Event Bidding : Politics, Persuasion and Resistance book cover
1st Edition

Event Bidding
Politics, Persuasion and Resistance

ISBN 9781138679283
Published August 28, 2017 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

Bidding contests for sporting and cultural events are attracting increasing media and public attention. Yet, despite the cost, size and scale of these bidding contests, relatively little academic attention has been paid to the strategies and tactics used to develop successful bids. Event Bidding: Politics, Persuasion and Resistance develops a comprehensive, critical understanding of the bidding processes surrounding the award of major peripatetic events. This is achieved by drawing together existing knowledge on the subject of event bidding, combining this with historical and contemporary examples to enable a critical commentary on the bidding process itself and the struggle for power that it represents.

The text draws on case studies of ‘mega events’ including the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games as well as a range of smaller peripatetic events from across the world to analyse the bidding process and some of the increasingly controversial issues which emerge during often lengthy and expensive bid campaigns. Finally, the text reflects on a range of critical issues of contemporary significance in bidding contests, including the growing ethical and governance issues surrounding the development and award of events as well as the impact of growing oppositional movements surrounding each contest.

This timely volume brings theory and practice together in one place to produce a critical appraisal of a phenomenon with a relatively recent history and is particularly suitable for students, researchers and academics of sports, events, tourism and related subject fields focusing on the strategic and political dimensions of major events.

Table of Contents



    1. Introduction
    2. PART I:
      Politics - Contexts and Concepts

    3. A history of bidding
    4. Motivations to bid
    5. PART II:

      Persuasion - Competencies and Campaigns

    6. Bidding infrastructure: Demonstrating technical competency
    7. Bidding narratives: Positioning through storytelling
    8. Bidding tactics: Campaigning and lobbying
    9. PART III:

      Resistance - Corruption and Contestation

    10. Governance, ethics and impropriety
    11. Resistance and alternative campaigns
    12. PART IV:

      Case Studies in Event Bidding

    13. Rio's 2016 Olympic Bid: Putting South America on the map
    14. Marseille-Provence 2013: "The unquenchable thirst for creative destruction"
    15. Conclusions: The future of event bidding




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David McGillivray holds a Chair in Event and Digital Cultures at University of the West of Scotland. His research interests focus on the contemporary significance of events and festivals (sporting and cultural) as markers of identity and mechanisms for the achievements of wider economic, social and cultural externalities.

Daniel Turner is the Senior Lecturer in Events and Tourism at the University of the West of Scotland. His research interests focus upon the socio-cultural exploration of events and sport and the use of such activity to generate economic, social and cultural impacts.




When we watch the Olympic Games, we are often not aware that their success or failure has been decided years before: in the bid phase. McGillivray and Turner examine those formative few years that can make or break an event. Their book brings a much-needed critical edge to event bidding and sends a resounding message: "If we want to have better events, we need to rethink the bidding." Time to listen up, not just for event researchers, but also for aspiring host cities and countries of the world. Martin Müller, Professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland

There are now more cities than ever before bidding to host events, and destinations bidding for events need to get smarter about the bidding process. This book not only discusses strategies to develop successful event bids with rich case studies and examples but also provides insights into the theoretical underpinnings of current practice which is useful to understand other aspects on event bidding. It is important reading for all students studying events and destination management and current industry practitioners. Insun Sunny Lee, Senior Lecturer in Event and Tourism Management, University of South Australia, Australia

The Bid process and related politics remains an underrepresented area in the events literature and thus this book is a welcome addition to the event studies landscape. The authors offer a unique critical cultural studies perspective on the bid process, reflecting the contemporary issues associated with capital outlay of the bid as spectacle as well as the resistance to such costly urban entrepreneurial endeavours. The cases presented offer valuable  perspectives from both the mega-event realm emphasising the nation building approach to the cultural politicking played by a city to secure a historical mythology of urban transformation. Laura Misener, Associate Professor of Sport Management, School of Kinesiology, Western University, Canada


"The last line of this long-overdue addition to the event management literature acknowledges the co-author's desire to see further/future research on this discrete area of study. McGillivray and Turner conclude with four closely-related thoughts on the future, three of which focus on the need for structured and strategic reform (the other focuses on the predicted rise of social resistance). They're not presented as recommendations, but observations and predictions based on everything that they have uncovered as a direct consequence of producting this excellent, equally thought-provoking, read. The final thoughts, much like the insightful content that precedes them, are presented in a manner that effectively forces the reader to reflect upon the theories, arguments and evidence found within Parts I, II and III, if not the two case studies presented in Part IV." D. McGillivray and D. Turner, Oxon, Routledge