Managing World Cup Legacy

Horne, John David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4389-8204 (2014) Managing World Cup Legacy. In: Managing the Football World Cup. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 7-24. ISBN 978-1-349-47670-1

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There is a burgeoning literature about sports mega-events, such as the FIFA Men’s Football World Cup Finals (hereafter Football World Cup or World Cup) and the Olympic Games, and the notion of legacy. For the purposes of this chapter I will refer to two distinctions with respect to legacies — that they can be tangible and intangible, and also universal and selective. It is well established that legacies can be tangible, that is related to, for example, changes in some way to the material infrastructure or economic performance, and intangible, that is related to, for example, emotional responses to a mega-event whether individual or collective (Preuss, 2007). A second distinction I want to suggest when thinking about legacy is that legacies can be selective and universal. By this distinction I mean the following. Selective legacies are particular, individualist and elitist, and tend to serve the interests of those dominating powerful political and economic positions in society. Universal legacies are communal, collectivist and inherently democratic, available to all by virtue of being made freely accessible. A problem for sports mega-events is that they largely generate tangible legacies that are selective and intangible legacies that are universal. I will return to this distinction in the conclusion.

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