A new analysis of the post-event report by Nielsen Sports on the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene reveals some interesting data points. One of the key takeaways is that TV viewership numbers indicate that it could be a good idea to place a future World Athletics Championships in Africa.
Africa showed great interest in hosting the 2022 meet, and Kenya bid Nairobi for 2025. However, it was decided that Nairobi’s facilities and supporting infrastructure were not in Tokyo’s class given the Olympic Stadium delivered for the Tokyo 2022 Olympic Games. The 2025 World Athletics Championships will be held in Tokyo.
The other major finding is that the state of Oregon came out on top with a 2:1 return in media exposure for total cash invested.
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Here are some of the report’s most compelling stats:
- The overall multi-day event generated a direct economic impact of $153.4 million.
- There were 150,000 in-person attendees, and 84 percent were from the U.S. Of the 16 percent non-U.S. visitors, 35 percent were making their first trip to the U.S.
- A whopping 49 percent of all spectators were Oregon-based, with 32 percent from the Eugene area.
- Only 3 percent of out of town visitors did not stay in the Eugene area, and 43 percent used Airbnb and Vrbo for accommodations. According to The Sports Examiner, “Combining all 34.577 attendees, including athletes and accredited personnel, the 2022 Worlds generated an estimated 222,583 room nights and $45 million in direct, local spending.”
- 41 percent of in-person spectators used a personal car to get to the meet, 26 percent walked, and 14 percent took public transit.
- 5,200 pounds of leftover food from Oregon22 was donated to a local food bank system.
- Based on regional ad rates, total television exposure across all broadcasters generated $188.1 million in broad exposure (TV time) for “affiliated brands” like World Athletics sponsors. The state of Oregon benefited most from that exposure. Oregon spent $40 million in cash and grants on the organizing committee, about 53 percent of its total budget of $75 million. The return on television exposure for the state was $59.3 million.
- The State of Oregon received an exposure value equivalent to $19.3 million in advertising.
- Africa and the Middle East represented the highest number of TV viewers.
- The report cited a Publicis survey that found that approximately 1.117 billion hours of the Oregon22 meet were seen on TV worldwide, and among individual countries, the U.S. represented only the fifth highest viewership.
- 254.1 million hours: Japan
- 102.5 million hours: China
- 47.3 million hours: Great Britain
- 35.5 million hours: Nigeria
- 35.4 million hours: United States
Abby Carney is a writer and journalist in New York. A former D1 college runner and current amateur track athlete, she’s written about culture and characters in running and outdoor sports for Runner’s World, Like the Wind Magazine, The New York Times, and other outlets. She also writes about things that have nothing to do with running, and was previously the editor of a food magazine.