The impact of a mega sports event for a nation

Analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany

Term Paper, 2008

16 Pages, Grade: 7 (2,3)



1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. The FIFA world cup as a mega event

4. Cultural and Social effects
4.1 Fan profile
4.2 Atmosphere and Hospitality
4.3 Racism and Patriotism
4.4 Cultural Supporting Programme

5. Physical and Environmental effects
5.1 Pollution and Crowd
5.2 Infrastructure
5.3 Employment rates
5.4 Sustainability

6. Economic Effects
6.1 International tourism
6.2 Economic Growth
6.3 Company benefits
6.4 Final balance of the Organisational Committee

7. Conclusion


1. Executive Summary

The assignment answers the question which impacts a mega sports event like the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany can have on a nation. Cultural, environmental and economic effects – or tangible and intangible effects – are analysed in this case. The cultural impact on Germany was significant. The supporting programme of the World Cup helped to increase Germany’s reputation all over the world and improved its hospitality image worldwide. Environmental aspects were in the focus during the World Cup and several important actions helped to solve problems like waste management, water consumption and electricity consumption. The sustainability of these actions has to be observed in the future. The economic aspect was less significant. Although Germany invested large sums in infrastructure and stadiums, and had earnings of 500 million Euros from tourists, the growth in GDP is negligible. This is a general problem in large economies, because a movement of GDP needs extremely high monetary items. But in conclusion the FIFA World Cup 2006 was a success. Not from an economic point of view but with regard to international relationships and the reputation of Germany. A mega sports event needs a careful planning and a high willingness to invest money in infrastructure and venues. Then the impact can be very positive and must not be measured only from a financial point of view.

2. Introduction

One of the most controversial discussed questions concerning mega sport events, like for example the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games, is the impact on a nation and a country. While supporters often mention a significant growth in the field of tourism, less unemployment and a growth of GDP, opponents mainly focus on negative environmental effects and a lack of sustainability. This project focuses on cultural, environmental and economic impacts on a country. Base will be an analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany. The assignment analyses the actual effects on Germany by ex-post-analysis. Relevant theories concerning mega sports events in general are respected.

3. The FIFA world cup as a mega event

There are different definitions concerning events in literature. After Getz mega events “yield extraordinarily high levels of tourism, media coverage, prestige or economic impact for the host community, venue or organization” (Getz 2005, p. 18). That includes the Olympic Games, World Fairs and the FIFA World Cup.

There is one significant difference between the FIFA World Cup and other mega events. Most events take place in one city or one area, but the FIFA world cup is spread all over a country. Germany’s biggest cities from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the south hosted an imposing stadium and therefore were important locations during the World Cup. Not only Berlin with the final was in the focus of media and spectators, but all 12 stadiums all over Germany. Therefore the impact of the FIFA World Cup can not only be measured for a region or a city but for a whole country and its inhabitants.

The 18th FIFA World Cup took place in 12 stadiums all over Germany between the 9th June and the 9th July 2006. 32 national football teams participated in the World Cup and on the 9th July Italy became the new World Champion in football. The official slogan was “A time to make friends” and the official logo was the “Celebrating faces of football”.

A mega event like the FIFA World Cup can change a nation. Both, supporters and opponents agree with this point. But the key question is, if the sum of the effects on a nation has a positive or a negative outcome. And here it becomes clear that most findings are ambiguous. Experts concur that most economic effects are easily measurable but it is unclear, how social and environmental effects influence a nation. In addition there are uncountable amounts of effects that influence a nation in various kinds of aspects. It is nearly impossible to measure all these indirect effects. Therefore this assignment will only focus on the main effects with the largest impact.

4. Cultural and Social effects

Most cultural and social effects are intangible effects, because it is not possible to constitute them as monetary items. One of these cultural effects for example is the reputation of a country. The “Anholt Nation Brand Index” analysed, that Germany has the image to be “hard and cold - … not a nation much associated with warmth, hospitality, beauty, culture or fun” (Maennig 2007). To analyse what kinds of effects this mega sports event might have, it is important to see, what kind of fans participate in the event. The fans create the atmosphere of the event and are the target group for all cultural and social activities around the main sport part. Thus, cultural and social activities have to be aligned to different fan groups.

4.1 Fan profile

In reference to Cobb and Hoyer’s there are five different types of fans: temporary fans, local fans, devoted fans, fanatical fans and dysfunctional fans (Beech & Chadwick 2004, p. 136). The advantage of a mega sports event like the FIFA World Cup is that all kinds of fans are reached. The devoted and fanatical fans are interested in football during the whole year and they will see the FIFA World Cup as an additional football event, where they can watch some more games of their favourite sport. Dysfunctional fans are the negative effect of a mega sports event. Fans that have already an anti-social behaviour in national football matches will normally enhance this attitude in international matches. Racism, discrimination and violence can be consequent problems. Local fans have a geographical linkage to a team. An international sports event gives all people in a country the possibility of feeling linked to the national team. Often people are not interested in the sport in general but watch games of the national team. Most people who are still not part of one of the previously explained fan types will be a temporary fan. Especially when the tournament takes place in the home country, people want to be part of the game. Thus, the advantage of a mega sports event like the FIFA World Cup is that it attracts a lot of people and nearly everybody fits into one of the fan types. That guarantees a widespread interest all over the country and even all over the world.

A survey from TNS Sport in 2004 arose that only 14% of the German population was not interested in the World Cup 2006. 74% on the other hand were interested or very interested. The other 12% are less interested or did not give an answer (Wernecken, Bacher 2006). That supports the thesis that nearly all Germans are part of one of the above mentioned fan groups.

4.2 Atmosphere and Hospitality

The slogan “A time to make friends” already shows the focus on hospitality and a good atmosphere. The success of a mega sports event is mainly dependent on a positive atmosphere. Germany got some harsh critiques before the World Cup because as seen above, its reputation is to be unfriendly and cold. But the goal was to create a positive atmosphere within the country and to expand this towards all spectators all over the world.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The graph shows the international reputation of Germany before and after the World Cup 2006. In all aspects, Germany was able to boost its reputation. Concerning international relationships the World Cup was definitely a success (Maennig 2007). A survey on behalf of the foreign office Germany showed that nearly all participating countries commended the German behaviour during the World Cup. Merely Poland and Italy presented some bad news about hospitality and friendliness. All other countries had the opinion that Germany improved its image and confuted a lot of prejudices (Bundesregierung Deutschland 2006).

A crucial part for the success of the hospitality and atmosphere was the extensive volunteer programme. About 13,000 volunteers supported the World Cup in and around the stadiums and fan fests. All these honorary workers created the positive image all over the country. They were easy to recognize with their blue adidas clothes and they helped friendly and competent all fans, reporters, VIPs and also the teams.

Another important influencing factor were the umpteen fan fests. This relatively new concept of public viewing on large places in all bigger cities was a major success. The rational idea was to allow fans who did not get a ticket, to be a part of the game. In a friendly atmosphere with thousands of other football fans, a feeling similar to being in a stadium should be created. The outcome was a happy party for four weeks with a friendly, international and peaceful atmosphere (Rollmann 2007).

4.3 Racism and Patriotism

The slogan “A time to make friends” also shows that there should be no room for racism, violence and discrimination. This can be a large risk factor for mega sports events. The FIFA clarified that is has to be the ultimate ambition to avoid any kind of racism during the World Cup. The motto “Say no to racism” was supposed to be shown before every game on a large banner in the centre circle of the field. Before the quarter final, all team captains read a declaration against racism. But also the surrounding had to be safe. Therefore security staff and volunteers got some special anti-racism-trainings. Also the strict guidelines for ticket sell helped to guarantee a secure and peaceful World Cup. All these detailed planned actions leaded to a positive overall impression. The event was not interrupted by racist attacks or violence action. Even the uncountable fan fests were harmonious and without important incidents (Bundesregierung Deutschland 2006).

Before the World Cup 2006, patriotism was an avoided word for the Germans. Historical incidents prohibited to be a German patriot. But the enthusiasm to participate in this mega event and to support the German football team came like a wave over the nation. Already Sepp Blatter focussed on this part during his word of greeting before the World Cup. He mentions that “Germany has the possibility to clear a lot of clichés and bad opinions with this World Cup. The world will see what a beautiful country Germany is and how friendly and hospitable the people in effect are.” Of course, the word of greeting before a mega sports event focuses on a positive promotion. But the German population also saw this possibility and showed up as a great host. (Wernecken, Bacher 2006). The national spirit grew during the different phases of the event. Television news was dominated by the World cup and at the latest after the success and attractive play of the national team during the first games, Germany was filled with enthusiasm. The merchandising industry created a real hype around the car flags in German colours. At the latest before the semi-final, most cars had at least one of these car flags. Germany was branded in black-red-gold by its fans. But also foreign inhabitants got the possibility to buy a car flag of their nation. And they were seen all together in a friendly and fair relationship.


Excerpt out of 16 pages


The impact of a mega sports event for a nation
Analysis of the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany
Copenhagen Business School
Sports Economics
7 (2,3)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
401 KB
Analysis, FIFA, World, Germany
Quote paper
Anja Wyludda (Author), 2008, The impact of a mega sports event for a nation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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