Place marketing and mega events : intentions and short-term results of nation branding of Russia through the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games / Sergey Baryshnikov

Baryshnikov, Sergey

Edité par University of London. London - 2017

In an increasingly complex environment, nations favour using mega sporting events and the Olympic Games in particular as opportunities to project their images to the outside world. The scale of the Olympic Games and its popularity has grown over time, and each modern event steps beyond its sporting agenda, having a much stronger social impact than ever before. The current paper is grounded in a substantial theoretical base around the concept of a “nation brand” and the process of nation branding through mega events and the Olympics in particular. It is followed by a case study of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. A two-stage interpretative qualitative study, consisting of interviews and a public survey, was employed to reveal that nation branding was indeed one of the major aspects of the Sochi 2014 communication strategy. However, it is argued further that the event’s long-term impact on public perception of the country is not evident, despite the high quality of the organisation process and a warm reception of the event itself. It is argued that state-influenced nation branding and the damaging impact of politically resonant events, which followed the Olympics, on Russia’s reputation are among primary causes why success was not sustainable. The research paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for policy makers.

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