In Olympic parlance, it is used to refer not to the Games, but to the four-year period that is opened and celebrated by the Games.

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This study explores the factors that limited the effective integration of the Olympic Arts Festivals into the overall planning, programming, and marketing of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Following a review of research methods, four events from the Olympic Arts Festivals are considered with particular reference to the ways that the marketing and management structures of the Games may have limited the impact that the arts might otherwise have had on the sport event. The paper concludes by considering implications for the more effective utilisation of arts as augmentations to sport events.

Method Three methods of data collection used in this study facilitated development of an indepth understanding of the organisation of the cultural program and its relationship to the Olympic sports events: an analysis of documents from the archives of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), semi-structured interviews, and a content analysis of four years of press clippings about the Olympic cultural program. Each of these methods was employed concurrently, thus providing triangulation of the data to highlight the main issues. An inductive content analysis has been deemed useful to derive key central themes of investigation within the research process (Henderson, 1991). The document analysis included internal correspondence, memoranda, reports on the evolution and impacts of the Olympic cultural program, and all promotional materials. Archival records included SOCOG organisational charts, the festivals’ financial accounts, key event calendars, and work function descriptions. This inquiry provided an initial basis for deriving names and potential themes for subsequent interviews. Eighty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants. Each interviewee was selected for his or her expert knowledge of Olympic cultural program preparations or their context of application. The sample included university scholars studying the cultural aspects of the Games, and directors and assistants directly involved in or affected by Sydney’s Olympic culture project. The latter were managers, producers, sponsors, media representatives and artists working either at SOCOG or at stakeholder organisations. Primarily, perspectives were sought about the benefits of staging a cultural program within the Olympic Games. Interviewees were asked to explain their own or their organisation’s relationship to the cultural program and to contrast this with their relationship to the sports program and the Olympic Games preparations in general. The majority of interviews were conducted in the interviewee’s work location, and lasted from 60 to 90 minutes. Where permission was granted (40% of all interviews), interviews were tape-recorded and fully transcribed.

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Otherwise, notes were made during and after the interview. Interviews were crossreferenced with the documents and archival materials from SOCOG. The use of interviews with experts provided an understanding of the different perspectives that Olympic stakeholders held towards the production of arts and cultural events in the context of the Games, and the key conditions for the management and promotion of arts in combination with sports. Additionally, a content analysis was conducted of Australian press clippings published between 1997 and 2000 (inclusive). This information helped to explore the scope and impact of the cultural program, and provided a clear impression of the media’s approach to the program. Examination of themes associated with the event enabled the identification of key narratives, genres and symbols supporting or expanding the appeal of the Games’ sport competitions. To ensure access to all national press clippings, an agreement was reached with SOCOG’s records service and the cultural program publicity consultants so that all print material from 1997 to 2000 was included in the analysis. SOCOG had contracted Australia Media Monitors, an independent press-clipping agency, which compiled and classified Olympic-related articles on a daily basis. The sampling frame included 31 newspapers (national, state, regional and local papers and tabloids) throughout Australia. This located 693 articles about Olympic arts programs that were published over the four-year period. Categories for analysis were derived to determine how the press covered each of the different festivals and the cultural program. This provided an essential basis for considering opportunities for the cultural program of the Sydney Olympics to enhance the appeal of Olympic sport events – particularly through augmentation of narratives, genres and symbols. The press clippings supported an examination of the yearly program’s immediate context, the evolution of their implementation, their capacity to be associated with Olympic sport or the Games in general, and their probable and potential impacts at a national level.

Data Analysis Data were content-analysed and categorised on the basis of their relevance to aspects of polysemic theory and augmentation strategies. Opinions, words or phrases that corroborated or refuted the possibilities for the Sydney Olympic cultural program to enhance the Olympic sport marketing opportunities were included in the analysis. Thus, data were constantly compared and contrasted with theoretical concepts. Commonalities and differences were identified in accord with standard procedures for qualitative analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994).

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Analysis of the Sydney 1997–2000 Olympic Arts Festivals The cultural program for the Sydney Olympics was titled “Olympic Arts Festivals” (OAF). Following precedents set in Barcelona and Atlanta, it occurred for nearly the entire Olympiad – from September 1997 to the end of the Games in October 2000. At the bid stage in 1993, the length and variety of themes to be covered by the program were considered a distinguishing feature of Sydney’s candidature and a relevant factor in winning the right to host the Games (McDonald, 1994). Sydney’s bid documents indicate that the OAF was to be composed of four festivals, each covering a different aspect of Australia’s cultural identity – from the Aboriginal population to migrant communities – to reflect the country’s diverse character (Sydney Bid, 1992). The Sydney bid promises were progressively transformed into a series of motifs, objectives and programs for each Olympic Arts Festival. These are summarised in Table 1. The program’s emphasis on multiculturalism and, notably, on Australia’s Aboriginal heritage was seen as an ideal response to the low awareness but growing curiosity about Australian culture and ways of life (Hanna, 1999; McGeogh, 1994). This emphasis played an important role in the public relations campaign to promote Sydney’s bid among IOC members and the international media (Hanna, 1999). The success of these initial strategies in promoting the Games illustrates the value of generating narratives and producing symbols to maximise the impact of the main event marketing strategy, and represents an extension of the strategies recommended by Chalip and his colleagues (Chalip, 1992; Chalip et al., 2000). However, an analysis of the internal budget and structure documents reveals that when implementing the planned festivals, SOCOG was unable to provide enough funding and, more importantly, did not provide the strategic and promotional support necessary to realise the ambitious cultural bid promises (Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, 1999a, 1999c). Consequently, the cultural program could not effectively leverage polysemic marketing opportunities and was thus less effective than it might otherwise have been as an event extension. Reasons for the failure of the OAF to serve as an effective extension to the main sporting program are explored below. The next section examines the programming for the OAF and identifies the opportunities and constraints of the program format and themes for enhancing the appeal of the main event. The section following discusses the festivals’ management structure and networks to explain the level of support received by the OAF from key Olympic stakeholders and the ability of the program to respond to the interests of those stakeholders.

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Celebration of the world’s indigenous cultures, especially those of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders

1997 The Festival of the Dreaming

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Events by Australian companies and artists touring to countries in each of the five regions of the world represented by the Olympic symbol

1999 Reaching the World

August–October (Sydney)

2000 The Harbour of Life

30 exhibitions, 14 dance and theatre productions, 8 performance troupes, 50 films, a literature program, 3 concerts and special commissions involving overseas indigenous artists. Every Australian state and territory was represented. 92 presenting companies and 122 dance, theatre, visual arts, literary, music and education events

General: To increase awareness and appreciation of Australian indigenous heritage

General: To create a time-capsule of Australian culture at the end of the millennium for generations to come;

75-day event focused on Sydney Harbour and the Opera House: opera, theatre, dance and classical concerts; 30 visual arts exhibitions in key galleries and museums

70 events travelling to 50 countries and 150 cities or towns. Included dance, music, theatre, visual arts, literature, films, architecture and design Publication: “Australia on Show”, a guide to Australian arts broadcasting

General: To bring Australian arts and culture to international stages Specific: To establish collaborations with foreign governments and arts organisations

Highlights: Lighthouse and harbour concerts; touring exhibition “Sculpture by the Sea” Publication: “Anthology of Australian writing and photography”

To help people across the nation learn more about the arts in their country and demonstrate the importance of its geographic and cultural diversity

Specific: To ensure indigenous authorship and control of the work presented

Program

Objectives

Culmination of the Olympiad, General: To define the finest elements ‘a festival on a scale to match of Australian culture; To present works on a grand scale, the grandeur of the Games’ unlikely to be seen again in a lifetime; To establish artistic legacies

An exploration of the country’s cultural “transformations”

June–October (national)

November 1998–January 2000 (international)

A ‘snapshot’ of Australia’s diverse migrant cultures

1998 A Sea Change

September–October (Sydney)

Theme / Mission

Year, Name, Length and Location

Table 1: Olympic Arts Festivals – Length, Themes, Objectives and Program 202

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Olympic Arts Festivals’ Programming One would expect both temporal and geographic proximity to the sport event to enhance the ability of the cultural program to promote the sport events. In Sydney, the cultural program had only limited proximity to the sports events. The festivals occurred over a four-year period; the sporting events lasted less than three weeks. Like the sporting contests, the festivals were staged in Sydney. But only some elements took place in Sydney, and the majority toured either nationally or internationally. Consequently, the environment in which the events (both cultural and sporting) occurred could affect their implementation. The data presented in this section have resulted from the analysis of Australian press clippings published between 1997 and 2000 (García, 2000b). Content analysis of the clippings suggests that changes within the social, economic and political climate in which each festival occurred had a strong effect on their implementation. This, in turn, affected the degree to which each festival was able to link to preparations for the Games and secure public attention. The four festivals of the OAF are described below, and are analysed in terms of the opportunities each presented and the constraints each faced with respect to promoting the sporting contests of the Olympic Games. The Festival of the Dreaming, 1997. For “The Festival of the Dreaming” in 1997, the politically charged climate in Australia in relation to the reconciliation process with Aboriginal people represented a good promotional opportunity (Dyer, 1999). The process had reached a peak in 1996 with the legal acknowledgment of land rights for indigenous peoples (i.e., the Mabo case – see Hanna, 1999). This attracted media coverage and helped to raise private and public funds as well as inkind support (Eccles, 1997). On this occasion, the impact of the cultural program was maximised by emphasising its symbolic content and significance in regard to indigenous peoples. However, the festival failed to establish a clear Olympic affiliation. Content analysis of national press clippings about the OAF demonstrated that from the beginning of the festival in July 1997 and onward, media coverage of the festival failed to mention the Olympics (García, 2000b). Although the festival logo and motto were widely recognised, Olympic imagery was only a marginal aspect of the festival’s iconography. Consequently, this festival did little to promote the Games themselves. A Sea Change, 1998; Reaching the World, 1999. Both middle festivals, “A Sea Change” and “Reaching the World” (in 1998 and 1999, respectively), had the potential to expand the appeal of the Games due to their long exposure and varied locations. Their year-long format allowed the integration of a wide range of events which were appealing to many different audiences. Furthermore, the festivals provided an opportunity to develop both a national and an international presence for the Games – an element that was fundamental for some Australian regions to feel part of the Olympic experience. The State of Queensland was one region that was particularly

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keen to take part. It “created ambitious projects with tourism and local arts bodies that were very successful in the area” (Philips, 2000). Nevertheless, the promotional capacity of these festivals was constrained by their very tight budgets. The festivals each relied on budget of less than A$2 million. This was significantly less than the A$5.5 million budget for the 22-day “Festival of the Dreaming”, and far less than the budget of A$28.3 million for the final 75-day “Harbour of Life” festival (Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, 1999c). Consequently, the OAF team was not able to create or produce the activities and events that were intended to be part of the official Olympic program throughout the two years prior to the Olympic year. Instead, the 1998–1999 media content analysis indicates that most events were made part of existing cultural programs, each with a history and purpose of its own. Consequently, these events were not always consistent with the festivals’ mission statement, and were only marginally related to one another or to the festivals’ themes. This led to an inconsistency of subjects and approaches that, together with the geographic and temporal dispersion of events, prevented the OAF from obtaining consistent coverage and recognition as an Olympic event. The Harbour of Life, 2000. The last festival, “The Harbour of Life” (in 2000) had many potential opportunities to complement Olympic marketing campaigns. First, it was the festival most clearly associated with the Olympics; it opened shortly before and continued alongside the sporting competitions. In order to capitalise on this opportunity, all festival promotional material featured Olympic imagery. To avoid ambiguities, all posters and publications, including the festival’s logo, referred to it as the “Olympic Arts Festival” instead of “The Harbour of Life” (its original title in the bid documents). Furthermore, this festival focused on large-scale events and the presence of international opera, ballet and music stars, which attracted press and television headlines and offered numerous opportunities for corporate hospitality among Olympic sponsors and other special guests. Finally, most venues were concentrated in the same area – Sydney Harbour – and most events were held in the same venue – the iconic Sydney Opera House at the heart of the city. Initially, although the simultaneous staging of the festival with the sporting events offered the potential to develop narratives and symbols that would appeal to Olympic visitors and participants, the festival was unable to compete with the visibility and impact of sport. Arguably, the sporting events were able to generate their own narratives and symbols in ways far more effective than the festival. An instructive example is found in the role given to Aboriginal runner Cathy Freeman as a symbol of Australian reconciliation. Her win in the 400-metre race became more symbolically powerful than any OAF Aboriginal art performances. The stronger ability of sport events to generate narratives and symbols was, nevertheless, assisted by the existing Olympic structures and networks. Sport received much greater support in terms of media coverage, especially through television (International Olympic Committee,

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2000), in part because the OAF lacked media agreements with Olympic broadcast and press rights holders. Without a strategy to insert arts and cultural images or comments alongside coverage of the sporting competitions, the festival organisers found it difficult to contribute to images of the Games. In fact, the limited media was accentuated by the themes, while the pricing and location of arts events made them more expensive than the average cultural offering in Australia. The effect was made still worse by the fact that the events were concentrated in venues neither related to nor close to the main sporting arenas. In summary, the analysis of press coverage suggests that the festivals lacked year-to-year continuity, and were not strongly tied to the Olympic sporting events. Consequently, they could do little to promote the Games. The festivals’ main mission (to showcase a multicultural Australia and to promote reconciliation) was relevant to the Games experience and could have been used to expand and strengthen Olympic narratives and symbols. However, this is not possible without a clear, consistent and explicit association of the OAF with the Olympic Games (which was sorely lacking for the three initial festivals). The lack of association with the Olympic Games was exacerbated during the final festival by high ticket prices and poor accessibility. In 2000, the decision to concentrate most performances at the Sydney Opera House in the form of operas, ballet and classical concerts reduced the accessibility and affordability of the festival for the average Olympic spectator, and distanced the arts from the thriving festive atmosphere found on city streets and throughout Olympic precincts. It is relevant to note that the festive street atmosphere in Sydney during the Games was part of the LiveSites! program, a free entertainment initiative not associated with the OAF, which was produced by the Sydney City Council and a government organisation acting in parallel to SOCOG, the Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA). The LiveSites! consisted of non-stop displays of sports competitions on large screens at key city locations and the simultaneous staging of popular music concerts and acrobatics. This initiative was celebrated as the true festival success of the city and, despite the fact that it offered no cultural insight into Sydney or Australia, it was mistakenly thought by many to be part of the official cultural program of the Games. Nevertheless, the LiveSites! program demonstrates one way that arts can become a successful event augmentation strategy for the Sydney Games – an instructive contrast to the OAF. However, the LiveSites! failed to provide consistent narratives and symbols. For example, LiveSites! activities were not designed to offer any perspective or demonstration of Australian culture, and thus did not showcase Australia’s multicultural heritage. It is possible to go beyond mere entertainment to provide cultural events that offer a relevant story, a strong set of values, a source of identification, and, ultimately, a chance for long-term legacies. In the Sydney case, a

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better integration of both programs (i.e., integration of the OAF themes with the LiveSites! activities) could have resulted in a much stronger and more successful festival – one which would have been relevant to the themes of the Games while appealing to the general public.

Enhancing Sport Marketing through Cultural Programming It was argued at the outset of this paper that the fundamental potential of the OAF lay in its potential to enhance audience appeal by augmenting the event (viz., Green, 2001) and by generating added narratives, genres and symbols (viz., Chalip, 1992). The foundation for these effects was established in the festivals’ mission statement, which emphasised the role of the OAF in promoting Australian multiculturalism, in general, and reconciliation with Aboriginal people, in particular. The multicultural emphasis of the festivals provided an ideal basis for generating the kinds of augmentations that could appeal to market segments across an array of cultural groups. During the bid stage and throughout the Olympic ceremonies, the showcasing of Aboriginal performances and the presence of multicultural troupes provided the Sydney Games with an aura of differentiation and uniqueness. Tourism bodies recognised this as the “key to attract visitors not only at Games time but in the longterm” (White, 2000). Olympic sponsors were keen to exploit the opportunity and undertook special campaigns to maximise associations (Bits, 2000). For example, Swatch unveiled a watch designed by Aboriginal athlete Nova Peris-Kneebone and Samsung dedicated each day of the Olympic Games to a different ethnic group, including presentation of folk performances under the program “Rendezvous @ Samsung” at Olympic Park. The OAF offered further insight through its wide visual arts, music, theatre, cinema and dance program. This suggests that the production of polysemic structures and thus the opportunity to expand overall Olympic marketing was present in a wide variety of initiatives beyond the official cultural program. These included public relations and communications campaigns for the Games, the Olympic ceremonies, Olympic rituals such as the torch relay, and various initiatives by Olympic sponsors. All these activities and showcases produced narratives by presenting stories or through brief approaches to different Australian and international communities. A wide variety of event genres was undertaken – ranging from purely commercial exercises in the form of advertising to open air activities and sophisticated arts exhibitions. These added an array of symbols through their links to reconciliation between Australia’s white and Aboriginal communities. Nevertheless, the official cultural program offered a stronger platform than did unofficial events for the production of genres and symbols. The same can be said when comparing the arts programs with the ceremonies and public relations for Olympic sport. Although the sport elements of the Olympic Games are given substantial funding and obtain high

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levels of media attention, they are also highly constrained by the formats that are required under Olympic rules, which include temporal and spatial limitations, a strong dependence on media interest, and the need to be simultaneously understood by audiences throughout the world. Consequently, the content and meanings of these programs are usually relatively simple and must be presented in universalist terms. In contrast, a cultural program such as the OAF, taking place over four years and having the chance to integrate many formats, can develop more varied initiatives which can be adapted to special contexts. Some cultural events can be staged specifically for particular market segments. As a result, the arts exhibitions and performances are not as dependent on the requirements of international media as are Olympic sport events and ceremonies (see MacAloon, 1996). For example, the “Festival of the Dreaming” presented a contemporary perspective on Aboriginal cultures in ways much less superficial than the Olympic opening ceremonies could possibly have considered. These included Aboriginal people performing Shakespeare and singing opera and country music, rather than stereotypic presentations of Aboriginal people performing traditional songs and dances. “A Sea Change” reached remote Australian communities and displayed activities relevant to those areas, thus extending the reach of the Games beyond the Olympic city. From a marketing perspective, these elements could have been used as a vehicle for reformulating or adapting messages in a manner designed to target particular national or international markets. Notably, the festivals taking place during the years preceding the Games offered Olympic sponsors the chance to approach Australian communities and develop local programs in a period of high expectations. The festival staged in the Olympic year offered sponsors potential opportunities for organising corporate functions and obtaining a greater return on their Olympic sponsorship investment.

Management of the Olympic Arts Festivals Despite these examples, analysis of the OAF opportunities and constraints found that very few of the potential benefits were realised. To determine why the OAFs failed to make a major contribution to the marketing and promotions strategy for the Games, it is necessary to understand the position they held in the Olympic host city’s preparations and the interest that stakeholders had in getting involved with the OAF. An understanding of these aspects can help to identify elements to be included, modified, or eliminated when using subsequent cultural programs to market sport events. The corporate structures and priorities of SOCOG had a significant influence on the implementation of the cultural program. It is critical to remember that the main responsibility of an Olympic organising committee is to secure the success of a 16-day sport event. Since the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, Olympic

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organising committees have measured success primarily in terms of corporate investment and media exposure. The management and promotion of the sporting competitions reflect this focus. Olympic ceremonies and rituals, without having lost much of their charisma, are well adapted to the demands of the international media (MacAloon, 1996). In contrast, the role and sense of the Olympic cultural program is still presented in the idealistic manner that characterised its introduction into the modern Olympic Games. That is, it is presented as a fundamental component of an Olympic philosophy (Olympism) that seeks to foster understanding and peace (International Olympic Committee, 1999, pp. 68–69), but without any formal consideration of the means to achieve the aims of Olympism. This could explain why, despite the success of cultural initiatives in other contexts, the Olympic cultural program has not yet been able to make a significant contribution to the strategic marketing of the Games. Interviews with marketing managers and assistants from the Sydney OAF department as well as with representatives from SOCOG community relations, sponsors liaison, and media partners departments showed that the promotional and funding strategies of the organising committee were fully dedicated to supporting the sporting competitions, often at the expense of the OAF program. Remarkably, no plan was devised for developing joint promotions that maximised synergies between Olympic sports and cultural and arts activities. Consequently, Olympic stakeholders interested in supporting the sports programs rarely appreciated the potential benefits of an association with the official cultural program (Sulway, 2000).

SOCOG Corporate Structure and Olympic Communications Strategy A key impediment to leveraging the synergies among the sports, and arts and culture programs is found in SOCOG’s departmental structure. SOCOG was divided into six key corporate groups: commercial, Games coordination, marketing and image, Games support, Games operations and Games technology (Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, 1999a). The OAF program belonged to the marketing and image group but, curiously, instead of being linked to the marketing and sponsorship program, an affiliate of the same group, it had its own marketing and publicity services. Thus, the OAF promotional strategy was independent of the general marketing and communications strategy for the Games. This limited interaction with the sport marketing programs and resulted in a lack of coordination with the marketing of the most symbolic and recognised Olympic programs – particularly the torch relay and the opening and closing ceremonies. Consequently, the OAF did not benefit from the narratives, genres and symbols that these programs produced, nor did these events benefit from the narratives and symbols of the OAF. Arguably, the OAF was not

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managed as an extension of the main event. Rather, it was designed, managed and promoted as an independent program with an agenda and targets unrelated to those of the sports and ceremonial programs. At first blush, the decision to have an arts festivals marketing and publicity service working independently from SOCOG’s marketing and communication programs may seem logical considering the highly specific needs of arts festivals. However, it marginalised the OAF within the general Olympic communication program which, expectedly, received a higher allocation of resources and was able to develop community programs with a stronger impact. For example, in 1999 the official presentations of the Olympic mascots, the educational program and the torch relay received more media attention than did the 1998 and 1999 arts festivals combined. Moreover, as suggested in the opportunities and constraints section, the OAF “look” or design strategy (comprising logos, posters, banners, brochures and each individual festival’s iconography), followed patterns different from the official 2000 “Games look” (Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, 1999b) program and, except for the final festival, minimised the presence of Olympic references. Further, the SOCOG website relegated the OAF to web pages without direct mentions on the home page. All this accentuated the dissociation of the OAF from Olympic sport events, thus illustrating the lack of integration with the organisation’s key programs.

Olympic Broadcasting Rights and Media Provisions A further consideration when looking at the Games communication strategy is the regulations and support schemes designed for the mass media – television in particular. Presently, the most significant source of income for the Olympic Movement is the negotiation of broadcasting rights contracts with major television networks internationally. Broadcasting networks such as NBC in the United States see the Games as a star of their programming schedule, capable of generating infinite stories, news items and peak advertisement fees from event sponsors. This has translated into massive media investment and decisions to broadcast the Olympic Games nearly full-time, regardless of where the Games are taking place. Remarkably, the interest that broadcasters have in Olympic sport has no direct effect on marketing the Olympic cultural programs. As argued by Good (1998), specific clauses to guarantee or promote the coverage of cultural activities associated with the Games have never been established, so there is almost no Olympic footage of cultural activities. In Sydney, the design and organisation of official media centres did not include special references, information displays, or imagery of the official cultural programs. This was particularly evident at the International Broadcasting Centre (the centre dedicated to all official television rights holders), which was uniquely dedicated to assisting the coverage of Olympic sport (Panisello, 2000).

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Consequently, none of the Olympic broadcast rights holders incorporated OAF vignettes or images into their Games broadcast. Beyond SOCOG and its corporate structure, other key stakeholders in the OAF were public bodies (Australian federal, state and local governments), Australian cultural and arts organisations, the mass media, and private corporations (particularly Olympic sponsors). To understand their reasons for involvement and their level of support, it is useful to explore their interests in, and expectations of the OAF, and the level of interaction they were allowed within the established Olympic networking structure. Olympic sponsors have a key stake in the marketing and promotion of the Games. As the space limitations of this paper do not allow a detailed review of each of the stakeholders, the analysis will focus on Olympic sponsors as the key stakeholders.

Involvement of Olympic Sponsors and Private Corporations Over the past 20 years, private corporations have developed a strong interest in being associated with the Olympic Games. This interest has evolved in parallel to the evolution of the highly successful Olympic marketing programs, both worldwide (“The Olympic Partners” or TOP) and nationwide (in Sydney 2000, the “Team Millennium Partners” or TMP). A fundamental component of the success of Olympic marketing has been the establishment of an exclusivity principle which allows only one company in a product category to be an Olympic sponsor or supporter. Other unique features are the universal appeal of the Games and Olympic sport, which multinational companies have seen as an ideal vehicle for their communications. Brown (2000) notes that the value of Olympic sponsorship has also been defined in terms of the “suitability of the ‘fit’ between … organisations and the Olympics” (p. 77). Rozin (1995) quotes Daisy Ottman, AT&T Communications Director for the Olympics, as saying, “The goals of the Olympics – teamwork, innovation, excellence – are the same goals that AT&T tries to emulate and live out”. Despite the high investment required to be part of the TOP or TMP programs, IOC marketing regulations stipulate that Olympic sponsors are not allowed any signage inside Olympic stadia and arenas. Consequently, in order to leverage their sponsorships, corporations must invest in specially designed Olympic communications campaigns and related promotional activities. A common strategy is to utilise images of sports teams or athletes in sponsors’ marketing communications. It is also common to create easily recognisable Olympic themes within television commercials (Stipp, 1998). Interestingly, interviews with Sydney Games stakeholders reveal that most Olympic sponsors are interested in expanding their promotional programs beyond their association with athletes and sporting images. Additionally, sponsors were very interested in becoming associated with event extensions (García, 2000b).

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Table 2 displays some of the key cultural and entertainment programs either produced or supported by major TOP and TMP sponsors and corporations providing in-kind support to the Games. A total of 16 programs have been identified, four of which were organised by SOCOG outside the OAF official program. These were the Olympic Youth Camp, the Torch Relay, the Olympic Journey and the National Education Program. Remarkably, the interest in supporting Olympic entertainment programs was not extended to the official cultural program. The following three quotes from interviews with Olympic sponsors demonstrate how sponsors justified this by claiming that the OAF was not a cost-effective investment in the Olympic context: The cultural program is not reflective of the Games experience, which is about sport. (Jeffrey, 1999) [Olympic arts events] have a low appeal and are seen as irrelevant by average Olympic audiences. (Hammond, 2000) The OAF does not generate much impact compared to other Olympic-related activities. (Bits, 2000).

These perspectives might be taken as an indication that the OAF failed to meet the requirements that corporations see as fundamental to event augmentation strategies. However, logical analysis shows that the official cultural program has at least as much potential to provide marketing opportunities capable of providing leverage as do the complementary entertainment programs. These sponsors’ perceptions condemn both the design and management of the OAF. Specifically, the decision to keep the OAF separate from other Olympic programs and the failure to establish effective integration mechanisms limited the potential of the OAF to serve as an effective event extension.

Discussion This paper argues that cultural and arts programs can be useful tools for the marketing of sport events. The claim begins from the observation that cultural activities are suitable vehicles to develop polysemic marketing structures and event augmentation strategies. As argued in the introduction, the usefulness of polysemic structures (Chalip, 1992) and augmentation strategies (Green, 2001) for sport event marketing derives from their ability to broaden the appeal of the sport events by reaching a more varied public, by expanding the marketing context, and by exploiting the multiple meanings that arise from event extensions.

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Table 2: Olympic Sponsors’ Involvement in Cultural and Entertainment Programs During 2000 TOP Sponsors (worldwide)

Cultural / Entertainment Program

Description

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola Olympic Club Sydney & POWERaDE Training Camp

300 teenagers from around the world offered the opportunity to experience the Games

McDonald’s

Olympic Youth Camp

400 teenagers from around the world shared two weeks of cultural exchange and Olympic excitement in Sydney and Australia

Panasonic

Olympic LiveSites!

Free entertainment in Sydney city: contribution of six giant screens displayed in six popular city locations to showcase coverage of the Games

Samsung

World of entertainment at the Olympic Rendezvous @ Samsung

Cultural performances by folkloric groups celebrating diversity, at Samsung tent, Olympic Park

UPS

Aqua Spectacular

Nightly laser and water show at Darling Harbour

Visa

Olympics of the Imagination art contest

A worldwide art contest for kids 9–13 years old from 25 countries. 36 winners attend the Games

TMP Sponsors (national)

Cultural / Entertainment Program

Description

Swatch

Olympic LiveSites!

Free entertainment in Sydney city: contribution of six countdown clocks, one at every site

AMP

Torch Relay sponsor

Funds and promotion of the relay in Australia

Holden

Holden Hospitality Community Project, concert at the Domain (2000)

Assistance to the Chinese community Free, open-air concert by Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Westfield

The Olympic Journey (1997–1999) Olympic-related activities, especially for children Hosting the Kids 2000 Olympic Arena

Westpac

2000 Pacific School Games Youth-oriented educational Olympic programs Westpac Olympic Youth program National Education Program The Olympic Journey (1997–1999)

Sydney Olympic Supporters

Cultural / Entertainment Program

Description

Nike

Kids interactive sport park Radio Free Sydney

Entertainment park at the Domain and Fox Studios. Underground radio station featuring interviews with athletes, combined with youthoriented house, techno, acid jazz and World Beat music

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In contrast, the Sydney 2000 OAFs reinforce the impression that the potential of cultural programs has still not been adequately explored by sport marketers (García, 2000a). In the Olympic context, the ability of the cultural program to enhance sports promotions has been constrained by a lack of information among stakeholders, lack of realistic planning by organisers and, most importantly, a lack of effective integration mechanisms. One might think that the problem lies primarily in the nature of major sport events, such as the Olympic Games, which allow little room for side events and activities because funds and media attention are directed to the sporting competitions. However, analysis of the Sydney case supports the claim that polysemic structures and event augmentation strategies can enhance the appeal of the event as a whole. An example of the applicability of polysemic marketing theories (viz., Chalip, 1992; Chalip et al., 2000) within the Sydney Olympic Games is found in the notable impact that the torch relay and Olympic ceremonies had on the public’s fascination for the sport competitions. These events made an impact by generating multiple narratives (e.g., stories about Australia’s folklore and the contributions of multicultural communities) and symbols (e.g., the notion of reconciliation with Aboriginal communities). Additional support which is consistent with Green’s (2001) arguments for event augmentations lies in the success of entertainment programs such as the Olympic LiveSites!, which expanded the social dimensions of the Olympic experience. Given these examples, the inability of Sydney’s cultural program to enlarge the appeal of the sport event suggests that there were significant barriers that prevented the program from being integrated with Games narratives, genres or symbols. It also indicates that there was a strategic failure to promote the program by framing it as an extension of the sporting competitions. Accordingly, the problem seems to be perceptual; event organisers have failed to recognise the potential of arts programs as extensions to sport events. Consequently, cultural events have not been identified as a component of the event core product, and have not been included in the events’ organisational structures. In Australia, the aim to promote the diversity of Aboriginal and migrant cultures as part of the Games celebrations had great appeal for the general public. The OAFs could have been an effective vehicle to expand these notions and incorporate them as part of the festive atmosphere of the Games in Sydney, and as an experience alongside the sports competitions. The 1998 festival had the potential to develop a sense of ownership of the Games outside Sydney via its tour throughout Australia. Similarly, the international tour of the 1999 festival could have promoted Australia and built anticipation for the Games overseas. Had the festivals been better integrated with Games marketing, and more consistently promoted, these opportunities could have been of assistance to marketers seeking to build tourism to Australia, to strengthen Australia’s cultural and sporting exports, and to secure maximum identification by all Australian states and territories with the Games.

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Key Weaknesses of the Sydney Olympic Arts Festivals Three fundamental weaknesses appear to have been culpable in the lost opportunities of the Sydney OAF. These are: (1) a lack of integration mechanisms, (2) an ambiguous role and function with respect to the overall event, and (3) ineffective programming elements. Lack of integration mechanisms. Key barriers to the Sydney arts festivals’ potential to augment the Olympic sport experience are found in the corporate structure and the marketing policies of the organising committee for the Games. Arguably, the committee’s structure confined the cultural program to a marginal position that prevented its interaction with core programs and contribution to key events, the sports, and ceremonial programs. The committee’s marketing policies further constrained the OAF. These policies were built from official Olympic sponsorship programs and broadcasting contracts, which are regulated by the IOC but provide no guidelines for maximising benefits to or from cultural events. The constraining effects of a marginal position and exclusionary marketing policies were accentuated by poor networking of the OAF with Olympic stakeholders, such as sponsors and media. This led to low awareness and a lack of understanding of the potential of the OAF to augment their marketing programs or Olympic coverage. Moreover, it did not allow the OAF to build relationships with key stakeholders, such as the travel providers, media, and sponsors who could promote the role of the arts within the Olympic Games. Collectively, these constraints indicate that a major limitation for the contribution of cultural programming to sport events is the lack of integration of standard frameworks for sport marketing with those applied to staging and marketing arts events. This reinforces the impression noted in the introduction that sport event organisers and marketers are, in many cases, still unaware of (or are unwilling to consider) the potentials that the arts offer for event marketing. Ambiguous role and function. The lack of appreciation for the potential of cultural programs for sport marketing seems to be accentuated in the case of Olympic cultural programs. Since their creation, these programs have not been assigned a clear function or role within the Games. This has resulted in perennial marketing failures, especially with regard to the awareness of international partners and the international audience. A further problem lies in the program’s target market, which is also unspecified. Frequently, this has led to a contradiction between the festivals’ mission and their final design (García, 2000a). In Sydney, the OAF mission statement indicated that the festivals were dedicated to all Olympic participants and spectators. In fact, the mission statement extended the dedication to everyone who shares the Olympic values of peace and mutual understanding. In contrast, the festivals’ design was focused on elitist showcases appealing mainly to traditional arts audiences. Thus, the festival was isolated from the Olympic celebration by its own exclusivity. These problems resulted in little interest in the OAF by key stakeholders. In fact, as the data

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showed, Olympic sponsors would rather create their own cultural and entertainment programs than provide funds to support the official one. Consequently, beyond the lack of integration mechanisms, the ambiguity in the festivals’ role and function prevented the OAF from being an effective tool to augment the sport event. Ineffective programming elements. An analysis of the OAF organisational design and programming indicates that, thematically, the festivals were not sufficiently oriented towards an identification of culture, arts, and Olympic sport. Moreover, in terms of format, the festivals were not sufficiently integrated (neither geographically nor temporally) within the main Olympic events. The decision to implement the OAF over such an extended period of time and in so many different locations made it difficult for organisers to market consistently and to publicise the OAF – particularly given their meagre budget. To maximise their promotional contribution to the Games, their relationship to the Olympic sports experience should have been reinforced from the very beginning and, as suggested by Stevenson (1997), the selected events should be linked in some way, perhaps through a unifying mission statement.

Synergies among Art, Sport and Culture At this point, it is relevant to place the promotional difficulties of the Sydney OAF within a wider context: the principle, often suggested in theory (Hanley, 1992; Lowe, 1977; Parry, 1989) but scarcely developed in practice, of promoting the synergies between culture, art and sport. Hanley (1992) and Parry (1989) detail the many factors that arts and sporting experiences have in common, such as their ability to showcase human excellence, their simultaneously pedagogic and entertaining aspects, their international appeal, and the creativity and spirit of self-improvement they imply. These commonalities indicate that effective synergies among culture, arts and sport are feasible; they make a case for event organisers to consider more fully how to leverage the synergy. In Sydney, the arts festivals would have made a greater contribution to the sporting event had the organisers shown a consistent commitment to leverage the synergies. The festivals could have been more consistent in exploring sport-related themes, perhaps doing so from the perspective of diverse Australian communities or from the perspective of other countries. Also, the eventual exhibitions of artworks inspired by sport could have been given a greater role in the main program. For example, the discrete photographic displays of Olympic athletes placed at the entances to the Olympic stadium could have been accompanied by paintings, a wider array of photo formats, or other visual art elements. Furthermore, the branding and aesthetics of the festivals’ printed materials could have been more strongly related to their Olympic context. Finally, the main art locations and the main sporting locations during the Games could have been placed in closer proximity so that spectators attending one site for a particular sport event could easily attend another for an arts event.

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Future Directions The concept of Olympic cultural programs needs revisiting to increase their appeal for sport marketers and to leverage opportunities for promotion. The principle of breaking barriers and mixing sport, education and cultural experiences has potentially wide appeal. Evidence is found in the concept of sporting events themselves, which have been transformed by television and sponsorship. They have taken on new levels of “cultural” relevance in their own right – the Olympic Games providing an obvious example. Acknowledging a more explicit integration of cultural and artistic perspectives with sport is not utopian; it is the logical result of these evolving transformations. Further research is needed to broaden our understandings of the marketing potential of sport event extensions and the role that arts activities can play within them. In order to maximise opportunities for reaching as wide and varied an array of market segments as possible, event marketers may need to rethink their core product. When cultural events are placed within the highly saturated context of commodified sport, the arts are too often marginalised. But that is due to organisers’ failure to assign a clear role or function to the arts. By linking the arts to sport, new synergies are created, and new markets are obtained. The challenge remains to ensure that cultural and arts programs are designed and promoted to be relevant to the sport event experience. The Sydney case suggests that, from a marketing perspective, it is necessary to enlarge or redefine the perceptions that organisers have of cultural activities if they are to realise the benefits that the arts can provide. For instance, the success of the LiveSites! program strengthens the notion that using entertainment as a vehicle for generating a festival atmosphere can be an opportunity to promote cultural activities (and messages) in a popular way. To achieve this, event organisers will need to consider the multiple narratives, embedded genres and symbols that cultural programs can generate, and determine the ways these may be integrated with the overall design and marketing communications of sport events. Event organisers should study the potential to exploit polysemic elements in coordination with the main event – that is, developing integration mechanisms that ensure that the production and impact of generated narratives are an element of the event augmentation strategies and not an independent or isolated piece. In that sense, the outdated identification of cultural events with elitist connotations of arts performances and fine arts displays needs to be discarded. Instead, a greater emphasis on the entertainment and popular value that arts and culture can have will provide the ideal basis for securing the integration of culture and sport, and will optimise their synergies.

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Enhancing Sports Marketing through Cultural and Arts Programmes  

Lessons from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festivals

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