Sustainability: Olympic Bid Project
Sustainability: Olympic Bid Project

This activity was developed and piloted by Sarah Zipp at SUNY Cortland.

Project:                        Olympic Bid City

Type:                           Group

Oral Presentation:       15-20 minute + discussion.  Business attire.

Written Report:           6-8 pages, double spaced, 12 pt type


Students will deliver a presentation and written report from the perspective of a bid city organizing committee.  The goal is to persuade the audience to vote for your city to host the 2020 Olympic summer games.  Presentations and reports will be based on 5 elements for hosting the Olympics:

  1. National/Regional/Bid City Characteristics
  2. Marketing
  3. Environmental Protection
  4. Olympism, Culture and Legacy
  5. Facilities, Venues, Infrastructure, and Accommodations

National/Regional/Bid City Characteristics

  • Culture – How will language, food, art, entertainment, etc. contribute to the games?
  • Politics – How can the government support the hosting of this event?  Is it stable?
  • Geography – What geographical landmarks, characteristics will affect the games, athletes, and spectators (i.e. are there beaches?  Mountains?  Rivers? Etc.).  Is the host city easy to access?


  • Create a marketing proposal on behalf of the city. Include the following:
  • Olympic “theme” (i.e. Rio is “Live your passion” and Vancouver was “I Believe”).  Theme should encompass national character (i.e. Brazil is lively, passionate.  Canada is a country of bounty, possibilities). 
  • Choose 2 or 3 sponsors from among the following sponsorship categories: non-alcoholic beverage, auto, retail food services, telecommunications/wireless communications, film/photography/imaging, information technology, financial servicer (i.e. credit card), carrier/delivery, apparel/gear).  Provide brief description of how sponsor would contribute to games.
  • Provide specific action items and plans for the activation of these sponsorships
  • How will you ensure that the games will be commercially viable, yet not overly commercial?

Environmental Protection

  • How will venues be created or renovated in an eco-friendly way?
  • What steps will the organizers take to reduce the carbon footprint of the games?
  • How will concern for the environment be promoted or encouraged through these games?

Olympism, Culture, and Legacy

  • How will hosting the games benefit the residents of this city, region, and country?
  • What is the economic impact of the games to the city?
  • What will the legacy of the games be? (i.e. infrastructure, host city visibility, employment, sport structure)

Facilities, Venues, Infrastructure, and Accommodations

  • What types of facilities and venues will be constructed or used for the sport competitions?
  • How will athletes, spectators and media be accommodated?
  • How many hotel rooms are available?
  • Is the city infrastructure capable of hosting this event?


Research past Olympics.  Provide evidence regarding facilities, economic impact, environmental efforts, etc based on past games.

Be specific – avoid vague ideas and general statements.  Focus on detailed items and provide evidence (citations).

Be direct – make a “proposal”.  Tell me exactly WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO.  Don’t just state ideas, word them in a way that directly indicates what you plan to do.  For example, “we will activate the VISA sponsorship by . . . “  Avoid statements like “We will have VISA as our sponsor and everyone will benefit.”  This is a vague, meaningless, throw away statement that tells me nothing about what you are going to do!

Proofread, proofread, proofread.  Grammar and spelling count, heavily.

Write report from “we” perspective.  Use a formal tone. Avoid “you.”  Avoid slang and overuse of contractions.

Possible Host Cities for 2020 Summer Olympics

Budapest, Hungary

Busan, South Korea

Cape Town or Durban South Africa

Delhi, India

Milan, Rome, Venice or Palermo, Italy

Dubai, UAE

Tokyo, Japan