Tourism Management
Event Management: Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as a Case Study

Identify and critically analyse a particular aspect of the practical nature of events management

Introduction

We have chosen Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as our case study for this assignment. It is because Beijing Olympic is very well-known and everybody knows that this fabulous event was very successful (Kapareliotis et. al., 2010), and we are still talking about this every day, such as the unforgettable opening ceremony – the respected retired China athlete Mr. Li Ning, the last torchbearer for Beijing Olympic, “flying” in the air towards the podium, China won the most many Gold medals (51 Gold Medals in total), even better  performance than USA (Lee, 2010), two remarkable stadiums – Bird Nest and National Aquatic Stadium, and of course, the closing ceremony with attendance of all the superstars. Other than that, the information related to Beijing 2008 Olympic Games are everywhere, i.e. we can easily gather information about this event throughout people’s mouth (interview and questionnaire), internet search engine (Google, Yahoo or Baidu), and media (newspaper & magazines), with the above methods, we can easily compile all the information and put it into our assignment. In addition, from the stage of gathering information until submitting the assignment, we are actually learning from those organizers on how to plan, market, develop and manage such a big event in the near future, and that is the reason why we chose Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as our case study.I was not involved in this event, I wished I can be part of them, but I’m not that lucky, but one of cousin was actively took part in Beijing Olympic, she was assigned as one of the crew and helping the supervisors on carrying out some of the tasks, and I got all the information needed from her.

On July 13 2001, a memorable or biggest day to every Chinese in China, China’s capital was awarded in Moscow the right to host Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, everyone in world especially Chinese will remember this historical moment, and a new page will be written in the Olympic history (Beyer, 2006). In organizing one of the most memorable games in history, China government had actually create a group of expertise and named the group as Beijing Organizing Committee (BOCOG), to provide its corporate partners with an golden opportunity to invite the World in and bring China to the World, and everybody now know China, because of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.  It is a journey towards the unbounded opportunities, towards the most dynamic economy and more promising marketplace in the world.

In this chapter, we will explain how China handles the marketing planning before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, brand strategy, Designing marketing materials, website development, public relations and marketing awareness.

Marketing Planning

Theoretically, Marketing Planning means that an organization outlines the specific actions their marketers intend to bring out to the interest potential customers and clients regarding your products or services and persuade them to buy the product and/or services you offer. Marketing planning is a very important stage, and its quality must be emphasized, because every single marketing strategy must have a plan before implementing, for example, “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. Without a proper marketing planning, the company might not be able to sell their products; Beijing 2008 Olympics Games would not be so successful and well-known if they failed to have a strong and tough marketing plan. During the marketing planning, the marketers need to perform Market Research, by, gathering, recording and making sense of all the available information which will help a business unit to understand its market. BOCOG had did research on the Olympic performance reports in the past, so that able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the previous Olympic games and make the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games better than ever. At the same time, according to the polls made in 2003, more than 90% of Chinese supported China government to bid for Olympic Game 2008. Market research also helps firms to plan ahead rather than to guess ahead. After planning & research, the marketing team must follow the marketing calendars, to carry out all the marketing strategies being made, no delay on carrying out the marketing strategies, otherwise, the effect or consequences, or the events, will be failed. In fact, China had inserted so much of money on marketing, because they want to announce to the World that China also can perform and host one of the biggest events in the world perfectly (Economy & Segal, 2008).  After China was awarded the right to host the Beijing 2008 Olympic Game, International Organizing Committee (IOC) & BOCOG had officially launched the marketing plan on 1st September to Chinese and other international leaders (Lee, 2010), which meant that the door of momentous potential Beijing Olympics Games and the China market are opened to the world. The Marketing plan program comprises the sponsorship program and licensing program. Sponsorship program designed to consolidate, enhance and protect the rights, benefits and privileges of the sponsoring corporations which secure the marketing rights to promote the Olympic Movement, Olympic Image and brand awareness of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (Lee & Jacobson, 2008). Beijing Olympics has three concepts of Ideal Olympics, which are “Green Olympic Games”, High-Tech Olympic Games” and “People’s Olympic Games”, with these three concepts, China actually do well than other countries, in the sense that, more environmental care, more high-tech equipment used, and every Chinese in China are affordable to get into the stadium to support their athletes because the ticket is not as expensive as other countries. Other than that, this program also provide a unique Olympic marketing platform for both Chinese and foreign enterprises to enhance their corporate image and brand awareness thought their Olympic association, those sponsors helped to promote Olympic Spirit throughout China and all over the world and make significant contributions of technology, products and services to support the operations of the BOCOG (Palmer, 2009). Licensing program is an agreement that grants the rights to Olympic marks on their products for retail sales. Its missions are to promote the brand image of Beijing Olympic Games, to explain the unique culture of China by offering a series of cultural products, to bring up the Chinese products and shout to the publics that all these products are “Made in China = High Quality” (Ren, 2008). They are doing well at these.

Brand Strategy

Branding means that creating a brand name, symbol or design that identify differentiate a product from other products. An effective brand strategy will strengthenthe position as a leader, or make someone standing out among other competitors in increasingly competitive markets. In other words, a brand actually a promise to customer, i.e. it tells them what they can get from the products. The foundation of the brand is the logo, website, packaging and promotional materials must be printed with the logo – Communicate the brand.Just like Beijing Olympic, all their products, promotional materials are printed with their logo or brand. In addition, the brand or logo must be simple, unique, special, colorful and well-designed with its own style, so that the customers or the users can easily remember the brand and repeating sales in the future. For example, many products of Beijing Olympic 2008 are well-designed because they want to make all the people in the world to remember all these are “Made In China”, such as:

  1. A) Webpage (official website : en.beijing2008.cn)

The website are designed with more soften color, such as blue, white, yellow, orange and red (more colorful), and the simple logo is on the top right-hand side, so once the internet user view the page, they can easily attracted by the website’s design and take more time in the website. In addition, the website address also short and simple, this is one of the brand strategies because its website address is easy to remember, for user to re-view the page again. You can easily find back any sweet memories with pictures after inputting the name or title (or subjects) in the search parameter.

  1. B) Stadiums of Beijing Olympic 2008 – Bird’s Nest Stadium & Water Cube Stadium

Beijing National Stadium also known as Bird’s Nest Stadium, which can be seated by 100,000 people, represent most innovative stadium design since the free form tent structure used by Munich Olympic Stadium at 1972 (Li & Blake, 2009). It was made by randomly steel structure so that its outlook just likes a bird’s nest. Bird’s Nest Stadium designed by an architecture firm from Swiss in April 2003, and the design was actually originated from the studies of Chinese Ceramics. Bird’s Nest is unique, special, and energy-efficient, because this stadium has natural cooling and lighting functions, i.e. stadium will gather heat during winter to warm the stadium and coldness in the summer to cool down the stadium, because of its special piping system placed under the playing surfaced (Ma et. al., 2008). In addition, it has a water tank (so called water collector) near the stadium, which will collect the rainwater 24 hours per day and purify it, and then the water can be used throughout the stadium (Shipway, 2007). Because of its innovative design, Bird’s Nest stadium has become one of the recognizable landmarks, a “must-go” tourist attraction in Beijing, and a shopping mall and hotel are planned to be constructed underneath, to increase the use of the stadium after the Olympic Game (Wu & Zhanga, 2008).

National Aquatic center also known as Water Cube, it is an aquatic center that was built alongside the Bird Nest’s Stadium and it can be seated by 17,000 people, it has all the latest technology in place to put it among the fastest pools in the world (Ren, 2008). It was designed by an architectural firm from Australia and design society from Shanghai; it is proud because one of the designing parties is from China itself. In the beginning, the China designing society came up with a cube design because they felt that it was more emblems to China culture and it’s related to Bird’s Nest Stadium, and the design firm from Australia had come up with the idea of using “Bubbles” covering the cube, and its symbolizing Water, finally, they chose these two ideas and confirmed the name and the outlook of this stadium. Eventually, the Cube symbolizes Earth, while the circle (the outlook of the stadium when see from top) represent heaven, thus, water cube references Chinese symbolic architectural (Ren, 2008). The Water Cube Stadium has been built with an eye toward keeping things green and water conservation, and after the Olympic game, much of the seating will be removed and the pool will become a training and recreational centre, with plans to include a water park (Wu & Zhanga, 2008).

  1. C) Beijing Olympic Torch

Beijing Olympic Torch was designed by the recruited potential torch design society within China, the torch was confirmed in June 2006, and was approved by International Organizing Committee in January 2007. Beijing Olympic Torch showcases the strong Chinese Characteristics, Chinese thinking of design, and China technical capabilities. The shape of the paper scroll and lucky clouds graphics actually express the idea of harmony (Lee, 2010).

  1. D) Beijing Olympic 2008 Mascot

The Mascots of Beijing Olympic is named as Fuwa, just like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their with the colour and inspiration, carrying a message of friendship and peace, and it is actually the good wishes from China to all the children in the world. Fuwa comprises 4 China’s most popular animals such as the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow; and the Olympic Flame. Each of Fuwa has a rhyming two syllable name – Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope, and Nini is the Swallow. When you put their names together – “Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni”, actually telling you “Welcome to Beijing”, offering you a warm invitation that reflect the mission of Fuwa as young ambassador for the Olympic Game (Long, 2008).

Some other brand strategy used such as the Symbol of Beijing Olympic – A person posing like running or walking, this actually telling you everybody that Olympic Games is one of the biggest event in the world and everybody should do exercise more, in order to have healthy lifestyle and body, and reduce over-weight and sickness by doing more exercises (Pitt et. al., 2010). All their products and Athlete’s shirts are printed with this logo and every visitor can actually buy it and keep it as souvenir or sending friends or relatives as presents.

Marketing Materials

Marketing materials is one of the important tools to do marketing, without a proper materials, those marketers unable to market or promote the events or products successfully, because the customer do not understand what messages or information you want to share or convey to them, and causing the communication breakdown and marketing processes failure, and the events will be as successful as others. The common marketing materials are e-brochures, e-flyers, emails,invitation cards, biodegradable plastic & paper bags, free gifts (like key chain, caps, small fans, t-shirts, bottles, etc.), tickets, note pad, pens, pencils, and some other stationeries (Soderman et. al., 2010). For example, before the Beijing Olympic 2008 starts, BOCOG actually employed a team of people who are responsible to distribute those materials to everywhere in the world, so that everybody knows about this events. Once the country get the free gifts, they will start doing roadshow (mostly in shopping center) of competition (public places, media – TV and Radio stations) to the public, so that they can get the information or get informed by the organizer about Beijing Olympic, and if somebody won the free gifts, they will start inform others to attend the roadshow or competition, so that their friends or relatives can get the free gifts as well. Even now, everybody in the world still thinking to have one or two free gifts or souvenirs related to Beijing Olympic, because this is one of the most successful, biggest and grand events in the world, it is great to have them. Presentation, is another way of teaching or conveying messages to the publics, i.e. somebody with influential background giving speech or talk which related to Beijing Olympic, in public places (such as hotel, schools, public halls and shopping centers), in order to attract and draw their attention about this event, those attendants or listeners might be drawn or attracted and felt impressed to the speech, psychologically, they might thinking to attend the Olympic Game because they felt that they must be there and it is a waste if they can’t make it to attend the event (Funk et. al., 2009). We have such thinking as well, after listening to the speakers. Other than that, brochures or flyers is one of the easiest and most efficient marketing materials because there are just made of paper, all the information which related to the products or events are printed on the paper, then the marketer will distribute the paper (so called brochures or flyers) at somewhere in the cities during peak hours (the most busiest hours in a day, such lunch hour and the off office hour), to the pedestrians or the drivers, then, the recipients will take it and read the notes or words in the paper, and then start promoting to their friends or relatives, and this is one of the fastest way to promote certain events or products. BOCOG had recruited many part-timers to distribute and spread the brochures or flyers in China places, and sending many e-brochures to every country in the world (Walker et. al., 2008). And, they have sent many invitation cards to Politic Leaders (such as Barrack Obama) and Celebrities (such as Jackie Chan) or every country in the world, to invite them to attend this event. In addition, they are also offered some of free tickets to those China citizens in China who are not afford to buy the tickets, and giving some of the tickets to some of the top students in school, as a gifts and encouragement to study, so that they can study hard (in order to get the free ticket) and attend the Beijing Olympic if they can get the result in flying color (Wedekind, 2008). Meanwhile, sponsorship on celebrities and athletes is one of the marketing materials or ways, because they are the role model to the public, so their fans will try to buy the products those celebrities and athletes got the sponsorship from, Nike is one the core sponsorship members for Beijing Olympics 2008, all the athletes’ shorts are sponsored by Nike. And the China brand products Li Ning, sponsoring on Lin Dan, for the rackets, shoes, and other commercial goods. So, all these are the effective marketing materials which are used by BOCOG on marketing Beijing Olympic 2008.

Website Development

Every single big event must have its own website, i.e. they need the website to connect to the World, because Internet can connect every single citizen of this world, unless those people do not have a PC at home, otherwise, they will get the first-hand info through the website. World Cup needs a website, Winter Olympic needs a website, even American Idol also need a website. Of course, Beijing Olympic has its own official website. BOCOG and IOC had launched an official website for Beijing Olympic 2008 in year 2003 and kept developing daily, so that the information posted in the web are un-to-date. The Beijing Olympic website can help them to transmit messages, concepts about Green Olympics, updated information about athletes and players from different countries, etc. to the public users, and public users can also find their contacts from the website and send them an email or call them through phones, and ask anything related to Beijing Olympics (Hopkins, 2008). For example, somebody from other countries can easily send an email BOCOG, to ask about the schedules of each game, the locations of the stadiums, how much is the cost of the tickets, and even, where to book the accommodationand how much is the hotel rates, then the members of BOCOG will reply in full details. Meanwhile, the parameters on the website are very straightforward and designed with more soften colors, such as blue, yellow, green, orange and red, i.e. the users will take more time “travelling” in the page. From the page, users able to find out who are the members of BOCOG (from President to Executive members), schedules and venues of games, opening and closing ceremonies information, and some of the photos. Other than that, you can easily see the powerful theme slogan – One World One Dream,expresses the common wishes of people all over the world, inspired by the Olympic ideals, to strive for a bright future of Mankind. Also, users can find some historic information about the Olympic Game, the information about the Mascot and the Torch (how and when they made). All the information related to Beijing Olympic are there.

Public Relations

Theoretically, public relations (PR) mean that maintaining a public image for businesses, non-profit organization or high profile people, such as celebrities or politicians. In other words, public relation is the relational form of interactivity between an organization and its publics, and next, implementation of some planned programs of actions will take place, in order to serve both the organization and the public interest well, win-win situation. The main purpose of PR is to announce something ostensibly newsworthy by using the media power, and to attract favourable media attention to the organization, and provide publicity for products or events marketed by the organization. For example, PR is used wisely in Beijing Olympic 2008, to build rapport with general public and the World (Funk et. al., 2009). There are a number of public relations disciplines used by Beijing Olympic 2008 are press releases, media relations, social media engagement and public speaking at conference.

  1. A) PressRelease

During the period of doing marketing for Beijing Olympic 2008, BOCOG had actually doing more on press releases through newspaper, magazines, TV stations, radio stations and TV networks. They were writing all the attractive point of views related to Beijing Olympic 2008 and post it on daily newspaper, weekly or monthly magazines, so that public can read the information or news once they buy the newspaper or magazines (Brown, 2008). We can easily see the advertisement about Beijing Olympic in any newspaper or magazines.

  1. B) Media Release

Other than that press release, we can also easily hear the broadcast from television and radio stations every day, becausethey want to make sure that everybody in the world must be informed about Beijing Olympic, no matter what. Before that, they actually recorded the nice clips or nice advertisement, and then asked the appointed television and radio stations to broadcast throughout their own channels (Naim, 2007). Therefore, we can easily understand the advertisement without buying and reading any newspaper or magazines, because some of the people are not reading or has no time to read.

  1. C) Advertisement along the road side

Other than the above two way of doing PR, BOCOG had actually worked with nominated partners on posting some giant posters about the Beijing Olympic 2008 onto a big panel board which was built along the roadside, so that it can draw attention from every driver’s attention to know about Beijing Olympic 2008, not every company can post the advertisement of Beijing Olympic 2008, only licensed partners are allow to do that.

  1. D) Case Studies

Some of the universities, colleges, and schools are actually using case studies as the public relation strategy to service the public well, because, from the case studies, the students will find out what the public wants and their interest, and then implement some activities which will benefit the public and of course China government (Zhou et. al., 2009). For example, China government has received many complaints from the public, and China government actually seek comments from PR expertise to solve those problems before Olympic Game. Once problems solved, win-win situation will be reached.

Marketing Awareness

Marketing awareness means that the marketing team trying all their best to create an awareness of its products or services towards the public. Just like Beijing Olympic, BOCOG had did so many marketing strategies to raise the awareness of Beijing Olympic 2008, by advertising their Three Concepts of Ideal Olympic Games, Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube Stadium, Opening and Closing Ceremony, Beijing Olympic Logo and Slogan – One World One Dream, Torch, the Mascots – Fuwa, official websites, Articles about Beijing Olympic, etc (Long, 2008). Other than that, giving free gifts to the public or setting up road showalso can raise the awareness of the game because the one who get the free gifts or won the free gifts by winning the quiz, will remember this golden moment because Beijing Olympic only happened once only and there is no other Beijing Olympic 2008 again. All these are actually telling and reminding us about Beijing Olympic 2008, because, when we see it, we will recall back all the memories about it and it is nice.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, Beijing Olympic 2008 were successfully hosted by China and it was rated as First Class organizer; warmly congratulate the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Beijing Olympics ended with a blaze of deafening fireworks on the last day of Olympic Game, and dazzled the world with sporting brilliance and showcased the mighty modern day of China. IOC President Jacques Rogge had said in the closing ceremony that the World learned more about China, and China learned more about the rest of the World. I felt the most successful marketing strategy the BOCOG used was the Brand Strategy, such as the website, the two remarkable stadiums, the Mascots – Fuwa, the Logo, Torch, Opening and Closing ceremony, because there are actually marking in our heart and we will not forget all these unless we lose our memory or die, otherwise, we will keep telling people or our next generation about this fabulous event, and of course, I will see this event as our guideline if I have the chance to organize such a big event in the future.

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