London Olympic 2012 – Eyeing In A Management Perspective

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3181 , Published on 25 August 2012

27th July - 2012, the day for which millions of sports lovers were waiting for. Yes, you are right; it was the opening ceremony of London Olympic 2012, the most viewed sports event having heritage of centuries where every sportsperson covets to participate in. The event started and millions started enjoying it at venue, or through TV & newspaper.

Behind the performing players and facilities that spectators get, there is a huge system enabling and facilitating these things. Just think how much preparation is needed for organizing a one evening birthday party, and you will get an idea about the efforts needed for Olympics. It includes marketing, operations and financial aspects not less than any MNC.

Let us see how different management disciplines get involved into it.



The logo which acts as the identity of London Olympics has been designed.


The very important aspect for any sports event is the mascot. There are examples of mascots like The Fuwa (Beijing Olympics 2008), Athena Phevos (Athens Olympics 2004) and our very own Stumpy (ODI Cricket WC 2011) created and become face of that event. Two mascots Wenlock (Olympic Games) and Mandeville (Paralympic games) have been designed. A separate website has been designed for mascots featured by making your own mascots, playing games and watching animated films etc thereby involving more and more people about it.

Live sites:

Since Beijing Olympic 2008 the national network of Live sites started getting built in UK. Big screens are put up in empty spaces or squares where the Olympic is telecasted gathers thousands to enjoy the event.

Olympic Rings:

Very well known symbol in world. The committee has set the rings at many places in London. Photograph shows over 25 metres x 11.5 metres rings attached to Tower Bridge in London.


Internet is the inevitable medium nowadays to market anything. The LOCOG has prepared separate website for the event to share entire information about the Olympics. It includes following crucial fields:

  • Schedule and results
  • Medal table
  • News
  • Countries
  • Photos

Latest photographs and event news are continuously updated on the website. There is continuous coverage of the event through e-papers including “The Guardian” making it accessable to world.


Many varieties of merchandising are on sale. It includes things like Key chain, T-shirt, Crockery etc.   A separate store has been opened at Heathrow Airport.

Sponsorships: Many well known global brands are Worldwide Olympic Partners as depicted below. Association with such brands gives even more popularity to the event.


When a program like this scheduled in the city, it needs to be managed well so as to avoid chaos and give memorable experience to all. There are two main bodies involved.

Municipal authorities:

It needs to manage the entire city. Tasks include managing traffic, public transport, road conditions, hygiene, electricity and water supplies. Planning had started long ago in 2006, where the basic preparations for Olympics started after London won the bid in 2005. Stadium is built in Stratford, East London which was relatively underdeveloped area. There needed to be development in real estate, infrastructure, transportation and other basic amenities.

London is expecting 20 million spectator journeys; with 3 million trips alone on the busiest day. More than 30 miles of London roads will provide dedicated access to Olympic venues. The focus of the lanes will be athlete and media buses and vans. With more than 200,000 volunteers, contractors and thousands of athletes traversing these roads, they will be quite busy. One of the ways the Olympic committee and local law enforcement plan to relieve congestion is by encouraging fans to arrive early and leave the venue slowly, allowing the impact on mass transit and on roads to be more gradual. This also helps to shorten the overall queue for security lines and to improve the spectator experience.

Thousands will be coming to London by air route. Some Olympics spectators will arrive in town via Heathrow’s newest facility: Terminal 5’s C Satellite, or T5C. T5C provides eight additional gates.  All the fans have been asked to return before midnight since the tube train shuts sharp at midnight. Hence, there is lot to do for government till the games end.

Organizing committee:

Main responsibilities include construction and maintenance of,

  • Seating arrangement
  • Olympic Village,
  • Practice and actual sports facilities,
  • Parking space,
  • Security system and handling

System may not go as per the planning despite rigorous planning and preparations. There was strike by baggage handlers at Heathrow airport which led to disruption to cancelling of flights of around 20 airlines.

G4S were the security in-charge at the Olympics after winning a government contract, but they have been unable to supply the 18,200 personnel required. G4S have only been able to supply 6,000 security officers out of the 10,000 stipulated by the contract.

The security budget had already been increased from £283 million to £550 million since British Forces had to be called in and G4S are likely to have to repay about £50 million of it for their failure.

Special Olympic Police team has been appointed to take care of the copyrights of Olympic logo as well as other Sponsors. A restaurant owner charged for illegally hanging 5 sausage rings outside the restaurant. Coca-Cola being the official sponsor of the event, group attempt to flaunt its competitor is banned. Visa being the official sponsor, the ATMs or card payments can be done only through Visa cards. Complete care has been taken to avoid any attempt of ambush or guerrilla marketing thus making it an ‘ethical’ event.

Hence, for actual conduction of events this discipline of management is very crucial.

Finance and Economics:

Importance of finance can never be overlooked. Right from the Day 1 to the last day entire things to be managed revolve around a single word that is ‘money’. Money is needed for everything including meetings, planning, travelling, construction, infrastructure and real estate development, training for sportsmen with many other expenses.


£2.3-billion was the budget quoted initially when UK won the bid for Olympic. The budget has overshot to £9.3-billion as on date. The budget of £9.3 billion is made up of a £6.2 billion contribution from central government, £2.1 billion from lottery funding and a further £900 million from the London Development Agency and the Greater London Authority.

Opening ceremony budgeted around £80mn. As well as temporary sites such as the volleyball stadium close to 10 Downing Street, seven new permanent facilities have been built at a total cost of more than £2 billion. These include the Olympic Stadium in Stratford costing £428 million and the Olympic Village costing £935 million.

The Olympic Village will be reconfigured by a Qatari-backed consortium to become 2,800 houses and funds will be recouped by this initiative.

Thus very important is to gather the capital, use it efficiently and gain the maximum of it. It needs intelligent and wise financial expertise since such big figures are to be managed correctly for an event having shorter time duration of around 3 weeks).

Benefits to the country:

Despite higher expenses, there is a hope that the city will benefit from Olympics. In 1948 London Olympics, despite the country being war ravaged, government earned a profit of £29,000 on the total budget of £760,000 (£21mn in today’s terms). A report published by Lloyds Banking Group suggests that the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide a £16.5 billion boost to the UK economy and create 60,000 jobs.

A 0.3% boost to GDP is predicted by ticket sales, retail sales, tourism and employment but counteracted by a loss in productivity and difficulties in traveling in London that will lead to many employees taking holiday or working from home during the Olympics. Once the games are over, the problems facing the UK economy might still be there!

The stadium is located in East London, the area which has undergone immense change. The sector that has undergone biggest development is real estate. There are now hundreds of flats being built in the Olympic boroughs of London, and the same numbers being sold. Housing developments in Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest – some of the poorest and most deprived boroughs in the country - are now pulling in first-time buyers, owner-occupiers and investors who recognize they’ll get more bang for the buck if they buy a home in this part of the Capital.

When fans visit London, there is a chance of extended stay to visit various tourist spots around London and hence will boost tourism and entertainment sector in London. In addition there are businesses like shopping malls, national souvenir shops and restaurants which have growth chances.

Hence, we can say that organizing an event needs lots of efforts, planning, will power and finances. Financial implications of the event are unpredictable. However, let us hope that efforts of so many people and such a great financial investment comes to fruition and gives a boost to the economy of this country already riled in Eurozone crisis.

This article has been authored by Sunil Chaware from Welingker Institute, Mumbai.

Image Source: Olympic Rings On White


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