Title: "Tell me who's your host and I'll tell you who you are": Olympic Games image before and after the 2008 and 2010 Olympic Games

Authors: Anahit Armenakyan; Louise A. Heslop; John Nadeau; Irene R.R. Lu; Norm O'Reilly

Addresses: School of Business, Faculty of Applied and Professional Studies, Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, North Bay, ON, P1B 8L7, Canada ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 921 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada ' School of Business, Faculty of Applied and Professional Studies, Nipissing University, 100 College Drive, North Bay, ON, P1B 8L7, Canada ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 710 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada ' School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, MNT 366, 125 University Ave., Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the images of the Olympic Games and their host countries, as a country and as a tourism destination, before and after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (BOG) and 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games (VOG). The attitude changes towards the three image objects and relationships among them are examined in a combined 'country - destination - mega-event' model. The paper reports on a questionnaire-based study completed by 1,292 American respondents who were approached two months before and two months after both the 2008 and 2010 Games. Results indicate a significant decrease in the attitudes towards the OG in the case of the 2008 BOG and some improvement in the case of the 2010 VOG. This contrast between the OG hosted in a developed country and one held in a developing country is an important contribution to the sport events literature. Further, regression analysis shows that evaluations of the OG as a destination are influenced (mediated) mainly by the evaluations of the host country as a destination.

Keywords: country image; mega-events; Olympic Games; destination image; Winter Olympics; Summer Olympics; host countries; tourism destinations; developed countries; developing countries; sports events; sport management; sport marketing; major sporting events.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2013.060640

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2013 Vol.14 No.1/2/3/4, pp.71 - 95

Available online: 23 Apr 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article