Essay: Management

Pages: 11 (3655 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Compare two mega events and review their positive and negative aspects.

This paper compares the 2006 FIFA World Cup (held in Germany) and the 2012 London Olympics, using several aspects of those mega events in comparison and contrast.

Security / Risk Management

One of the most important aspects of a mega event is security. Without good planning, an event can be profitable and yet it can also receive very negative publicity and hence be ruined in a public relations aspect. These huge mega events attract protest groups and sometimes terrorists who wish to interrupt the games and make their points through the media's coverage of their sometimes nefarious activities. Conditions of "risk and uncertainty" are both evident at a mega event, and the way in which those risks are handled often ends up being one of the main stories in the aftermath of those events.

Risk management is just one of the burdens on the shoulders of an executive who is managing a mega event; the event manager must prioritize how to manage those risks, and must select "…indicators to monitor and evaluate information about risk," and must use informed policies and "organizational instruments" in order to "mitigate threats or hazards" in order to modify the illegal and unethical behaviors that might be spawned by the above-mentioned interlopers (Jennings, et al., 2011, p. 197). The authors explain that making the Olympics and the World Cup secure are two very different challenges.

For example, on page 199, Jennings points out that international football (i.e., soccer) tournaments are generally associated with "…problems of public disorder, violence and organized hooliganism." Anyone who, over the past ten or fifteen years, has watched soccer tournaments in Europe, South America or Africa, has seen examples of hooligans doing their nefarious deeds: they fight, they attack innocent attendees, they interrupt proceedings with outrageous acts of violence and indecency. Before a match, when there are large crowds of supporters of the team the hooligans are out to defeat congregating outside the facility, hooligans have been known to cause injuries through their mayhem.

These behaviors contrast sharply with the Olympic Games, Jennings explains; the Olympics brings a "…more diverse mix of local and transnational audiences that do not support athletes or teams in such a partisan and nationalistic fashion" (199). That having been said, it should also be mentioned that while the hooligans have disrupted myriad soccer events, they have not succeeded in disrupting World Cup events, and this is likely due to the tight security that responded to Risk Management profiles prior to the World Cup events.

The Olympics, on the other hand, has been the scene of brutal, bloody attacks in several instances, Jennings continues. In the Mexico Games (1968), riots disrupted the proceedings; in the 1972 Munich Games there was a massacre of Israeli athletes; and in 1996 there was a bombing in Centennial Park in Atlanta (Jennings, 199).

London 2012 -- Security -- Finances -- Positives & Negatives

According to Jennings, the London Games offered 26 different sports at 312 competition venues, and it took place over 17 days of competition (200). There were an estimated 204 countries that participated; there were 10,500 athletes, 6,000 coaches and officials, 20,000 media members covering the Games, and about half a million visitors each day (200). The Games were expected to be policed by about 15,000 law enforcement officers, 6,500 private security guards and members of the British military.

But in fact, the London Daily Telegraph (Chan, 2013) reported that the International Security firm, G4S, which was to be the "official" security provider, announced on July 11, 2012, that it could not provide the 23,700 security it had promised. In fact after the costs to hire G4S rose from £7.3m to £60m (confidential documents obtained by the Telegraph showed that £34m of the increase in costs was in large part due to the G4S bureaucracy), and the British government and local Olympic committed were outraged over the costs, another stark reality hit home. To wit, G4S announced that it "…would not be able to deliver the numbers of security personnel that they had promised" (Chan, 2013).

The G4S announcement resulted in the British government bringing in 3,500 troops for security duty at "the 11th hour" -- which caused G4S to say it "deeply regrets" the issues that were created due to its inability to provide the protection it had promised (Chan, 2). It was what Chan calls a "security fiasco" and it resulted in the G4S market value being "wiped off" in two days (2). This was clearly a negative in terms of the pessimistic publicity generated by the failure of an international security firm to deliver promised security.

According to the NBC affiliate in London, the Games featured the "…biggest peacetime security operation in Britain's history" (Jamieson, et al., 2012). The security -- including the military and civilian costs -- are estimated to have been in the neighborhood of $877 million; moreover, in order to provide what the British government and Olympic officials believes would be adequate security, more than 11 miles of razor-wire-topped electric fencing surrounded the entire Olympic venue (Jamieson, 1).

With 12,500 police officers and over 12,000 soldiers (recruited after G4S admitted it could not come up with adequate numbers), the event managers believed this would be adequate, and it appears it was adequate. Still, people at shopping centers a great distance from the Olympic venues were shocked to see police carrying "…9mm semi-automatic weapons," and most London streets were "turned into military zones" while the Olympic venues themselves were turned into "fortresses" (Jamieson, 1).

The greatest controversy that the event managers had to contend with, according to the NBC report, was the 1,850 closed-circuit television camera that fed "…pictures back across London to the joint police and government control center at New Scotland Yard" (Jamieson, 2). The images that were sent to the central location at Scotland Yard were also available to "…hundreds of CIA, FBI, and TSA officials" from the U.S. that were flown into London to help with the Games' security, Jamieson continued on page 3). The fear of "Big Brother" taking over a mega event was felt and expressed by many people in Britain during the Games.

"Of course the Olympics need to be secure; but there is a danger of losing sight of all proportion," said Nick Pickles, an advocate for less surveillance with the "Big Brother Watch" in London (Jamieson, 4). "It would be a sad indictment of modern Britain if the lasting legacy of the Games is an unwarranted security and surveillance infrastructure" (Jamieson, 4).

There are good reasons why Olympic officials working with British law enforcement agencies agreed to all the surveillance cameras, starting with the ongoing fear of new terrorist attacks and with the recollections of the subway bombings of 2005 fresh in the minds of citizens and security officials. In July, 2005, 52 Britons were killed and 770 were injured in terrorist bombings in the underground trains and on a double-decker bus (BBC News).

On the positive side of the 2012 London Games, an article in the peer-reviewed journal Professional Safety shows that the London Organizing Committee (LOCOG) made the Games the "most sustainable to date." The standard set by the LOCOG included "…a framework for reducing costs, carbon emissions and waste, managing the biodiversity of venues, and achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce" (Professional Safety). Another positive of course was the financial outcome from the London Games: Tourist spending at the Games "…may have helped lift the British economy out of recession" since tourists spend about "double" the amount of other visitors to the Games (Telegraph). In fact, an estimated 590,000 tourists on hand for the Games spent an average of £1,290 during their attendance; other visitors spent just £650, according to the Telegraph.

The 2006 World Cup -- Security -- Finances -- Positives & Negatives

Jennings reports that in the 2006 World Cup event in Germany there were 64 soccer matches that involved 32 teams from around the world; the matches were held in 12 different stadiums in 12 different cities and it took place over a month's time. In each match, there were approximately 52,000 fans in the seats (200). When comparing the security problems presented in London with the issues in 12 cities in Germany, it was clearly a far more daunting task to secure the Games in 2012 than the World Cup in 2006. In Germany it was a matter of "…maintaining public order and effective crowd management" in each of the cities. The German national government signed bilateral agreements with 36 other nations to minimize any security risks; that is, noted trouble-makers (hooligans) from certain groups of fans were identified and careful watch was conducted in each of Germany's 12 World Cup venues.

The financial success of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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