This article presents an investigation into the use of "nation building" rhetoric as a motive to host mega- sporting events. Previous literature regarding mega-events presents the potential for such events to be used for uniting a nation. Moreover, nation building has been conceived in public relations research as consisting of two main components; national identity and national unity, both of which can be tied to image crafting. However, examining the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the planning for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil demonstrates a paradox that exists between the concept of nation building and the actual hosting of mega-events. The theoretical underpinnings of nation building run contrary to the reality of mega-events where minority groups are often left marginalized and disenfranchised from the rest of the country. If anything, these events may serve to divide, rather than unite.





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