Not for Profit
Cause related marketing
Government-public-private partnership Social legitimacy
It's June 2002 - just one year before the world's largest sporting event of 2003 will be held in Ireland's capital city, Dublin. The 11th Special Olympics World Summer Games will bring together over 7,000 athletes with a learning disability from 166 international delegations. The sporting competition will take place over nine days, across more than 22 venues in Dublin, with the wider Games embracing the whole island of Ireland. The organisational task is immense. The challenge for Mary Davis, CEO of 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games Limited, is to achieve this mission with a cash budget of Ç34 million euros and a further Ç23 million euros through in-kind product and service donations. The case is rich in quotes giving direct voice to the five main stakeholders: corporate sponsors (eg Bank of Ireland, Toyota, etc), government, 30,000 volunteers, 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games Limited (the nodal firm) and athletes. Interviewees include a diverse group ranging from the sponsorship management of the Games Premier Sponsor, volunteers, the CEO and managers of the nodal firm, and An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern (Prime Minister of Ireland). The primary teaching focus is on the strategic management of networks of stakeholders. Teaching experience with this case has shown that the scale of the task, namely delivering the largest sporting event in the world on such a limited financial and human resource budget, and the novelty with which these resource gaps are bridged, challenges students to consider the complexity faced by a CEO in managing a network of stakeholders. Students have the opportunity to consider fundamental questions such as: What are the underlying objectives of each stakeholder? Why does such a diverse range of stakeholders co-operate in the delivery of the Games? Are all stakeholders equally salient at all times? Is the key to managing a network of stakeholders recognising both the underlying motivations of each stakeholder group and the variance of their relative importance across time?