At the end of 2022, the International World Games Association (IWGA) was presented with a comprehensive survey of its multi-sport event last summer in Birmingham, USA.
The IWGA and the Birmingham Organising Committee (BOC) commissioned the Edinburgh-based company Quantum Consultancy for the survey, and Quantum produced its 91-page report on The World Games (TWG 2022). In a second step, IWGA officials have discussed with the Quantum team the lessons learned and recommendations, based on the data collected. Topics on the table included improved collaboration between Local Organizers and the IWGA, and new marketing initiatives.
After the workshop, held in the IWGA headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow said: "The survey presented by Quantum provides a lot of facts and figures about the Games in 2022. What is significant for us here is to learn from the insights gained. Our goal is to improve and continue to raise the level of our event." He added that it is also crucial to obtain advice from a neutral party; a different perspective can be helpful to see things in a different light. What he was especially satisfied with was the athletes' feedback on The Games. The findings will now be translated into recommendations for action, as part of preparing for the next edition of the Games in Chengdu, People's Republic of China.
Key Data and Insights
The report from TWG 2022 illustrates key data and insights across several categories of event impact: Economic and Tourism, Stakeholder Experience, Image and Reputation, Commercial and Marketing, Participation and Performance and also Sustainability and Legacy.
The World Games 2022, held in Birmingham, AL, USA from 7 to 17 July, provided an excellent competitive environment for 3,457 athletes from 99 nations, and generated an economic impact of $165 million in the Birmingham-Hoover Metro Area, according to the evaluation report. A similar study was produced to assess the impact of the previous edition of The World Games, and both surveys have aimed to capture the diverse impacts that a multi-sport event such as The World Games generates on a local, national and international scale.
Key Report Findings
- Economic impact of $165 million (all outputs including direct, indirect and induced impacts)
- Ticketed spectator attendance of 140,217
- 99,039 bed-nights generated in the host economy by visiting spectators and accredited participants
- Event satisfaction rate of 91% for spectators and 86% for athletes
- TV audience reach of 268 million, thanks to TV coverage from 19 broadcasters covering 61 territories
- 558,000 video views on the Olympic Channel
- Social media reach of 335 million users
- Participation of 3,457 athletes from 99 nations and six continents
- Extensive community engagement programmes, and more than 7,600 volunteers supporting the delivery of the event
Pride and Satisfaction
The evaluation report also presents the effects of the postponement of the Games by one year. Originally, The World Games in Birmingham were planned for 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event took place one year later.
Joachim Gossow described the purpose and goal of the study: "Together with BOC, we wanted to obtain figures and data from an independent source in order to be able to evaluate the success of our Games on the basis of facts." He added: "We are particularly pleased with the high level of athlete satisfaction with the event. 86 per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with TWG 2022. This is significant for us, because one of our principles is that we want to put the athletes at the centre and offer them competition conditions at the highest level. We have succeeded in doing that in cooperation with our participating Member Federations, the expertise of our partner service providers and the BOC."
According to Mr Gossow, the same goes for the second important mission of The World Games: “We strive to engage with and inspire communities through the promotion of Sport Values.” The survey showed that the 7,600 volunteers engaged with the event contributed more than 168,000 hours of their time to support the Games.
With regard to the host city Birmingham, 90 per cent of the local citizens of Birmingham and Jefferson County felt proud that their city hosted The World Games 2022, and 89 per cent believe that the Games had a positive impact on the area.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN in 2025.