The World Games 2022 delivered substantial economic and social impacts
The World Games held in Birmingham, AL, USA from 7 to 17 July 2022 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 released today by the International World Games Association (IWGA).
The widespread impacts of The World Games 2022 (TWG 2022) were measured by Edinburgh-based Quantum Consultancy which produced an independent evaluation commissioned by the IWGA and the Birmingham Organizing Committee (BOC). A similar study was produced to assess the impact of the previous edition of The World Games and aimed to capture the diverse impacts that a multi-sport event such as The World Games generates on a local, national and international scale.
The 91-page 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 as well as Sustainability and Legacy.
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 & 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, CEO of the IWGA, 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 the 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 of 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 TWG: “We strive to engage with and inspire communities through the promotion of Sport Values.” The survey showed that 7,600 volunteers engaged with the event and contributed more than 168,000 hours of their time to support the Games.
With regards to the host city Birmingham, 90 per cent of local citizens of Birmingham and Jefferson County felt proud that their city hosted The World Games 2022 and 89 per cent believe that The World Games had a positive impact on the area.
Nick Sellers, CEO of the Birmingham Organizing Committee, commented: “Despite the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, war in Ukraine and record inflation, The World Games 2022 successfully elevated the image of Birmingham and the State of Alabama around the world.
Most notably, the athletes, fans, and sponsors had a highly favourable experience. And that is a tribute to our corporate and public sector partners, organizing committee staff and public safety officials, and over 7,000 volunteers who worked tirelessly to help deliver this special moment.
In addition to the noteworthy highlights, there were many learnings which will make our community better prepared to host major national and international events in the future.”
Learnings for Upcoming Editions of The World Games
The report does not only serve to evaluate the past Games. Joachim Gossow added: "For us, it is also about learning with a view to the twelfth edition in 2025 in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China. With this in mind, we have also asked Quantum to work on a set of recommendations for the future of our event. During a separate workshop, we will discuss these recommendations and, if necessary, put them into action."
Krzysztof Kropielnicki, Quantum’s Head of Insights & Analytics, said of the study, "We are delighted that in the IWGA we have a partner that understands the importance of integrating a data-led approach in the development of a long-term strategy for The World Games. The evaluation report and recommendations don’t just focus just on the numbers. We want to put them into context and interpret them in order to draw conclusions that will help to strengthen future editions and support future hosts." This not only applies to the 2025 Games, but also to the selection of the best possible host city for the 2029 Games.
The study can be viewed in full on the IWGA website.
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.