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Olympic success boosts public mood and hopes for business success and celebration of role models

Blog post   •   Oct 25, 2016 17:19 BST

More than 40% of Brits think Team GB’s success at The Rio 2016 Olympics has lifted the public mood and one in four think it will deliver a boost to the business sector and the UK economy at large.

These are preliminary findings from a new elephant communications study on the perceived halo effect of Olympic sporting success on the country at large, and its positive impact socially, economically and culturally. The study also has compared findings to a similar elephant communications study conducted after the London 2012 Games.

This year’s study suggest the biggest positive impacts, as perceived by the public, were a boost to the public mood, a greater sense of national identity and – importantly – changing perceptions towards the UK as a great sporting nation, a finding that was more muted four years ago.

In 2012, the perceived or hoped for impact of a direct impact on economic growth, job creation and a boost for tourism were significantly greater – not surprising given London hosted the games. Even so, the new data suggests that success abroad still rouses public hopes on a boost to the economy, the ripple effect, perhaps, of the feel good factor and a buoyant public mood.

The 2016 data also suggested that associations with winning and success had a broader application than just sport. Whilst a relatively small proportion of people said they were more inclined to follow (14%) or take up a sport (8%) in their own time, more than one in three people felt Team GB’s Olympic success inspired a greater sense beyond just sport that “we can win things, rather than being British about taking part.”

The research also noted an impact in people’s media consumption habits, with a shift towards more uplifting stories, greater interest in celebrating role models and stories that made people, more generally, feel proud to be British.