For my white paper, I will focus on the societal and economic impact of mega sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup. Events on such a grand scale affect millions of people and have the potential to either benefit or harm the nation that hosts them. I will argue that the large international organizations that orchestrate mega sporting events–mainly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)–have a responsibility to conduct extensive research on their impact and accordingly enact policies that overall benefit host nations.
The business perspective for this topic includes the IOC and FIFA. Since I have already done extensive research on FIFA, I wanted to get a better sense of the IOC’s practices. After each Olympics, the IOC publishes an extensive report assessing the event and proposes changes going forward. Within the report for the 2012 London Olympics, I specifically looked at the section in the report titled “Legacy” to determine how the IOC perceives its impact and how it can do better next time.
The IOC acknowledges the importance of leaving a positive legacy and states that it wants to have a long-term impact through social change and community development. For example, when the IOC is planning on building infrastructure for the Olympic events, it makes sure that the whatever is built will have the potential for long-term use. The report cites multiple studies by third-parties like BBC that show that the games have spurred increases in the amount of people who are participating in sports. From an economic standpoint, the IOC claims that the 2012 Olympics generated 10,000 permanent jobs.
Although the report paints an overly positive picture of the London Olympics, it also provides suggestions. Among the recommendations are to repurpose Olympic Park and other Olympic infrastructure for public use as soon as possible, plan initiatives for encouraging volunteerism and participation in sport well ahead of time and clearly define how the jobs created during the Olympics will carry on into the future.
This source is potentially biased, but cites legitimate studies and backs its assertions up with solid data. I believe this will be a helpful source when writing my paper because it gives me some good ideas for policy recommendations.