by Nelly Kapsi & Eleni Beneki,
Kerkyra – Economia Publishing

We have chosen this exceptional edition about the Olympic Games in a special circumstance: It is the first time in recent history we will not enjoy this superb international sporting event. It was supposed to take place these days, but it was postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus…

by George Vailakis

The Olympic Games 2004 constituted a historical milestone for both Greek economy and society. The country attracted worldwide attention and acquired international recognition like never before. The relationship between Business and the Olympic Games has always been close. The balance between financial support for the Games and supply to the Olympic movement remains in demand, especially today. It is undoubtedly an issue with many extensions, which has provoked intense discussions.

The precious book “The Business of Olympic Games Sponsorship- Incentives and Rewards” refers to this very relationship between Business and the Olympic Games from antiquity to the present day. Thus, for the first time in Greece, the research focuses on the economic dimension of the Olympic Games.

Since the Ancient Greece years sponsorship of sporting events created an opportunity for private initiative and personal promotion. The Zappia Olympics, made possible with the financial support of the merchant Evangelis Zappas, were the first concerted effort in modern Greek history to host athletic events similar to the ancient Olympic Games. The Zappia Olympics were not stand-alone athletic competitions, but held within the broader context of commercial, industrial and agricultural expositions.

The first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896 were also made possible through sponsorship. Among the private sponsors was Georgios Averoff, the Egyptian merchant of Greek descent, whose very generous donation enabled the rebuilding of the Panathenaic Stadium, thus making a vital contribution to the revival of the Games and the Olympic Movement.

“The Business of Olympic Games Sponsorship” takes a historic look at the relationship the business community and the Olympic Games have maintained from ancient times until today. A significant portion of the book is dedicated to the ripple effects the Athens 2004 Olympic Games have on Greece, with detailed accounts of the Games’ financial figures, the Athens 2004 Organising Committee’s marketing programme, the business opportunities that emerged as a result, and the related activities of companies and organizations. This is a first attempt to assess the impact of the Olympic Games on the most important sectors of the Greek economy – and this in itself is a very important, innovative contribution to the relevant study and evaluation.