London 2012 – The Olympic Stadium



Is the stadium representing nowadays a powerful vehicle to catalyze financial and social investments into its location area?

Physical features and internal activities as well as singularities, facilities, and brand image define venue’s attractiveness and quality. From this perspective, the stadium ceases to have the connotation of a simple sport venue and turns into an integrated element of the environment.

The interaction with other elements in the surrounding area actively contributes to the region development attracting new investments, increasing the stakeholder satisfaction and improving the local resources. Strategy therefore depends on the context in which the venue operates and the interaction with the environment represents an opportunity to share ideas, values, identities and projects.

For instance, the planning of a new stadium for the local team would be different if that club will play in a first or in a third division: the different industry scope sets the environmental analysis. So, if the organization has to compete in a “regional” industry, the analysis focus will be on the identification of local consumer needs and on the domestic trends whereas a “global” industry requires a more general external analysis.

The analysis has to evaluate the demographic, economical and social trends to comprehend the needs and the expectations of the population in the geographic target market, and at the same time it has to consider the political forces and the Government legislation to face with when programming the feasibility of the stadium. Government legislation can alter economic infrastructure of an industry through legislative changes and the political forces can affect with particular policies the role and the goals of the organization.

The new approach analyses the mentioned factors and develops a new point of view considering all the stakeholders needs as an internal environment: the goal is to build and intensify useful commercial relations outlining a path than can ensure satisfaction, attractiveness and value to the whole area and its firms.

Venue management’s crucial role in this phase is to create a continuous exchange channel between those two entities. These policies, if properly implemented, might ensure the communication of strengths and positive values can generate financial results but also image, social, institutional and cultural returns for the stadium. At the same time, there is an increase of the expected quality and the perceived satisfaction by the target market that assigns a higher value to the environment and enhances its interest to the areas development.

In conclusion, the stadium can be an extraordinary instrument to revalue the territory generating wealth, satisfaction and resources, to reinvest into the same environment. However, a careful analysis of the intentions and objectives of each stakeholder in the affiliation with the organization must be completed before a strategic direction can be set: the substance of strategy is influenced by the beliefs, values and expectations of the most powerful stakeholders. A proper analysis can therefore guarantee a larger environmental view and enables the organization to exploit the opportunities and to manage the threats with an adequate response time and using apposite management instruments.

(Source: P. Zacheo – Strategic Venue Management Process: A Model to Maximise the Value of Venues)