Good news for the IOC and FIFA in wake of current and recent sporting scandals, with a YouGov poll finding that sports blockbusters such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup make the biggest impression on young people . The survey results found that almost 9 in 10 young people surveyed say the Olympics or FIFA World Cup made the biggest impression in the past four years. The survey found however that young people are in fact more interested in arts and culture events (six in 10) than sporting occasions (four in 10). More young people surveyed also wanted more extreme sports such as skateboarding to be included at future major sporting events. This is also good news for IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers which have shortlisted skateboarding, along with baseball and softball, surfing and other youth focussed sports for possible inclusion at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The survey forms the basis of a widely anticipated new report on future directions for major events and host cities, entitled ‘Next Generation Events’ which will be released at this week’s Host Cities Dubai, Embracing Future Events conference, starting tomorrow (Wednesday). The report provides some important clues in bidding for major international sporting events such as the 2024 Olympic Games and other major sporting and cultural events, especially for potential host city governments, planners and investors. The key findings of ‘Next Generation Events’ report, which looks at future directions for major events from the perspective of young people, a key target audience of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms, include:
● Big sporting spectaculars such as the Olympic Games, and FIFA World Cup, still make the biggest impression and impact on the majority of young people surveyed, which is positive outcome for IOC, FIFA, sponsors, and events organisers for whom young people are key targets for sponsor products, broadcast and on-line audiences, and ticket sales.
● Young people however are more interested in arts, culture, and music festivals, highlighting the range of potential events that cities could look to host beyond major sporting events, and the importance of Olympic education, arts and culture festivals to engage young people in the Olympic movement and values.
● Young people rank cities that are bidding, planning or which have staged the Olympic Games, including London, New York, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Rio and Sydney, very highly as leading host cities.
● Young people want to see more extreme, adrenaline sports, including skateboarding in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
● While the costs of hosting major events is a concern, most young people believe events create positive social and economic legacies for cities. This is good news for IOC and other peak international multi sport peak governing bodies for whom sustainable host city legacies have become central to the costs and benefits of staging such events; it also highlights importance of enlisting the support of young people and their businesses and networks in support of plans and visions to host major events.
● Young people want to see more established events hosted in new territories and markets.
This is also good news for cities in emerging markets such as middle east hoping to stage more major events, and highlights the importance of securing the support of young people in the bidding process to stage major events. The research points towards future growth in mass participation events, extreme sports, and the convergence of sport and entertainment – with culture and music festivals revolving around traditional sporting occasions. Zafar Shah, Research Manager, comments: “Major events live long in the memory and provide moments we never forget. They entertain, educate and inspire us – and they bring us together. What this study shows is that in the future, what sets events apart will be their ability to embrace emerging trends in preference, utilise new technology and envisage different, more engaging formats that win over a more switched-on and demanding audience.” The findings will be discussed at the Host Cities 2015 in Dubai on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with industry experts gathering at Fairmont the Palm under the theme ‘Embracing Future Events’ to identify trends in strategies for bids, engagement, sponsorship and funding that can be applied to different event types, budgets, cultures and geographies. High-profile speakers include senior representatives from Facebook, Tokyo 2020, Barclays, the Los Angeles Sports Council, PGA European Tour and the International Olympic Committee (IOC); London 2012 Olympic Games Sports Director, Debbie Jevans, London 2012 Communications Director, Jackie Brock-Doyle, IAAF President Seb Coe, and former London 2012 Olympic Games Minister, Sir Hugh Robertson, as well as prominent local figures from the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce; and sports personalities.
By Michael Pirrie
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.