Title

The elusive "trickle down effect" of sport events: Assumptions and missed opportunities

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Publication Title

Managing Leisure

Volume

20

Issue

2

First Page

135

Last Page

156

DOI

10.1080/23750472.2015.1010278

Keywords

sport event, leverage, legacy, strategy, sport participation

Abstract

The claimed benefits of sport events on sport participation rely on an asserted “trickle-down effect”. There is a lack of empirical evidence that events can trigger increased physical activity and sport participation, and research has focused on large-scale events. This paper compares two previously hosted medium-sized sport events, and examines the degree to which local (sport) organizations and local organizing committees (LOC) endeavoured to leverage each sport event for sport participation purposes. Document analysis and semi-structured interviews revealed overarching assumptions that the events in and of themselves were sufficient to engender participation outcomes. Strategies for leveraging were absent, and only a few tactics were identified. Leverage could come from augmented exposure via amplified media, celebrations, further demonstrations of the sport, and teaching about the sport. A key constraint is identifying who should be responsible for implementing and executing the leveraging strategy and tactics. The findings inform various stakeholders – event organizers, sport organizations, and local communities, to find ways to use events as a lever for sport participation by making it a part of their overall marketing efforts.

Comments

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23750472.2015.1010278