Posted by: olymponomics | April 15, 2012

Doing business in the shadow of the Olympics

The mantra that mega-events such as the Olympics are good for the economy and good for business tends to be an extreme simplification of their complex impacts, and potential imbalances between different sorts of business and across economic sectors. While large firms and multinational corporations often benefit through association with the Olympic brand, local businesses can find their activities disrupted due to the suspension of ‘business as usual’ in the host city for the time period around the Games. Local firms in London have expressed fears over uncertainty surrounding transport disruption and how it will affect their deliveries and services.  British firms are also concerned over uncertainties about interpretation of the stringent rules on Olympic-related branding ahead of London 2012, and its potential to limit the sorts of innovation that are required for such events to stimulate economic growth (no doubt too, there are urban myths about the sorts of thing that will be regulated). The extent of image controls has extended to Twitter, and use of the #London2012 hashtag. Attempts to protect the rights of firms paying tens of millions of pounds in sponsorship to finance the event are understandable, but demonstrate the heightened state of monitoring and regulation of branding and images during the Games.

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