Experts reveal how Olympics went from amateur sport to �1.3bn business

University professors and a marketing guru are questioning how the modern Olympics have evolved from an amateur sporting competition into the multi-national phenomenon it is today.

They hold a public discussion tonight at the Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London, exploring the commercialisation of the Olympics which nowadays attract TV audiences in the billions. Sponsorship deals this year total �650 million, with international TV rights at around �700m, while branded commercial goods fill stores across the country—a long way from the sporting ideals of Ancient Greece, the experts point out.

Speakers this-evening include British Olympic Association’s former marketing director Marzena Bogdanowicz, Dr David Howe of Loughborough University and Prof Garry Whannel from the University of Bedfordshire.

The discussion chaired by journalist Matthew Beard at the institute in Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street main-line station, begins 7.30pm. Tickets: �8 (concessions �6).

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