A Paradigm Shift Essay

A Paradigm Shift Essay

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Over the last 30 years, a paradigm shift has occurred between the International Olympic Committee 's original philosophy and the relationship with its global stakeholders. The IOC, fundamentally rooted in the Olympic philosophy of life, now seems primarily concerned with its own growing commercial prospects. The core ideals of Olympism are that of culture exchange, universal love of sport, championing human rights and enacting social reformations throughout the the global community (Olympic Charter 13). However, due to past financial deficits for Olympic hosts, the IOC shifted their focus to commercialization in order to secure funding for the Games (Pruess 6). Since 1984, the IOC has entirely changed the ways it delivers the Games, in the form of marketing, broadcasting, and sponsorship. The IOC interests began with maintaining financial viability, but intentions have now shifted heavily into a focus on Western consumerism, brand management, and the generation of surplus revenue. It does not appear that the original philosophy of Olympism, as envisioned by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1894, can coexist with the elevated focus on commercialization. The recent evolution by the IOC lacks balance between what they purportedly represent - the philosophy of Olympism - and what the non-profit Olympic enterprise is actually serving - the multinational corporate interests. The root of the problem facing the IOC deals with this contradiction of ideals.
An examination into this dichotomy, between the Olympism philosophy the IOC professes and commercial reality of their decisions, illustrates certain contradictions. First, the commercial effort exerts a newfound focus on the Western consumer in place of the global population at large. Secon...


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.... Finally, the IOC should start focusing more of its marketing and broadcast efforts to reach a wider audience, outside of the consumer-oriented Western audience. It is important for the entire global community to be able to view and understand the significance of what the Olympics represents.
Outlined here are the conflicts the IOC faces as they move forward with their vision of the 2016 Olympics and beyond. A commercialized Olympics was inevitable, but the IOC will need to assess the implications of the path they are currently on. By working with the sponsors and broadcast partners and rebalancing the IOC’s core philosophy, Olympism can be restored to the Games. Olympism represents the pillars that hold up the Olympic Games as a paragon of human cooperation and social reform, and it won’t matter how far the revenue numbers climb for the IOC if this concept is lost.

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