Leveraging medium-sized sport events to attract club participants
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Purpose – Sport participation is the lifeblood of community sport clubs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how sport clubs can leverage participation from local, medium-sized, elite sport events. Design/methodology/approach – This study used an action research approach where researchers, along with representative stakeholders from two elite tennis tournaments and 23 local tennis organizations, collaborated to develop and implement a series of interventions as part of a wider leveraging plan. The interventions were developed and evaluated in one cycle of action research that incorporated predominantly qualitative research methods. Findings – The interventions stimulated the interest of event spectators by offering a free tennis lesson at a participating club. However, the conversion from interest to club participation was limited. Practical implications – Key recommendations for clubs to leverage participation from a medium-sized event include: a leveraging plan should consider the resources and capacity of local community sport clubs; clubs should act collectively and collaboratively; and clubs should have a strong physical presence at the event(s). Originality/value – Regional sports organizations can utilize existing collaborative networks to enable community clubs to design and implement event-leveraging initiatives. This study also highlights the limited capacity of community sport clubs to leverage participation outcomes from medium-sized annual events. The use of collaborative networks may ameliorate the organizational capacity deficiencies of clubs.
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© 2017 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
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