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European Sport Management Quarterly





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Research question: This study evaluates sport development outcomes of a medium-sized, one-off, international sport event, while also exploring any strategies and tactics that were implemented with the intention to increase participation or other sport development outcomes. The event under investigation is the 2005 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships.

Research method: Retrospective perceptions of sport development outcomes were explored using event documents, 21 semistructured interviews with key stakeholders, and media coverage of the event.

Results and Findings: The coaching clinic and the new facility were the only two intended tactics expected to intentionally trigger increases in sport participation and development. The sport facility seemed to have been successful, the coaching clinic was not. All other perceived outcomes, both positive and negative were unintended, and their underlying processes are unclear. Partnerships and relationships were established, but were not activated to serve sport development. It was assumed that ‘awareness,’ the new facility, and positive media coverage would automatically attract new participants. There is some evidence to support the ‘demonstration effect’ for those already involved in the sport, but not for new sport participation. A number of missed opportunities to build sport participation were retrospectively identified. Participation effects in the absence of leveraging are likely to be negligible.

Implications: Formulation and implementation of strategies and tactics, and measurements need to be put into place from the outset of an event. This will enable the efficacy of strategies and tactics to be benchmarked and assessed. Future research should focus on the underlying processes, rather than just the impacts and outcomes.


This is the Author Accepted version of an article published in European Sport Management Quarterly.

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