PhD in Olympic Tourism and Event Impacts

I’m delighted to be starting a PhD in Olympic Tourism and Event Impacts shortly at Anglia Ruskin University.

I will be updating this blog with updates, insights from my research and the odd reflection throughout my PhD. You can also follow my Twitter page here.


UK Tourism and Sport Management Research Centres

I have devised a list for academics, practitioners, researchers and students who want to find out more about many of the top sport, leisure, hospitality and tourism research centres in the UK (shown in university alphabetical order). This includes links to their website and social networking sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

Birkbeck, University of London: Birkbeck Sport Business Centre – The Birkbeck Sport Business Centre is a dedicated research centre of Birkbeck, University of London. Birkbeck Sport Business Centre bring together international experts in sport management to deliver high quality research. Twitter.

Bournemouth University: International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research – International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research (ICTHR) is truly international in its horizons working with colleagues and for clients across all continents. Projects include impact studies, tourism planning, marketing strategies, labour analyses and explorations into the effects of events and other MICE activities.

Canterbury Christ Church University: Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research – The Centre for Sport, Physical Education & Activity Research (SPEAR) focuses on the social and health sciences of physical activity, sport, leisure and heritage. Twitter.

Cardiff Metropolitan University: Welsh Centre for Tourism Research – Established in 2001, the Welsh Centre for Tourism Research (WCTR) is one of Cardiff Metropolitan University’s recognised centres of research excellence and the only UK research centre of its kind to be rated as producing world-leading and internationally excellent research. Twitter.

Coventry University: Centre for Business in Society – The Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) is the home for specialist researchers within the business and law school. The centre aims to better understand the role of business in society and through the impact of the centre’s research ensure a better outcome for all. Twitter.

De Montfort University: The International Centre for Sports History and Culture – The International Centre for Sports History and Culture was established at De Montfort University in 1996 and is today widely acknowledged as the leading centre for the study of sport history in the world. Twitter.

Edge Hill University: Centre for Sports Law Research – The Centre for Sports Law Research is engaged in funded consultancy for both public and private bodies on issues relevant to the legal regulation of sport. Twitter.

Glasgow Caledonian University: Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development – The Moffat Centre is a highly regarded university-based centre undertaking key consultancy and contract research projects in the travel, tourism, hospitality and events sectors. Twitter.

Leeds Beckett University: Carnegie Great Outdoors – A leading provider of outdoor education, adventure activities and leadership development. Twitter.

Leeds Beckett University: International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality – The International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) aim is to combine knowledge creation with knowledge transfer using a range of mechanisms for the latter, including continuing professional development, consultancy, short courses and specialist events. Twitter.

Loughborough University: Centre for Olympic Studies & Research – The Centre for Olympic Studies & Research (COS&R) was founded in July 2004 in order to develop the field of Olympic research. It is one of a network of Olympic research centres. The focus of the Centre is on research relating to Olympism, Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement, and Olympic sport.

Manchester Metropolitan University: The Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities – The Centre for the Study of Football and its Communities (CSFC) is home to an inter-disciplinary network of researchers from across faculties and academic disciplines. Currently there are researchers from human geography, architecture, sports management, business, history, politics & philosophy, languages, sociology and information & communications. Twitter.

Queen Margaret University: International Centre for the Study of Planned Events – The International Centre for the Study of Planned Events based at Queen Margaret University is dedicated to providing government, event professionals and sponsors with scientific evidence of the linkages between planned events and education, health, wealth, environmental sustainability and social cohesion. Twitter.

Sheffield Hallam University: Sport Industry Research Centre – The Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) is one of three sport-related research centres in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. The main focus of the centre’s work is the use of applied economic techniques to solve the specific research requirements of our clients and to generate new knowledge about the sport and leisure industries. Twitter.

University of Bedfordshire: Institute for Tourism Research – The Institute for Tourism Research (INTOUR) is one of the most widely respected institutes of its kind, with the highest RAE mark awarded to a university in 2001.

University of Birmingham: Sport Policy Centre – The Sport Policy Centre seeks to provide the bridge between first-class academic research and innovative policy-making. Twitter.

University of Brighton: Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies – The Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies at the University of Brighton exists to develop, focus, and stimulate internationally-leading research concerned with the emergence, practice, and provision of activities relating to sport, tourism and leisure. Formed in 2013, the centre brings researchers together from across the social sciences, humanities, and industries with related and complementary interests and expertise.

University of Central Lancashire: Institute for Dark Tourism Research – The Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR), based at the University of Central Lancashire, is a world-leading academic centre for dark tourism scholarship, research and teaching. Twitter.

University of Central Lancashire: Institute of Transport and Tourism – The Institute of Transport and Tourism (ITT) is a small institute based at the University of Central Lancashire, with big ambitions to make leisure travel more sustainable.

University of Central Lancashire: International Research Institute for Sport Studies – The International Research Institute for Sport Studies (IRiSS) is a multi-disciplinary research institute, primarily based on the social sciences and cultural studies approaches to sport, which seeks to encourage the development of collaborative research projects, within UCLan, the UK and transnationally with groups of colleagues at other universities and research institutes.

University of Exeter: Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research – The Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research is helping shape governmental policies, social marketing efforts, and business management, as well as improving academic understandings of sustainable sport and tourism. LinkedIn.

University of Greenwich: Tourism Research Centre – The Tourism Research Centre is a cross-departmental network of academics, researchers and research students who have a particular interest in any aspect of tourism studies. The Tourism Research Centre is situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site within a vibrant and continuously evolving tourism destination and makes good use of this inspiring location.

University of the Highlands and Islands: Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research – The Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) is an established research centre at the School of Adventure Studies, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.

University of Kent: Centre for Tourism in Islands and Coastal Areas – The Centre for Tourism in Islands and Coastal Areas (CENTICA) is an explicitly multi-disciplinary research centre that was set up to generate policy-relevant analysis for governments, agencies, the private sector and other funders. CENTICA is unique within world research institutions as it combines a focus on the dynamic sector of tourism with a specialisation in the common challenges facing islands and coastal areas.

University of Salford: Centre for Sports Business – The Centre for Sports Business promotes research and consultancy in sports analytics, sport finance, sport law and the economics of sport. Twitter.

University of Westminster: Centre for Tourism Research – The Centre for Tourism Research distinct focus is on tourism in cities and metropolitan areas. The centre’s interests include airport management, business tourism, city image, conference and event tourism, national capital tourism, social tourism, sports tourism, tourism and city development, and tourism policy.

The Cycle of Olympic Branding

This blog entry will encompass a variety of themes from branding for the London 2012 Olympics, official sponsorship deals for London 2012, through to how London aims to build and distinguish its unique national and international tourism profile. Moreover tourism approaches adopted by the UK government for London 2012 will be assessed.

Olympic branding for London 2012 has been initiated to protect and therefore minimise the effect of practices like ambush marketing. Protection of the London Olympic brand has been crucial in promoting and developing London’s tourism destination image. London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) have produced a set of brand protection guidelines for the tourism industry to follow, in addition to producing protection guidelines for conferences and events to adhere to. Scholars acknowledge the measures that have been taken to protect the Olympic brand may mean a win against ambush marketing for LOCOG. However these methods may actually work against the government in the long term. For example during the Games branding police have been assigned to the Olympic village to protect sponsors association with the Olympics. Furthermore, hundreds of uniformed officers will be touring the country tasked with enforcing sponsors’ marketing deals, and preventing organisations from staging ambush marketing during the Games.  These restrictions relating to protecting sponsors’ brands and broadcasting rights could actually limit the economic benefits to the capital’s economy. Moreover other academics have raised concerns over the current progress of the initiatives related to the planning of tourism activities in the region.

The London 2012 Games has a number of official sponsors including Olympic partners, supporters, providers and suppliers. Olympic organisers for London 2012 have given lucrative ticketing licenses to companies such as Jet Set Sports; enabling them to sell access to Olympic lanes. These ticketing deals featured prominently on the Dispatches documentary “Olympic Tickets for Sale”. A number of sponsors for London 2012 have received scrutiny from members of the general population. An example of this is Rio Tinto; they will be providing the metal for the medals for both the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Specific criticisms have been made about air quality and water scarcity at two mines providing the metal for the medalsKey stages of the London 2012 victory medals production process were also shown and explained on The One Show in relation to the metal provider Rio Tinto. Likewise other well known sponsors for the Games have been targeted by protest groups. Human rights and environmental pressure groups continue to campaign against sponsorship deals with Dow Chemical Company and BP. Sportswear manufacturers have also been caught up in a number of abuse scandals. Investigations have unearthed the truth regarding the treatment of workers in Bangladeshi sweatshops. Workers producing sportswear for Olympic sponsors Adidas, Nike and Puma have been beaten, verbally abused, underpaid and overworked. The challenge for sponsors is determining how to take full advantage of the global exposure afforded by associating with the Olympic Games in a way that enhances their brand, but at the same time does not undermine the prestigious reputation of the Olympic Games.

London has shown intent to pursue long term tourism benefits from hosting the 2012 Olympics. In charge of promoting this campaign is Visit Britain; they are attempting to deploy resources in order to deliver an all-Britain brand that far exceeds any previous attempts at branding Britain for tourism. Visit Britain has devised a four year marketing plan running up to and following on from the Olympic Games. Just recently Visit Britain and Enjoy England have started a number of TV advertising campaigns which coincide with the Games. Visit Britain’s advertising campaigns feature the likes of Judi Dench, Jamie Oliver and Dev Patel. Enjoy England’s campaign features famous British public figures such as Stephen Fry, Julie Walters and Rupert Grint. The government have predicted gross visitor spend in Britain generated by the London 2012 Games to reach £2.34 billion for the ten year period 2007 to 2017. But whether Britain achieves and fulfils those visitor targets and injections in income is a completely different matter. What is true though of the British government is that over the years they have expressed an unwillingness to adjust their tourism policies to suit the needs of the climate. However being awarded the 2012 Games appears to have acted as an exogenous shock to the policymakers and the overall tourism policy making system.