Countries and cities are being promoted with a very similar way to products or services from private brands. One major difference, though, is that this promotion is being performed not only by private brands, but also by the people of that particular city or country in partnership with governmental agencies.
This is relevant for the economy of the country/city brand and this is no coincidence that the major world cities like New York, London, Paris and more function well and each year the number of tourists is more than double the number of the residents. Apart from the people and the governmental agencies, private brands are also increasingly helpful. For instance when someone in the US buys an Adidas product he/she gets a little piece of Germany. Another example are the “Made in Italy” products, which connect Italy with the words high quality and style. A clear example of city marketing is New York city with the slogan “I Love New York”, which is printed in many products that can be found almost everywhere around the world.
Nonetheless, the question is “how to build a brand image for a country or a city?” The first and most important step is to make an analysis of the current situation and configure the ideal future image. Next, identifying the ideal primary and secondary audiences, what they currently think about the country or the city and what is that you want them to think. Final step is to create a timetable and find the capital to support the plan.
Another question is “what is the role of sports in City Marketing?” It is more than clear that sports is a huge industry, which of course generates billions of dollars around the globe, but also has the power to involve values and emotions influencing millions of people, making them very important for marketing and sales. A question that arises now is “Why is this contribution so important?” Here are some reasons:
- The constantly growing media attention that the sports are receiving from around the globe.
- The large number of sectors related to sports that can generate tourist activity in the country or in the city.
- The ability to connect the sport, the event and the people with the city or country.
- Incorporating the names of cities or countries into the terminology itself, like in events.
- The events or teams are a factor for internationalization of the cities or countries.
- A driving force for the economy on many levels.
- The creation of ambassadors as individuals or as groups, like most sports clubs have around the globe.
- Opportunities for sports diplomacy, where sports events become a useful tool for positioning and expansion of country brands.
A clear example of all these are the Olympic Games, in which a country becomes the center of the world in every field, socially, economically and culturally. This event apart from the publicity, it offers to the host city or country to take on infrastructure and urban development projects that might not otherwise be possible.