- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
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 Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow