Olympics "too expensive" for most of the world to stage

1440But the returns are “significant” The Olympics are too expensive for most countries to stage, according to a poll of 500 business executives.

Sixty-seven percent of the audience at London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit on the business of sport believed the costs were too prohibitive for most of the world, with London 2012 costing around $17 billion (£9 billion) and the Beijing Olympics reportedly costing almost $40 billion (£20 billion).

However, while the majority felt the costs of hosting the Games were too prohibitive for most countries, another 67 percent believed that those who do host major sporting events deliver a significant return on investment for the country.

Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics at London Business School, chaired a panel on the global impact of major sporting events. He commented: “There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that hosting an Olympics boosts trade significantly. It’s a wonderful symbol of a country’s commitment to the world and to trade.”

In other findings, the audience of business executives felt that Asia will see the greatest growth in the sports industry over the next decade , with North America (1%), Russia (2%) and the UK and Europe (4%) bringing up the rear.

The Summit focused on the lessons business and sport can learn from each other, bringing together 45 of the brightest minds from the worlds of business and sport, including Andrea Agnelli, chairman of league-winning Italian football giant Juventus, and Sean Fitzpatrick, Founder, Front Row Leadership and former New Zealand All Blacks captain.

Football would see the most financial growth in the next five years, according to 44 percent of the audience, with rugby and basketball netting 14 and 13 percent of the vote respectively.

Speakers including Sir John Armitt, Chair of Olympic Delivery Authority, and Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, GE, were joined by Professor Scott and London Business School academic colleagues, including Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice.