Olympics and Branding
Mass tourism encompasses the consumption of large quantities of branded goods including souvenirs and food and drink. This idea of mass consumption is most notably seen during large international sporting events where a type of “global village” is produced in which people world-wide watch multiple sporting events. According to Roche (2006), these global media events illustrate elements of ‘basic globalization’ where events promote universal values and provide cultural standards (spread of a consumer culture of the sport and commercialization) through marketing of branded products.
Although the idea of commercial branding is not new (it has existed since the 18th century) (Pravitt 2000; Lury 2004), it is only the last 15 to 20 years that a distinct industry has developed around corporate branding (Moor 2008). One example is the commodified and branded image of the Beijing Olympics games, where the world saw a surge in the expansion of international product markets for Olympic themed paraphernalia, including the Beijing National Aquatics Center (or water-cube) themed phone which is reminiscent of the bubble-like architecture of the Center and became a branded staple of the Beijing games.