Much more than sports: Sports events as stimuli for city re-branding

Ram Herstein, Ron Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose: City branding has become a very popular activity all over the globe. In this paper the authors aim to show the importance of sports events in city re-branding strategies, and how businesses take advantage of such opportunities to increase their incomes. Design/methodology/approach: A new framework is presented that is based on four different alternatives for city re-branding strategies based on sport events. These four re-branding strategies are derived from two main dimensions: the locus of the sports event (local vs international) and the longevity of the sports event (one-off vs continual). Findings: Prospective hosts of mega or international sports events must ensure that people all over the world see their city as a leisure, tourism and consumption center and not just a sports arena. Conversely, when hosting medium or minor sports events, planners must aim for these sport events to increase residents' civic pride. Practical implications: This conceptual paper demonstrates how city planners and decision makers can leverage their city image and its business sector's potential to earn from this event directly and indirectly, based on the aforesaid four re-branding strategies: Mega sports events, International sports events, Medium sport events, and Minor sport events. Originality/value: This article deals with four types of sports event strategies at the same time, whereas other investigations tend to deal with only a single type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Business Strategy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Branding
  • Cities
  • City branding
  • Marketing strategy
  • Olympics
  • Place branding
  • Sports events
  • Strategy
  • Tourism


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