Sports events are a great way to put a city on the ‘map’ and be visual to an international audience. We have seen much of this from the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the recent Olympics in Beijing and now the work been done for the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is not only about the sporting events that are important to the city – it is about making sure they push the potentials and opportunities available when in the world’s eye. Auckland has announced today that they are hosting the 2012 ITU Triathlon World Champions, and this is how the event is viewed:
Triathlon New Zealand CEO Dave Beeche feels the event will be very beneficial to the city of Auckland.
“Hosting this World Championship Series Grand Final will be a huge boost for the profile of Auckland and New Zealand, with an estimated global audience in excess of 13 million watching on TV. But just as important is what this event will do for the sport and the profile here in New Zealand. This is like having the Olympics come to town for our sport-the very best in the world will race the likes of Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Andrea Hewitt and Debbie Tanner in our own backyard.”
I believe this fits in perfect with a blog post I read the other day on Nation Branding, which defines what ‘nation branding’ is. The blog quotes:
“Nation branding: the adoption of real-life policies and tactics following a strategic plan to gain relevance and perceived value in one or several aspects of a country’s reputation. Or, simply put, defining what reputation a country wants to have, and taking the necessary measures to become by fact what a country intends to be known for. Deserving the reputation by fact by implementing strategies, policies, activities, investments and symbolic actions. In other worlds, doing the right things to prove the country deserves the desired brand among citizens, both inside and outside the country.”
Auckland, New Zealand are using the event to play on building a Triathlon reputation for sport and expressing the countries passion in the sport – which is growing in popularity. New Zealand and Auckland will now be working on increasing their sporting profile and working towards attracting tourists and visitors for the event in 2012 – building that country profile as a nation of sporting triathletes.