©AFP

In this issue

International competition was conceived as a substitute for war but hosting big events now symbolises progress

Playing the game puts nations on the map

International competition was conceived as a substitute for war but hosting big events now symbolises progress, writes Roger Blitz

Politics: World leaders’ lobbying has mixed results

Charisma and the personal touch do not always bring victory, says Roger Blitz

World Cup: Reputations at stake when Fifa’s circus comes to town

Hosting the soccerfest is a huge task for any nation but at least bid winners have plenty of time to get it right, says Roger Blitz

Olympics bidding: Host cities face pressure to show wider benefits

A torch relay can fan the flames by helping to engage the whole country, writes David Owen

Maria Marques, president, Municipal Olympic Company, Rio de Janeiro

Interview: Rio team is ‘working for the city, not just the games’

Maria Marques tells Joe Leahy that the city is getting to grips with a formidable double challenge

A worker takes a break on a construction site for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
©Isabel Gorst

Case study: Sochi 2014

A lot is at stake for the next Winter Olympics host, writes Isabel Gorst

Country branding: South Africa finds lustre fades as memories of World Cup dim

Hosting the event may have only briefly boosted the country’s image, writes Antony Altbeker

Sponsorship: Top brands and rights owners take a more savvy approach

Data and the rise of social media are changing the landscape by bringing backers closer to sports fans, says Vanessa Kortekaas

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