Olympic legacies in the IOC's 'Celebrate Humanity' campaign: ancient or modern?

Maguire, Joseph, Barnard, Sarah, Butler, Katie and Golding, Peter (2008) Olympic legacies in the IOC's 'Celebrate Humanity' campaign: ancient or modern? International Journal of the History of Sport, 25 (14). pp. 2041-2059. ISSN 0952-3367

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523360802439239


The Olympics is a global event that acts as a carrier of cultural meanings that are available to international audiences and markets. Though the heritage of the Olympics is claimed to be derived from the ancient world, in fact the contemporary legacy is very modern. Indeed, such meanings, and the legacy thereby attached, are re-represented, distributed, and marketed by a media-sport complex predicated less on the concept of arete and much more on a consumption ethos. Here, the initial formulation, development and use of the 'Celebrate Humanity' programme is investigated. The programme was framed by the IOC marketing department as a way both to deflect criticism of the IOC and as one means by which to provide 'added-value' to the Olympic Partner (TOP) programme sponsors. This programme, and the wider Olympic movement, highlights the basic contradiction between the ideals of 'Olympism' and the realities of the modern Olympics in practice. The 'legacy' of the modern games is consumption. The legacy 'message' becomes embedded in a broader process of commerce whereby the media/marketing/advertising/corporate nexus is concerned less with the values underpinning Olympism per se and more with how such values can help build markets, construct and enhance brand awareness, and create 'glocal' consumers/identities. Celebrate Humanity is no exception.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: olympics, International Olympic Committee
Subjects: L300 Sociology
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2011 16:54
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:41
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1779

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