The Coronavirus will not have the skin of Sport Business.
While the Coronavirus epidemic continues, the psychosis surrounding this disease seems even more viral than the infection itself, especially on social networks for more than a month now. A wind of panic through which are born questions about the holding of the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 2020), but do not let this hold the Coronavirus will not have the skin of Sport Business.
The stakes are too high to give in to panic.
For almost 56 years, Japan has been waiting for the Olympic Games to return to the country after the success of the 1964 edition, the first Olympic Games ever held on the Asian continent. Since the designation of the host city in 2013, Tokyo has been dreaming only of the Olympic Games. The city has modernised and the latest economic report indicates a bill of 11.5 billion euros, which can be explained in particular by the costs of infrastructure and transport that will benefit the population for years to come. As far as profits are concerned, Tokyo is aiming to make a killing. Never before during an Olympiad, sponsors have never been so mobilized, since no less than 65 national partners have injected nearly 3 billion euros into the envelope. In terms of ticketing, popular enthusiasm for the Games is in full swing, with evaluations at the beginning of the year indicating that demand was ten times greater than the number of tickets available.
After almost a decade of work, several billion euros invested and 56 years of waiting, the Organizing Committee could not let itself be beaten down by the Coronavirus with less than 200 days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games. Moreover, despite the prevailing psychosis, it should be remembered that only one infected 80-year-old person died in Japan without it being certain that the disease was the direct cause of his death.
The Organizing Committee counterattacks
However, faced with the threat of infection, Japan remains the second country after China in terms of people infected with coronavirus with thirty cases identified, the Organizing Committee had to reassure the world. This is what its president Yoshiro Mori has been working on in recent days in the press, reminding the world that although the coronavirus is taken seriously, there were no plans to postpone or cancel the Olympic Games.
Japan and the IOC therefore intend to coordinate with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in order to take the necessary measures to combat the spread of the disease. This is normal practice," said the IOC President, since the fight against infectious diseases is part of the security aspect of each edition of the Olympic Games.
Finally, in addition to the health measures that will be announced in the coming weeks, the IOC recognises that it will have to do a great deal of communication work to ensure that psychosis does not take over and that the party can be as good as announced.
Cancelled Olympic Games are extremely rare.
From the Shanghai Grand Prix (Formula 1) to the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships and some major eSports competitions, the list of cancelled sporting events in China and Asia continues to grow. The first figures show a shortfall of nearly 44 million dollars in sponsorship revenue following the cancellation of these various events.
However, it is important to underline that the cancellation of Olympic Games remains an extremely rare event in history with only 3 summers cancelled (1916, 1940 and 1944), each time because of the World Wars.
Thus, despite the understandable concerns about the Coronavirus epidemic, it seems unlikely that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed or cancelled. However, the IOC and Japan will have their work cut out over the next few weeks to reassure sports fans and athletes about both health and communication measures. One thing is certain, Sport Business should survive the Coronavirus.