2022 Winter Olympics By The Numbers
WalletHub breaks down the biggest numbers of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.
With the Olympics in Beijing, China upon us but the U.S. participating in a diplomatic boycott, WalletHub today released its 2022 Winter Olympics By The Numbers report, which includes an in-depth infographic as well as commentary from a panel of leading sports experts.
Some of the interesting statistics in the infographic include:
- $3.9 Billion: Estimated budget of the Beijing Winter Olympics, 14 times less than the record-setting 2014 Sochi Games.
- 223: Athletes on the U.S. team – a record for any country in the Winter Olympics.
- 14 Years: Amount of time since China last hosted the Olympic Games (with Beijing being the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games).
- 2nd: Time in a row NHL players will not be given a break to play in the Winter Olympics.
- $600 Million: Projected ad revenue from the 2022 Winter Games (10% less than from the 2018 Winter Games).
How has the process of hosting major sporting events changed?
“Obviously, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sporting events, especially since it continues to linger and challenge all segments of society with the uncertainty it brings. While critical even before the pandemic, the language in contracts and insurance policies have likely received another level of scrutiny. Event organizers must now convince consumers that not only will the event take place as scheduled and the entertainment experience be worth their money spent, but also their safety will be prioritized. Post-9/11, ‘safety’ has generally been viewed as security from threats of terrorism and other forms of violence. However, ‘safety’ must also now include safeguards against current illnesses. Hopefully, as the world adjusts to COVID-19, the threat of illness will be reduced and no longer be a major part of sport event operations.”
Brennan K. Berg, Ph.D. – Associate Professor, University of Memphis
“Perhaps one of the most noticeable impacts is the increasing price tag for cities to host the Olympics which have grown significantly over the last couple of decades. In order to win an Olympic bid, a city has to not only demonstrate that it can meet the IOC’s standards, but also prove how it can reinforce the Olympics’ status as a global spectacle which means newer, aesthetically pleasing athletic stadiums, Olympic Villages, infrastructural improvements, and other kinds of expenditures.”
Cory Hillman, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Ashland University
How do the Olympics impact tourism and retail spending?
“This varies by host region, type of mega-event (Winter vs. Summer vs. World Cup), and specific situation involved. It is also difficult to use the most recent Games, the 2020/2021 Tokyo Games, as an example due to COVID-19. Historically there have been immediate boosts in retail spending and tourism. Both the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, both in Brazil, had positive impacts on tourism; according to the Brazil Tourism Ministry, tourism rose about 4.8% during the year of the Rio Olympics…However, local businesses – those long assumed to most benefit from a locally hosted Olympics – are increasingly losing out to major advertisers and online sales. COVID-19 has accelerated this, as tourism was barely a factor in Tokyo and will be down significantly in Beijing in 2022.”
Michael Quinn – Associate Professor, Manhattan College
“A host city witnesses an increase in tourism (in non-pandemic years) while the Olympic Games are going on, but also afterward. With the Olympic Games being one of the biggest sporting events, it simultaneously showcases the city and can have a tremendous impact on continuous development and image. The image of a city can attract tourists, therefore portraying all the possible experiences one might be exposed to when visiting can entice some to make this a travel destination. At the same time, it can also change the overall narrative and initial reputation said country and city had to now experience heightened visitor numbers. Furthermore, retail spending increases before the Olympic Games given the number of commercials and merchandise available. People feel a sense of belonging and want to support their country. Spectators who are traveling to the host city are also interested in purchasing some retail to take home, which can be in the form of souvenirs or anything else related to the city that serves as memorabilia.”
Marcella G. Otto, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University
Does participation in the Olympics impact earning potential?
“Some athletes can earn a fortune by taking part in the Olympics if several factors come together. First, it helps if the athlete is from a popular country with a lot of sports fans (think the USA, UK, etc.). Second, the athlete could earn more if the sport is widely followed (an Olympic champion in basketball likely is more marketable than a gold medalist in race-walking). Third, it helps if the athlete has a positive personality or a compellingly unique story (we all love the smiling persona of the US Women’s Soccer Team, the Jamaican bobsled team is returning to the Winter Olympics after a 40-year absence). The last factor is a recent development — Does the athlete already have a high profile with endorsements before competing in the Games?”
Ricard Jensen – Assistant Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio
“Once an athlete is an Olympian, they are always an Olympian. Very few athletes let alone consumers can make that claim. Participation in the Olympic Games leads to short and long-term income earnings potential. For those Olympians who strike gold whether in competition or with their content on social media, some brands may quickly partner with them to leverage the timely and opportunistic news cycle. For all Olympians, future Olympic Games present an opportunity to earn as official sponsors at the international and national levels look to Olympians who previously participated to serve as endorsers and spokespersons. Additionally, every Olympian has a compelling story to tell. That story, if marketed effectively, can lead to invitations for many years to come to deliver motivational and keynote speeches to corporations and conferences, another opportunity for long-term earning potential.”
Mark Beal – Assistant Professor, Rutgers University