Lessons from the Atlanta Olympics: Marketing and Organisational Considerations for Sydney 2000

By Ratnatunga, Janek; Muthaly, Siva K. | International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, September-October 2000 | Go to article overview

Lessons from the Atlanta Olympics: Marketing and Organisational Considerations for Sydney 2000


Ratnatunga, Janek, Muthaly, Siva K., International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Executive Summary

This paper presents an event analysis of the marketing, sponsorship and organisational lessons learned from successful and unsuccessful small businesses during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA. It then considers their impact on organisations involved in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Atlanta devastated many Georgian businesses. The rush to cash in on the event saw container loads of unsold souvenirs, deserted restaurants and the fall from grace of once-thriving companies, ruined by their failure to maintain services to regular customers. One of the main reasons for these failures was that, to the surprise of all, the expected crowds never arrived. Further, those that came did not spend the money expected of them. The Olympic consumer proved a very different customer from a marketing perspective to the ordinary tourist or business traveler: an unpredictable hybrid--sports-mad, tight-fisted and uninterested in traditional tourist attractions.

Many of the businesses expecting to make a quick fortune out of the Sydney Olympics are likely to be as disappointed. The study of the marketing lessons of Atlanta 1996 shows that the businesses most likely to be successful are ones that are already established with strong product lines and/or surplus funds to deploy into new ventures in which they can afford to take risks. A key marketing lesson from Atlanta was that the companies that benefited most during the Games were those that could generate large sales for themselves even without such a large-scale event.

Whilst it is now clear that many Atlanta businesses failed to prepare for the shock of the Games, the Atlanta experience clearly demonstrates that the competence of the event-organiser, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), also had a significant impact. ACOG's decisions on new transport routes diverted customers from shop-fronts, its efforts to "home-source" employees collapsed, and it gave up on the policing of licenses and permits causing carpetbaggers to use unrestricted "ambush marketing" tactics. The paper deals with such issues under three categories:

* Logistical issues: these relate to traffic planning, street closure, garbage disposal etc., during the period of the Olympics.

* Business issues: these include forecasting demand, strategic planning, product and brand positioning, relationship marketing, cost control, asset investment, equipment leasing, granting of credit, collection of debts, inventory control etc, in periods of concentrated demand.

* Infrastructure issues: these include licensing, permits, employee supply and training and crisis management (e.g. handling the bombing). Many of these issues relate to government and quasi-government (ACOG) support of small business initiatives.

How the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) is handling these issues in the context of the Sydney 2000 Olympiad is detailed in the second part of the paper. With the Olympics in Australia imminent, it appears that whilst the organisers have learnt and benefited from the painful marketing lessons of Atlanta, there are still issues that are causing much concern even at this late stage of event organisation.

Lessons from the Atlanta Olympics

When Atlanta, Georgia, was first awarded the opportunity to host the 1996 Olympic Games, the business community anticipated a windfall in the profits generated from the increased business that the anticipated 2.5 million visitors would bring. Not only was the city of Atlanta itself expected to benefit, but outlying areas within 100 miles of Atlanta were also told by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) that they could profit from the Olympic rush. Basing projections on the experience of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in Spain, where thousands of tourists each day visited towns more than 100 miles from the city, ACOG raised the hopes of many small business owners to the real possibility of significantly high returns. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Lessons from the Atlanta Olympics: Marketing and Organisational Considerations for Sydney 2000
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.