Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Mega-events brand meaning co-creation: the Olympic case

Tjandra, N.; Rihova, I.; Snell, S.; den Hertog, C.; Theodoraki, E.


C. den Hertog

E. Theodoraki


Purpose: This study explores a multi-stakeholder perspective on brand meaning co-creation in the context of the Olympic Games as a unique mega sports event brand with a strong brand identity, in order to understand how the brand manager may integrate such co-created meanings in a negotiated brand identity. Design/methodology/approach: Utilizing a qualitative methodology, the paper provides a tentative framework of co-created Olympic brand meanings by exploring the narratives of stakeholders' brand experiences of the brand. 16 semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of Olympic stakeholders were conducted and analysed to identify key meanings associated with the Olympic brand. Findings: Through their transformational and social experiences of the Olympic brand, stakeholders co-create brand meanings based on Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. However, at the same time they offer their own interpretations and narratives related to competing meanings of Spectacle, Exclusion and Deceit. Alternative brand touchpoints were identified, including blogs, fan and sports community forums, educational and academic sources, and historical sources and literature.
Practical implications: The brand manager must become a brand negotiator, facilitating multi-stakeholder co-creation experiences on a variety of online and offline engagement platforms, and exploring how alternative brand touchpoints can be utilised to access co-created brand meanings.
Originality/value: The study contributes to tourism branding literature by providing exploratory evidence of how brand meanings are co-created in the relatively under researched multi-stakeholder sports mega-event context.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Jul 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 25, 2020
Print ISSN 1061-0421
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 58-73
Keywords Olympic brand, sports mega-events, brand meaning co-creation, tourism branding
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations