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One year to go – Business and economic impact of the London 2012 Olympic Games

One year to go – Business and economic impact of the London 2012 Olympic Games

With only a year to go until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games, PwC has surveyed over 2,000 UK consumers and 500 UK businesses on their attitudes towards the Games.

Olympics business survey findings:

PwC commissioned a survey of over 500 managers of more than five employees, across a range of industry sectors, to assess attitudes to how London 2012 Games will impact their business.

The findings showed that just over half of those interviewed say they are excited about the London 2012 Olympic Games and what they will bring to the UK, compared to just over a third who disagree.

It’s interesting to note that the majority (63%) believe the Games will have little impact on their business, which may mean that managers haven’t fully planned or explored how to take advantage of the Games.

69% believe there will be a positive impact on the UK economy in the short term, with 39% of managers believing that the impact will be positive in the long term.

Managing staff

A third of managers have considered how they will handle staff absenteeism during Games times. But a surprisingly high proportion (64%) have not considered how they will cope with this.

Of those that have thought about accommodating staff plans and ensuring business can continue as normal during the 2012 Games:

  • 36% have considered allowing flexible working hours
  • A quarter have considered allowing staff to work from home
  • 17% have considered giving extra holiday to allow staff to watch the Games
  • And almost a third have considered putting TVs/big screens in the workplace for employees to watch the Games

Nearly half of managers (47%) have not yet considered how they will manage any holiday requests during Games time.

When it comes to staff absenteeism:

A quarter of managers believe the number of sick days taken by staff will increase during Games time. Over a third believes holidays will increase, while 57% believe there will be no change.

28% of managers are planning on screening the Games at work to combat absenteeism and to give staff the opportunity to see the Games while at work.

Olympics consumer survey findings:

The findings of the PwC consumer survey on the London 2012 Games shows that 37% of the UK feel positive about the Games coming to London, compared with 46% of Londoners.

More than half  (54%) of the UK feel that the Games will have a positive impact on the UK economy, with those in London less convinced –  just 48% believe the Games will have a positive impact on the economy.


Of those surveyed, only 4% of the UK successfully purchased tickets, with only one in ten of Londoners managing to get their hands on the biggest ticketed event the country has seen in recent years.

The outcome of the ticket allocation has made 25% of those living in London less interested in visiting the Games, with 16% of the UK feeling the ticketing process was unsuccessful in meeting the demands of the UK public.

An average of £196.42 was spent by UK consumers who were successful in their ticket application. The average for Londoners who managed to purchase tickets was £246.45.

When paying for the tickets, 66% of those living in London funded their tickets through disposable income, 13% through savings.


When asked about volunteering for the Games,  4% plan to or have already volunteered, compared to 9% of Londoners.

Young people are keenest to volunteer, with 17% of 18-34-year-olds planning to volunteer (or have already volunteered), the highest figure of all age groups, reflecting an enthusiasm for the Games in that and also perhaps a desire gain relevant and valuable experience for CVs in a tough economic environment with youth unemployment running at relatively high levels.


The Games have already turned people’s minds to holiday plans for 2012. More than one in ten Londoners surveyed plan to go on holiday during the Games to avoid them completely. 9% of Londoners plan to bring forward their holidays or delay them until after and 16% plan to stay in the UK instead of going on holiday specifically because of the Games, as they do not wish to miss any part of them.

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