‘Image’ leveraging and sports mega-events : Germany and the 2006 FIFA World Cup

Jonathan Grix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


The broader setting for this research is the increase in willingness of governments of all political hues to stage sports mega-events. The paper starts from the observation that many states have and do instrumentalise sport to promote their country's image or ‘brand’ and attempt to gain prestige. This paper argues that Germany employed a deliberate leveraging strategy to improve their nation's (poor) image abroad. How did Germany do this? This study focuses on three aspects that were central to Germany's leveraging tactics: a series of long-term, carefully co-ordinated campaigns; the focus on a ‘fan-centred’ approach to the organisation of the event and the creation of a ‘feelgood factor’ around the tournament. More broadly, the article seeks to contribute to the nascent literature on leveraging sports mega-events by employing Chalip's 2004 model of leveraging legacies as an organising principle and focusing on strategies to improve a nation's image used by Germany.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-312
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • 'image' leveraging
  • sports mega-events
  • Germany 2006
  • Germany's image abroad
  • sport and tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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