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New survey reveals cities’ preferences for allocation of sports eventsNovember 28, 2022

Today BCW Sports, the sports practice of leading global communications agency BCW, released the results of its latest research which examines whether host cities prefer bidding or dialogue to major event allocation.

As many sports organisations move away from the traditional bidding process to a more flexible dialogue process, the debate has arisen as to which process is better for the allocation of major events. The aim of this BCW Sports survey, conducted among 100 cities worldwide active in bidding for and hosting sports events, was to ask for the first time, which approach cities themselves prefer.

Three key findings from the survey:

  1. The process is important and significantly influences the interest of cities in trying to secure the rights to host an event. Almost 80% of respondents said that the process had a high or medium influence on their decision to pursue an event and close to 50% stated that a less positive experience in a process led to a decision not to bid for a future edition of the same event.

  2. The dialogue process is preferred overall by most cities, but it has important weaknesses that need improvements. A clear majority of cities (56%) stated they prefer the dialogue process, but a lack of clarity in terms of timing and decision-making were cited as downsides compared to the more traditional bidding process.

  3. Clarity, consistency and transparency in the process are what potential host cities are mainly want. No matter what approach is being used, host cities call for clarity in the process that will be used, consistency– no surprises during the process – and transparency when it comes to decision-making (mainly when the decision will be made and who will make it).

Lars Haue-Pedersen, BCW Global Sports Practice Managing Director, said: “Cities are the key stakeholder when it comes to the allocation of major international events, so we felt it was important to let them have their say in terms of which approach they prefer: Bidding or dialogue. We hope that this research will help rights holders to develop an optimal process, most likely a hybrid solution that provides clarity, consistency and transparency all of which will benefit them and the chosen host.”

Download the BCW Sports survey: Bidding or dialogue?

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online using web-based software QuestionPro among over 100 cities from around the world that are known to be active in bidding for and hosting major international sports events. The survey was carried out over the last quarter of 2022. It consisted of eight multiple-choice questions that allowed for additional comments to be inserted by the participants.

About BCW
BCW is the global communications agency built to move people. BCW partners with clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, healthcare, public affairs, purpose and technology sectors to set strategic direction for all communications and create powerful and unexpected ideas that earn attention. Through an “earned-plus” offer – earned media plus paid media, creative technology, data, AI and an expanding suite of innovative capabilities – BCW moves people with power and precision to move its clients forward. BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit www.bcw-global.com.

BCW Sports is the specialized sports practice of BCW, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Based on extensive experience, BCW Sports launched BCW Eventus™, a tool designed for attracting, activating and assessing sporting events – and therefore supporting cities in moving up to the next level. Read more here.


BCW Sports, Stefany Chatelain-Cardenas, BCW Switzerland

[email protected]

phone: +41 21 313 23 00