Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the views of residents and foreigners of the Olympics and the host country before and after the mega-event within the context of marketing theory on country image effects and psychology theories attribution. Design/methodology/approach: This is achieved by studying the views of American and Chinese respondents of China and the Olympics before and after the Beijing Olympics. Samples of Chinese and Americans were surveyed before and after the Beijing Summer Olympics concerning their images of the Olympics, China and its people, and China as a vacation destination. Cross-national and pre-post comparisons are made and interaction effects are noted using MANOVA. Findings: Significant cross-national and time differences and several interaction effects are found across all three focal objects of image measurements. Large country differences are found. Despite how technically successful the Games might have looked, post-event assessments are overwhelmingly lower. Additional differences in views and interaction effects are discussed in terms of the intended and unintended impacts of the event on local and foreign respondents. Research limitations/implications: Only one location in China and one foreign country are surveyed. Practical implications: The paper has important implications for both the effects of mega-events on country images and the effects of the host country on the event brand image. These issues have relevance for countries seeking to host mega-events and those who manage these events and make decision about where they will be held. Originality/value: This is the first cross-national study of the Olympics and their effects using before-and-after event measures. It also combines analyses of both the event and the place images from the perspectives of both those who live in the country and residents of other countries. Attribution theory is a useful reference theory for mega-event assessments.

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International Marketing Review
Sprott School of Business

Heslop, L.A, Nadeau, J. (John), & O'Reilly, N. (Norm). (2010). China and the Olympics: Views of insiders and outsiders. International Marketing Review, 27(4), 404–433. doi:10.1108/02651331011058581