Olympic Games Host City Marketing: An Exploration of Expectations

Rick Burton

Description: Bidding for the right to host the Summer or Winter Olympic Games has frequently led host-city organizing committees to suggest the Games bring about marketing enhancements, such as global media ttention, community infrastructure investments, attractive sponsor spending, and the promise of long-term imagery enhancements for tourism purposes and community pride. These proposed benefits, in the absence of quantifiable metrics, help many proponents embrace the Olympic Movement and push for hosting the Olympics. Past Olympiads have shown, however, that an organizing committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) may enter the bidding process thinking almost exclusively about economic impact and city imagery and less about the value of sport or the Olympics. This study attempts to review the various organizations involved in the host city Olympic bidding process and correlate investments and actual performance. Note: Since both the Sydney and Salt Lake Olympic Games were held less than three years ago, documentation of economic performance continues to show financial variances in the literature.