The Great Debate UK
It is clear Britain got a ‘bounce’ from the Olympics, but much more is needed to secure long-term economic legacy
–Andrew Hammond is an Associate Partner at ReputationInc. He was formerly a UK Government Special Adviser, and a Senior Consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.–
Six months since the London 2012 games began, a flurry of research has indicated that the UK’s international image has received a boost from hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. Most recently, the latest Anholt GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, released on January 17, showed that the United Kingdom edged up from fifth to fourth place since July 2012 in the survey’s overall country reputation rankings; only the United States, Germany and France currently have a more favourable nation brand.
Key research findings from this study, which follows similar IPSOS Mori research in December, include that international perceptions of the United Kingdom as a ‘welcoming’ nation have significantly improved. This is reflected, for instance, in the fact that 63% of international respondents to the Anholt GfK survey said that London 2012 had increased their own interest in visiting the United Kingdom.
This positive news follows an ICM opinion poll released in December which revealed that the UK public remains very strongly supportive of hosting the games last year. Over three quarters of UK respondents agreed that London 2012 was “well worth the [multi-billion pounds] cost”, and a similar percentage believed the games “did a valuable job in cheering up a country in hard times”.
–Andrew Hammond is an Associate Partner at ReputationInc, and was formerly a UK Government Special Adviser, and Senior Consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.–
With the Paralympics now concluded, the curtain has come down on a remarkable London 2012 and Diamond Jubilee Summer that has more than delivered on the “like no other” tagline given to it. Now, significant, urgent effort is required so that the once-in-a-generation opportunity for meaningful economic and reputational legacy is not lost – we need an ‘Economics Team GB’.
Andrew Hammond is an Associate Partner at Reputation Inc, and formerly a UK Government Special Adviser and Senior Consultant at Oxford Analytica. The opinions expressed are his own.
With London 2012 proving a once-in-a-generation global showcase for Britain, a key uncertainty nonetheless remains over whether a substantial, meaningful legacy can be secured in future years from hosting the games. Given that the official public cost of the Olympics is some 9.3 billion pounds (a figure Parliament believes is nearer 11 billion pounds, and Sky News estimates to be a staggering 24 billion pounds) this is a key question, especially as Britain languishes in a double dip recession.
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were hit at the very start by the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili and for a while the Games struggled to recover, as organisers were faced with problem after problem, from the unseasonably warm weather to transport snarl-ups to scoring problems.
Some even wondered if Vancouver would go on to be called the Worst Games Ever but no one is saying that now, with the action picking up to provide a series of electrifying and heart warming moments while the organisation has settled down.
– Tessa Jowell is Britain’s Minister for the Olympics and London and has held a variety of senior government posts. She has direct responsibility for delivery of the government’s Olympic programme. Jowell has been a member of parliament for the Labour Party since 1992. The views expressed are her own. –
In 1896 a Greek woman called Stamata Revithi decided to run the inaugural modern day Olympic Marathon in Greece. Arriving in the Village of Marathon she was told by officials that she was not allowed to compete in the race the next day as the entry deadline had expired.