(ATR) A strong Olympic connection makes for a top-ranked sports city, according to the results of the latest ranking from Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW).
London, host of the 2012 Summer Games, finished at the top of the "2019 Ranking of Sports Cities" for the third year in a row. For the second year in a row, 2028 host Los Angeles was second and 2024 host Paris was third.
Tokyo, the 2020 Olympics host, moved up from fifth to fourth this year, changing places with the Olympic capital city of Lausanne, which will also be hosting the 2020 Winter Youth Games.
New York, which moved up from ninth to sixth, is the highest ranked city to never host an Olympics.
The rest of the top 10 had 1992 Summer Games host Barcelona in seventh, followed by Madrid, 2008 Summer Games and 2022 Winter Games host Beijing, and Commonwealth Games host Manchester, England.
"It is interesting to see that the Olympic rings remain the most powerful brand with which cities can be associated, despite the various challenges facing the international sporting world," Lars Haue-Pedersen, Managing Director, BCW Sports, said in a statement.
The methodology for ranking the top 50 sports cities in the world was changed for the seventh edition. For the first time, it was focused primarily on the viewpoints of International Federations (IFs) and sports media.
An in-depth analysis of the strength of the association between sport and a city in the digital environment was also introduced, using the total number of mentions of the world "sport" associated with the name of the city on social media platforms, blogs and websites.
Previously, the results were based on an online survey which was sent to a select group of experts and the general public.
The changes in methodology made an impact on the top 10, where Madrid moved from 29th to eighth and Manchester from 35th to 10th.
Haue-Pedersen explained the reason for the big jumps.
"We can see from the results of our analysis of the digital environment that cities that are home to an internationally renowned football club, such as Manchester United or Real Madrid, are strongly associated with sport. Indeed, both Manchester and Madrid now feature in the top 10 of our ranking. I look forward to seeing how this trend will evolve in coming years."
With each edition of the poll, the three lowest ranked cities drop off the list and the top three non-listed cities named by the survey respondents are added. New cities to be added to the 2020 edition are Minsk (BLR), Salt Lake City (USA) and Gold Coast (AUS). Dropping out of the list are Shanghai (CHN), Rotterdam (NED) and Lisbon (POR).
A full result of the "2019 Ranking of Sports Cities"can be downloaded here.
Written by Gerard Farek
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