The Deluded Pablo Diego Jose Francisco wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:59 pm
Remember Colo wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:40 pm
The logic is pretty sound. The very public plans and policy of KSA and PIF talk very explicitly about making investments in entertainment (e.g. WWE) and sports (e.g. football) to improve their national image and profile. It's not some buzzword conspiracy theory, they're very proud of that part of their global investment strategy.
How does investing into sports improve their image? It doesn't, simple as that.
Whether they deluded themselves into thinking that they are doing good by investing in sports and have great success in doing so, that's on them but the whole world will still know how bad Saudi Arabia is (and will be) and thats not going change.
I'm not saying it's a successful strategy, but I (and anyone else) is talking about intent. They spent $500 million dollars for a 10 year contract to host WWE shows multiple times a year. And at each and every one, they do promotional videos showing women now driving, people dancing, tourism advertisements, the royal family sit in their box waving, the announcers talk up how amazing the country and their hosts are, the wrestlers do advertisements and promos praising Saudi Arabia and how progressive its becoming, etc.
Whether it's China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc., countries that have come into wealth in the past century want to be viewed as part of the western developed world, and an approach has been to invest and associate themselves with beloved international sports brands and the heads of business that run them. Suddenly they go from always being presented in their stereotypical environments to sitting in London luxury boxes or applauded for athletic successes.
Now are investments in wrestling, boxing or football actually a good use of their billions? I completely agree with you that they're not. Besides a few idiot tribalist fans defending executions or talking up how they permitted women to wrestle or drive (wow, how progressive)
, it isn't actually going to change their global status or perception. But it also didn't stop Qatar spending an outrageous sum to host the World Cup.