The Olympic Games and Business Enterprises

Oyelade, Oluwaseyi Gabriel (2016) The Olympic Games and Business Enterprises. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Research into sports mega-events, of which the Olympics is the modern archetype, has often focused on the macro-economic and regional economic effects of hosting the Games. This research suggests that the local promoters and organisers of the event seldom, if ever, fulfil their promises. Drawing upon sport management, economic, and socio-historical analyses this thesis examines the economic trends and activities that occur within the business enterprises that are associated directly and indirectly with the Olympic Games. The thesis examines the commercial strength of the Olympic brand and how the brand has managed to evolve from being an instrument of peace and goodwill to a transnational nongovernmental commercial giant of imposing power and influence. The thesis provides an overview of the historical relationship between business and the Olympics and specifically analyses how business has engaged with the Olympics since the 1980s. Using London 2012 as a case study it attempts to assess how far London 2012 was good for business in the UK by examining the published accounts of the sponsors and suppliers of the Games. It also assesses the regional impact of the Games by looking at small and medium sized business enterprises (SMEs) in the south-east and the north-west. The results suggest that claims for a positive business impact from the Olympic Games are largely unwarranted. While the Olympics can be a catalyst for economic change, it should be viewed as a singular investment within a broader strategy for development. As a single event, the Olympics cannot guarantee a widespread economic impact on either major corporations or SMEs.

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