Jump to content
GBModerator

BidWeek: Amid The Demise Of The Olympic Bid Process, Reporting On Site Selection Is More Important Than Ever

Recommended Posts

BidWeek, Reporting From Toronto, Canada – Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not only changed the Olympic bid process, the organization completely dismantled the decades-old method used to elect cities to host the Games. By voting to remove just a couple of key sections from the Olympic Charter, IOC members at their 134th Session held […]

The post BidWeek: Amid The Demise Of The Olympic Bid Process, Reporting On Site Selection Is More Important Than Ever appeared first on GamesBids.com.

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t buy the premise of this article. If everything happens quietly, out of the public eye, without any publicly released timetable, then what is there for the media to report? Just a lot of speculation. I foresee a lot of “maybe,” “perhaps,” and “we’ll have to wait and see.” Even after future hosts are decided, we won’t know much about how those decisions were made — apart from what the IOC chooses to make public. 

It seems to me that the primary reason for cloaking the process in secrecy and abolishing most structure is for the IOC to avoid media scrutiny. No one can comment on low numbers of bids, failed referendums, etc. if none of that information is available. 

I do agree that this new approach will further erode public trust in the IOC and could benefit totalitarian governments. I also suspect, that the IOC will adopt a “bird in the hand” approach, where as soon as they have strong interest from a semi-reliable partner they will move forward and try to lock in that host as fast as possible. They’re trying desperately to keep the Olympic movement afloat. 

Perhaps there are enough Olympic junkies to keep Gamesbids on life-support as well. Lord knows, this crowd is content to speculate endlessly despite limited data. But what happens once there is almost NO data? Doesn’t that speculation become an exercise in futility? In words we will hear much more of, “It will be interesting to see what happens....”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Athensfan said:

I don’t buy the premise of this article. If everything happens quietly, out of the public eye, without any publicly released timetable, then what is there for the media to report? Just a lot of speculation. I foresee a lot of “maybe,” “perhaps,” and “we’ll have to wait and see.” Even after future hosts are decided, we won’t know much about how those decisions were made — apart from what the IOC chooses to make public. 

It seems to me that the primary reason for cloaking the process in secrecy and abolishing most structure is for the IOC to avoid media scrutiny. No one can comment on low numbers of bids, failed referendums, etc. if none of that information is available. 

I do agree that this new approach will further erode public trust in the IOC and could benefit totalitarian governments. I also suspect, that the IOC will adopt a “bird in the hand” approach, where as soon as they have strong interest from a semi-reliable partner they will move forward and try to lock in that host as fast as possible. They’re trying desperately to keep the Olympic movement afloat. 

Perhaps there are enough Olympic junkies to keep Gamesbids on life-support as well. Lord knows, this crowd is content to speculate endlessly despite limited data. But what happens once there is almost NO data? Doesn’t that speculation become an exercise in futility? In words we will hear much more of, “It will be interesting to see what happens....”

Welcome to GamesBids in 2019.  You know what happens when there's no data?  Then the crowd here will invent their own data.  And fuel their own pointless speculation about who will host the Olympics in the year 2052.  Unfortunately, that's pretty much already happening.  This site has gone downhill since you were a regular here, in part because the Olympic bid process isn't what it used to be and the crowd here replaced legitimate discussion and the occasional logo contest with a bunch of hypothetical BS.

That all said, with regard to the Olympic bid process.. it's literally not possible for it to be as secretive these changes make it seem.  So you're right because I'm not buying it either.  Salt Lake City has a pretty big presence on social media.  You really think there's any chance they won't give us a play by play of everything going on with their bid?  The IOC might not want to tell us anything but I'm betting the cities will.  Especially those that are most interested in the Olympics and not those trying to shield themselves from the public eye (i.e. Stockholm).  If the media wants to report on an Olympic bidder, they'll report on an Olympic bidder.  These things can't stay completely out of view if someone is there to ask the questions, and that's a much easier job to accomplish in the age of social media.

More than that, you're right that it would be a mistake to go down this path and lose all sense of transparency.  Then again, this is the IOC we're talking about.  Can't exactly count on them to make smart decisions.  I also don't buy the idea that they're going to lock in hosts as quickly as possible.  It takes time to know if a partnership will work.  We're starting to see the evolution of the bid process where it's not as formal as it used to be.  I doubt we're on the precipice of where the IOC operates by choosing a host in private and we wake up 1 day to find out that a city has been chosen.  I can't see that happening (well, unless the IOC is stupid, which again is a strong possibility).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the post was partly inspired by tweets like this:

I don't think this is a major issue, but Gamesbids (among others) have been taunted by this.

More seriously is the way the culture of the IOC has changed under Thomas Bach. David Owen had a good piece on this at Insidethegames:
 

Quote

 

John Coates, who chaired the working group that devised the changes, is a master salesman, as well as a vigorous and tactically-astute advocate. Presenting the proposals, he made much of how they would enhance the role of rank-and-file IOC members in the selection process.

This was on the grounds that the two new Future Host Commissions will be advisory bodies to the IOC Executive Board. They would hence consist of non-Executive Board members, since "you cannot advise the body that you sit on, or you shouldn’t".

All fine and dandy, but one of the slides that accompanied Coates’s presentation made clear that, as with other Commissions, the Future Host bodies will be appointed by Bach.

So if he doesn’t like what the new bodies come up with, he will be quite within his rights to, er, refresh the personnel.

In the nearly six years since the German’s election, it seems to me that the culture of the IOC has changed radically.

Nowadays what we observers mainly witness at meetings like last week’s is the President and his kitchen cabinet firstly pumping out the messages and images that they want to pump out and secondly going through the motions of seeking validation for decisions they have taken from a docile membership whose career-paths within the Movement can be very heavily influenced by that same leadership group.

This is far removed from the culture under Jacques Rogge, Bach’s Belgian predecessor, when one frequently felt one was watching the machinations of a genuine international parliament of sport.

 

He writes that IOC is becoming more like a multinational corporation, with intense interest in brand management. This probably means that bid processes could look more like the Amazon HQ2 one, but does not necessarily mean that more dictatorships will win; if the Olympics becomes too associated with authoritarian regimes that would risk reducing its brand value and why people watch the event and brands associate themselves with it. FIFA's loss of top-tier sponsors in the face of the corruption scandals was less important to it as broadcast rights still provide higher revenues (people seem to accept that much of football is shady and keep watching) but sponsorship revenue for the Olympics is surging so Lausanne will want to put that less at risk. A more negotiated "site selection process" may be better for this, and means that the political risks of "bidding" are borne more by elites in the host city/region/country than the IOC. We still need to see how the process will work, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/4/2019 at 8:37 AM, Smitty said:

I think the post was partly inspired by tweets like this:

I don't think this is a major issue, but Gamesbids (among others) have been taunted by this.

More seriously is the way the culture of the IOC has changed under Thomas Bach. David Owen had a good piece on this at Insidethegames:
 

He writes that IOC is becoming more like a multinational corporation, with intense interest in brand management. This probably means that bid processes could look more like the Amazon HQ2 one, but does not necessarily mean that more dictatorships will win; if the Olympics becomes too associated with authoritarian regimes that would risk reducing its brand value and why people watch the event and brands associate themselves with it. FIFA's loss of top-tier sponsors in the face of the corruption scandals was less important to it as broadcast rights still provide higher revenues (people seem to accept that much of football is shady and keep watching) but sponsorship revenue for the Olympics is surging so Lausanne will want to put that less at risk. A more negotiated "site selection process" may be better for this, and means that the political risks of "bidding" are borne more by elites in the host city/region/country than the IOC. We still need to see how the process will work, though.

Interesting comparison with the Amazon HQ saga. In terms of a targeted approach, I think you will see the IOC greatly narrow the number of countries that can actually host an Olympics and target cities from that lot (UK, US, China, Australia just to name a few). This eliminates the likes of a developing country hosting for the foreseeable future so I would discount the likes of India, Malaysia, all of Africa and even all of South America. I just cannot see the IOC taking that risk after the debacle in Rio. The closest you'd get to a developing country hosting might be eastern Europe such as Budapest. Given that, I think the likelihood of something like London hosting again in 2036 or even 2040 is more likely.

Consider the Youth Olympic Games. The most recent summer editions went to Buenos Aires and Dakar. I've questioned whether or not the YOGs are viable long term but now, in terms of brand management so to speak, I think you will see the IOC market them as sort of an Olympics-light and award them to host cities not capable of handling the full-fledged summer edition on their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×