In an epoch that is faced with the sensed effects of economic, societal and cultural displacements diversely labeled ‘post-modernity ‘ , ‘globalization ‘ and ‘the post-industrial revolution ‘ , an increasing figure of urban governments in the UK and beyond have adopted schemes of ‘re-imaging ‘ their metropoliss as ‘creative metropoliss ‘ and/or attractive locations for footloose capital. The production of dramatic urban events has often played a cardinal function in such schemes ( Harcup, 2000: p.215 ) . Therefore this essay evaluates how and why an event can be used to advance a finish image with Birmingham functioning as a instance survey. It besides focuses on the schemes deployed by Birmingham and how the metropolis has used a combination of ‘mega athletics events ‘ , and event commands to foster its repute as tourer finishs ( Smith, 2006: p.77 ) .

The transmutation, sweetening and publicity of urban image have emerged as cardinal boards of the entrepreneurial administration of western metropoliss. Both the figure of metropoliss engaged in topographic point publicity and the assortment of media used has grown in recent old ages ( Barke & A ; Harrop, 1994: p.93-114 ) .The economic principle behind these attempts is to pull occupations, tourers and occupants to replace worsening former fabrication economic systems ( Harvey, 1989: p.3-17, Dicken and Tickell, 1992 ; Haughton and Lawless, 1992 ; Decker and Crompton, 1993 ) . Consequently, topographic point publicity has been widely posited as a touchable portion of the urban development procedure. Topographic point selling has therefore become much more than simply selling the country to pull nomadic companies and tourers. It can now be viewed as a cardinal portion of planning, a cardinal portion of steering the development of topographic points in a coveted manner ( Fretter, 1993: p.165 ) .

Images play a cardinal function in finding the success of tourer finishs ( Smith, 2006: p.77 ) . Destination image is defined as non merely the perceptual experiences of single finish properties but besides the holistic feeling made by the finish. Destination image consists of functional features, refering the more touchable facets of the finish, and psychological features, refering the more intangible facets ( Echtner & A ; Brent Ritchie, 2003: p.43 ) . Within finish image research the construct of stigmatization is used in two different ways. The first involves analysing the relationship between metropoliss and established consumer trade names. In recent old ages the differentiation between metropoliss and such trade names has been eroded due to assorted enterprises which aim to utilize trade names to hike metropolis images and frailty versa ( Smith,2006: p,79 ) . The 2nd manner stigmatization is used in finish image literature is as a broader construct, imported from marketing theory. In such analysis the focal point is non the relationship between finishs and established trade names, but on making a finish trade name utilizing assorted conceptual theoretical accounts and scheme. This type of trade name edifice can besides be linked to feature events. Indeed, several metropoliss have deployed athletics as the chief subject of their stigmatization ( Smith,2006: p.80 ) . Many types of attractive forces are identified and promoted as possible enticements for tourers but traditionally tourist finishs have been categorized into natural or semisynthetic attractive forces. Ritchie identified another attractive force class which can heighten finish image and hence tourist entreaty. The class to which Ritchie refers is that of ‘hallmark events ‘ which are defined as, ‘Major one-time or repeating events of limited continuance developed to chiefly heighten the consciousness, entreaty and profitableness of a finish in the short and/or long term. These events rely for their success on uniqueness, position, or seasonably significance to make involvement and attract attending ‘ ( Ritchie, 1984: p.2-11 ) The illustrations of typical ‘hallmark events ‘ illustrated by Ritchie are international trade carnivals, culturally alone events and featuring events which capture a market involvement larger than those of local partisans ( Riley & A ; Van Doren, 1992: p.268 ) .

One such metropolis that benefits from ‘hallmark events ‘ as a reimaging subject is Birmingham. The term ”reimaging ” refers to efforts by urban finishs to purposefully reconfigure these thoughts and constructs ( Smith,2005: p.219 ) .Whitelegg ( 2000: p.83 ) identifies, athletics has been used as a cardinal constituent in this restructuring of the urban image. In the UK, Birmingham has adopted an economic scheme based on pulling major athleticss events to their country as a accelerator to excite economic regeneration ( Gratton & A ; Henry, 2001: p.39 ) . Birmingham was the host metropolis in Euro 96 and has been designated as the ‘National Cities of Sport ‘ . Birmingham ‘s sport-led regeneration schemes were motivated by finish image considerations ( Smith, 2002 ) and therefore supply exemplifying illustrations of athletics reimaging ( Gratton & A ; Henry, 2001: p.35 ) .There is important grounds that the metropolis has intentionally used athleticss events to heighten its image ( Loftman & A ; Navin, 1996 ; Smith,2005a ) .

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Over the past 20 old ages, Birmingham has aimed to go a metropolis capable of pulling and entertaining visitants. This aspiration has been supported by several major athletics enterprises, including the metropolis ‘s command to host the 1992 Olympic Games, an one-year ‘Super Prix ‘ motor race around the metropolis ‘s streets, and the building of the National Indoor Arena ( NIA ) . This Arena has enabled the metropolis to present a figure of high-profile athletics events, including Davis Cup tennis and international indoor sports. Harmonizing to several observers, Birmingham ‘s image changed markedly because of the execution of these and assorted other enterprises introduced during the 1980s ( Lister, 1991 ) . Smyth, ( 1994: p.180 ) observes that during this period Birmingham used a ‘tripartite push ‘ of concern touristry, humanistic disciplines, and athleticss to advance the metropolis. The metropolis asserts in its Strategic Plan 2005-2010 that ‘developments in the humanistic disciplines, athletics and leisure have been a cardinal portion of Birmingham ‘s Renaissance over the last 20 old ages, assisting to set up and prolong Birmingham ‘s image as a modern and originative metropolis ‘ ( Smith,2005: p.12 ) . Thus it seems Birmingham sees modernness and creativeness as two intensions that sport event enterprises may hold helped to cultivate. Harmonizing to the metropolis ‘s Chief Officer-Sport ( now Chief Executive of UK Sport ) Richard Callicott, the mere association of athletics with the metropolis can bring forth positive feelings, such as exhilaration ( personal communicating, 1999 ) . Callicott besides feels that athletics enterprises can go effectual agents of image alteration, arousing associations with ‘dynamism, exhilaration, internationalism, strenuosity ‘ , and a ‘warm welcome ‘ ( Smith, 2006 ) .

A research was conducted to measure the value of athletics reimaging by set uping if and how sport enterprises affect metropolis images. This research attempted to set up what effects schemes adopted by Birmingham have had on metropolis images held by possible tourers. To determine these effects, three chief research countries were addressed. First, it was of import to measure the extent to which possible tourers were cognizant of the enterprises that had been implemented, as it was assumed that enterprises could hold small consequence if tourers were non witting of their being. Second, the research evaluated if specific athletics enterprises adopted in the metropolis had affected the metropolis image Third, more general information was sought from participants sing their reading of urban athletics enterprises. This information was required to place some of the features of athletics reimaging that facilitate, or obstruct positive image alteration ( Smith, 2005: p.222 ) .

A semi structured interview was conducted which explored more elaborate images of the metropolis and the attitudes and significances generated by tie ining athletics with a metropolis ( Smith, 2005: p.223 ) .Interviews were conducted with ‘potential tourers ‘ , instead than tourers who had already decided to see a peculiar finish ( Smith,2006: p.85 ) . The findings of the present survey suggest that recent athletics enterprises have non been a important agent of Birmingham ‘s recent image alteration. None of the interviewees cited recent athletics events when warranting why their image of Birmingham had changed over recent old ages, whilst merely two interviewees specifically mentioned athletics events when detailing their holistic images of Birmingham. No interviewees cited the metropolis ‘s command for the 1992 Olympic Games in the impulsive subdivision of the interviews, proposing that this command has had small influence on Birmingham ‘s modern-day holistic image. Merely one interviewee suggested that events had affected their image of the metropolis. In a inquiry associating to another metropolis, this individual indicated that they recognized Birmingham ‘s general attempts to pull sport events and felt that they had contributed to the sweetening of the metropolis ‘s image. Other remembrances of recent featuring events in Birmingham were non ever as positive. Therefore, although events can supply of import synecdochical images, these representations are non needfully positive ( Smith, 2006: p.85-86 ) .

In general, the synecdochical effects of Birmingham ‘s event re-imaging are everyday. Birmingham ‘s athletics enterprises do look to be widely acknowledged by possible tourers. However, the existent impact of the National Indoor Arena and the Olympic command on the metropolis ‘s image, though apparent, is unspectacular. More encouragingly, the National Indoor Arena has stimulated positive synecdochical images of Birmingham for some possible tourers. This consequence has been facilitated by positive perceptual experiences of the NIA ‘s immediate milieus and its exposure via the popular telecasting programme, Gladiators ( Smith, 2006: p.87 ) . Birmingham has besides revealed its long-run committedness to hosting athletics events through its declared purpose to offer for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

For finishs runing in size from little towns to states, event touristry is progressively going a cardinal facet of their overall touristry development attempts. Sport initiatives appear peculiarly adept as tools for implying that a metropolis is more ‘interesting ‘ ( Smith, 2006: p.94 ) . These positive readings of sport event re-imaging have been enabled by the positive significances attached to the construct of athletics in modern-day civilization. Despite diverse single attitudes to feature, this shared reading allows sport event imagination to bring forth systematically positive significances amongst possible tourers, bring forthing the capacity to heighten holistic metropolis images. Sport has the possible and the capacity to act upon holistic images, both straight, through the development of new synecdochical images, and indirectly, via the significances generated by city-sport event associations. Therefore, it is utile to revisit these cardinal thoughts to research whether they help to explicate if and how sport enterprises affect metropolis images ( Smith, 2006: p.94 ) .


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