- Motolotov cocktail thrown a Brooklyn mini-mart
- 3 Americans dead in shooting at Kabul hospital by Afghan guard
- Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage
- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
F1 board member: Races help ‘tainted’ countries
LONDON (AP) - Staging a Formula One race _ or other major sporting event _ is a quick way for a country with a “tainted brand” to improve its image, according to a leading executive of the motorsport series.
F1 has been criticized by rights groups for persisting with the Bahrain Grand Prix amid allegations of crackdowns and widespread arrests of government opponents.
Bahrain’s premier international event was cancelled in 2011 as the Arab Spring uprising engulfed the Gulf kingdom.
F1 board member Martin Sorrell said on Thursday that “running a sporting event does have political implications.”
The last two races have gone ahead amid protests despite concerns that the event provides a public relations boost for the island’s Sunni-led government. More than 65 people have died in the unrest in Bahrain since 2011, but Shiite opposition leaders and rights groups place the toll closer to 100.
“It’s ill-advised to believe that events will not have political ramifications,” Sorrell said. “When you think about sporting events, you have to think about it in a social, political and economic context.
“Sporting events, the reason people invest in them, is for political, social and economic reasons. So it’s not unnatural that they have political, social and economic ramifications.”
While addressing the Leaders in Football conference delegates, Sorrell, the chief executive of advertising giant WPP, highlighted the advantages for troubled nations to attract major sporting events.
“If you were running a country and it had an unknown brand or a tainted brand, what would you do? How could you in a relatively short period of time change the image around that city, the state or the continent?” Sorrell asked.
“The answer is, when you think about it at the minute, Olympics, World Cup, Formula One … these being the sort of opportunities that have a major global impact in a very short period of time, and can change the way people perceive a region.”
Rob Harris can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- CURL: Obama's foreign policy even worse than his domestic policy
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Jimmy Carter: Dont hurt Russian people with sanctions
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014