City Town Reimaging Using Sport Strategies Assessment

Excerpt from Assessment :

City Town Reimaging Using Sports Strategies

A common challenge that has been impacting a number of cities throughout the UK is shifts in the local economy. This is because many industrial centers have been facing a decline in the manufacturing base. As employers, are seeking out locations overseas, where they can perform these functions cheaper. This has been causing various regions to begin to have image problems from these economic issues. (Gratton 2001)

To deal with these challenges, a number of cities have been focusing on using sports strategies to rebrand themselves. This is when they are creating large arenas that can serve as a location for various events. Moreover, many of these regions are concentrating on improving the brand image of the local teams to have a positive impact on the community. The combination of these factors is showing how various cities have been aggressively working to change the public's perceptions. (Gratton 2001)

Some good examples of urban areas that were able to achieve these goals include: Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield. As a result, more cities are focusing on utilizing these tactics to be able to rebrand themselves. Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Gratton (2001) who said, "The strategy of using sporting events and prestige sports facilities as a means of image reorientation has been primarily implemented by large industrial cities. These cities are a product of industrial development. Their character and image are barriers for helping to expand the tourist industries." This is problematic, as these kinds of issues will have an adverse impact on the local economy for many cities. (Gratton 2001, pg. 128)

In the case of Bradford, they were voted the least desirable tourist destination. This is despite the fact that the city was named the greenest urban center in all of the UK. As a result, Bradford has a major image problem that needs to be addressed. Otherwise, these perceptions will have an impact on the economy for many years to come. (Bradford: Britain's Worst Tourism City 2010)

To help the city deal with these issues there will be a focus on using sports strategies to change these views among the general public. This will be accomplished by examining: urban regeneration issues, identifying the stakeholders that contribute to urban development programs, using theoretical strategies to create a new image, the way the city will be marketed and possible limitations. Together, these different elements will provide a basic foundation showing how Bradford can be able to rebrand itself. This is when there will be changes in these perceptions (leading to long-term benefits for the economy). (Bradford: Britain's Worst Tourism City 2010)

Demonstrate your rationale for choosing your city or town, giving evidence of any current poor image

The city of Bradford was chosen because it has a number of challenges that are impacting its image to include: a large demographic of races / nationalities and a sleepy town perception. In the case of various races and nationalities, this is one of the biggest issues that are effecting perceptions. This is because there has been a large influx of immigration into the area since the 1860s. A good example of this can be seen by looking no further than the below table which is illustrating various ethnic groups that are living in Bradford. (Bolognani 2012)

The Population Demographic of Bradford

Ethnic Group

Population Percentage



Mixed Races




African Decent


(General Area Profile 2001)

These figures are showing how the large racial demographic can create image problems for the city. Recent evidence of this can be seen with the TV show Make Bradford British. This is when producers will have individuals from different ethnic groups sit together. In order to determine, what common characteristics make them British. The images that are presented in the program are having an adverse effect on the public's perceptions of the city. (Make Bradford British 2012)

Moreover, Bradford is considered to be very boring and unexciting. This is because there is a lack of social events and the city appears to be nothing more than a quiet medium sized community. This creates the image among the tourists that the Bradford has nothing exciting to offer visitors (other than various historical monuments). (Bradford: Britain's Worst Tourism City 2010)

These areas are showing how Bradford was selected because they have several challenges that are impacting perceptions. To deal with them there needs to be changes in the strategies utilized by local officials. Otherwise, there is a very realistic possibility that the local economy will be adversely affected. Once this takes place, is when it will be hard to alter these views. This is the point that it may require the city spending millions of pounds, in trying to repair an image that was ruined by the negative stereotypes.

Analyze the urban regeneration issues relating to Bradford

When looking at the various urban regeneration issues, it is clear that Bradford has major challenges they must overcome. This is because the TV show Make Bradford British is depicting the city as nothing but a lot of immigrants that do not understand the culture. Moreover, this is showing Bradford as a deeply segregated community that has lots of social problems. (Make Bradford British 2012)

Evidence of this can be seen with comments from Bradford Council Leader Ian Greenwood who said, "I am sick to death of TV companies portraying the city in a bad light. There is no doubt that we have problems the same as any community - but my view is we can resolve these problems together within Bradford. What we don't need is people stereotyping us and leaving the city. Bradford is a place of immigration. For a long time we've had wave after wave of people coming to look for socio-economic advancement, to look for a good job and to do better for the family." Furthermore Zulfi Karim (the General Secretary of Bradford Council for Mosques) said, "The title in itself does give us cause for concern as it implies that there is something inherently un British about our city and nothing could be further from the truth." These comments are illustrating how the TV show is making Bradford to appear to be: a divided and racist city. When in reality, this is a location that is welcoming of different nationalities and ethnic groups. (Make Bradford British 2012)

At the same time, the image of the town as boring and uneventful; is helping the city to be seen as backward. This is because various tourists have claimed that there are no major attractions or events that are of interest to them. As a result, a number of individuals have been going to places such as: London or Manchester (which have more exciting events and activities). This is problematic, as this will build upon the image from the TV show. When this happens, it will be difficult to change these perceptions. As a result, a new strategy must be embraced that the will allow the city to rebrand its image and deal with these challenges. (Bradford: Britain's Worst Tourism City 2010)

Identify the stakeholders that contribute to urban development programs and evaluate their interests in any renewal initiative

The biggest program that Bradford has going for it, is the fact that the city was named as one of the cleanliest in all of Great Britain. This is because there is a focus on using renewable energy to address the various needs of region. Recently, there has been an emphasis on taking this one step further, by understanding how factors such as wind will impact buildings and the quality of life. This is designed to protect the city and provide outdoor spaces that are comfortable. Moreover, there is focus on using these changes to improve the landscape of Bradford. (Kilner 2010)

As a result, there are a number of stakeholders that will benefit from these programs to include: the local government, citizens / tourists and private businesses. In the case of the local government, they are focused on: using these initiatives to improve the efficiency of energy usage. At the same time, it will create an outdoor environment that is supportive of everyone. The interests that officials will have are mainly financial. As they want to show how the city is an environmentally friendly place. Over the course of time, this will change perceptions of visitors about the community. These areas are showing how the government wants to transform this image, so that the city will see an increase in the standard of living and tax revenues. When this happens, they can provide better services to address the needs of the community and visitors. (Kilner 2010)

The citizens and tourists are stakeholders in the project based on the funding that they are providing. This is accomplished through the amount of money that is spent by visitors and the taxes that are paid from local residents. These interests are showing, how this kind of program will improve…

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