Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Sport and Tourism as Elements of Place Branding A Case Study on Poland

Academic journal article Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends

Sport and Tourism as Elements of Place Branding A Case Study on Poland

Article excerpt

Introduction

At present, countries, regions and cities can be promoted as traditional goods and services. Simultaneously, promoting sports and recreation services as well as tourism services is no longer exclusively the domain of marketing professionals. A multitude of "products"--related in a broader sense to everything that is expected to meet the needs of buyers--more and more often requires the assistance of specialized managers (so-called business investigators), seeking effective and efficient solutions, including creating brand image of the product. A brand today becomes the icon of the socio-cultural personification of ideas, and branding itself is built on archetypal motives. Its aim is to create a brand image that reflects the individualized, sublime desires and expectations of modern consumers. In the future, it will be necessary to integrate well-known brands of places with verified past strategies, using innovations in communications and marketing.

Referring to the above, the article focuses on sport and tourism as important components of branding process of (national, regional and local) places. This article aims to present the opportunities and benefits of sport, recreation and tourism for creating the branding of sites in the light of the literature of the subject. Moreover, a significant mission is to identify differences in the creation place's brand image on different levels of government administration. Therefore, Polish initiatives in the field of places branding will be analyzed: the brand "Poland"--as an example of national brand, and awarded in the Super Brands Contest 2011 cities of Poland: "Poznan the City of Know-How", "Fall in love with Warsaw", and "Masuria--the Wonder of Nature" as examples of regional brands. It should be also mentioned that both Poznan and Warsaw were in the ranking of significant potential for a European brand of cities (Hildreth, 2011) and successively received 29 and 53 points out of 100 points possible. There were also other Polish cities present in this classification, mainly Cracow (the city of the strongest brand in Poland), Gdansk, Wroclaw and Lodz.

Literature review

The purpose of this section is to present the concepts of place branding, such as brand and the branding of places and the image in the context of literature on the subject. Furthermore, the article discusses the importance of creating a brand image on a domestic (national), regional and local (city) scale, including the subjects (stakeholders) involved in this process (Hall, 2010). The key concept for the process of "place branding" is a "brand". It should be understood as everything that we can see, hear, read, know, feel and think, etc. about a particular country, region or city. A brand can be considered a strategic asset of the place and the basis of competitive advantage and long-term profitability (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2008) for the particular area. A brand represents a concrete market entity (a specific place, country, product, institution, event or a person), which is distinguished from the competition by subjectively perceived and assessed quality and hence, it is regarded through the prism of its identity: name, reputation (image), personality, or symbolism (Boruc, 2008). According to Anholt (2007), there are four dimensions of the brand: brand identity, brand image, the idea of guiding the brand (brand purpose) and brand equity. From the psychological point of view, the brand is created in the mind of the consumer who gives it a special status in his own ranking of values. Brand strength significantly affects the environment of the modern market, both in politics, trade, culture, tourism and sport. Thus, the concept of brand management has its legitimate use in relation to countries, regions and cities. At the same time it should be emphasized that the brand of the region or city directly affects the reputation of the national brand.

Thinking about the brand lies in understanding branding as a process of representation and deliberate collection of values that make up a reputation, not as a set of tools and techniques of manipulation and falsification of reality (Herezniak, 2011). …

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