Journal 2021#4

Challenges in Developing Urban Marketing Strategies: Evidence From Ekaterinburg



Abstract References

2018 FIFA World Cup became the first championship held in Russia and Eastern Europe. However, at that time, Russia already had experience in hosting sports mega-events such as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, and before that the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. Hosting the championship in 11 cities at once sets the 2018 FIFA World Cup apart from all these events. It gave impetus to the socio-economic development of all cities (and regions) where the matches were held, including Ekaterinburg. On the other hand, the sports mega-event provides unique opportunities for the global marketing positioning of the city. The present study examines the challenges of developing a city marketing strategy using the case of Ekaterinburg. Theoretical foundations of place marketing were employed for the analysis. Based on the critically explored concepts of place marketing and the competitiveness of the territory, the author’s 4C + 1S model was constructed. The current state of the urban environment was evaluated using a SWOT analysis conducted in a group of students. The research also analysed cities’ experience in conducting recent sports mega-events in the world and managing their facilities and infrastructure after these events. In conclusion, we formulated the proposals for Ekaterinburg’s positioning, including the improvement of the transport system, solution to environmental problems, increase in the effectiveness of the local government, and maintenance of public consensus. As a basis for specialisation, it is suggested to consider either the industry of meetings (MICE) or industrial tourism with complementary ‘natural’ and ‘historical’ directions. The proposed 4C + 1S model can be used as a methodological framework for the creation of urban marketing strategies. Additionally, the article makes a theoretical contribution to the development of place marketing. The results can be applied in further academic urban studies.