AbstractMajor sport events have the potential to deliver positive legacies for society. One such legacy is sport development. This research project examined how Cricket Australia attempted to achieve sport participation legacy from hosting the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2015. A case study approach, using qualitative analytical methods was used. This qualitative, case study comprised of document analysis and semi-structured interviews. Document analysis included an investigation of strategic leverage and legacy
documentation, including annual reports, communications, community engagement and participation infrastructure documentation and digital sources. Research participants such as board members, Chief Executive Officers, communications, media, marketing, sport development personnel, and administrators at the club level were recruited for semi-structured interviews.
The study’s findings highlight how a major sport event can be leveraged to achieve certain outcomes, both short and long term; but significantly, they also show how important opportunities can be missed. Specifically, this study highlights how the trickle-down effect guided the host sport governing body’s participation legacy strategies and leverage actions that resulted in missing a vital opportunity to stimulate sport participation in the process. The project demonstrated that although Cricket Australia had participation legacy aspirations, the assumptions underpinning its leverage activities – delivery of a successful event, relationship development and provision of participation infrastructure – were fundamentally flawed. Rather than link target audiences directly with these participation programs, Cricket Australia management assumed that strong media, public relations, promotions, and community
engagement activities would be sufficient to stimulate interest in participation. This is where major sport event-generated media, and especially the event’s television broadcast, should have fit in as a means of communication between Cricket Australia and their target audience for participation messages.
This study reveals potential links between a Local Organising Committee’s short-term, event-related media management, public relations, promotions and community engagement activities, and a host sport governing body’s leverage activities directed at encouraging participation outcomes. Consequently, this study provides a different perspective on Chalip’s (2004) positioning of event-related media as exclusively for longer-term leverage. This study also extends research concerning entry-level participation infrastructure provision. Not only is this infrastructure required, it must be publicised and effectively communicated to its target audiences. This project extends such knowledge by illustrating the
possibility to go beyond mere communication of event attendance opportunities, and to leverage the major sport event to encourage long-term awareness of the sport directly into ongoing school-based curricula, and thus achieve potentially deeper levels of engagement and attachment.
This study can provide guidance for host sport governing bodies on how to
communicate with the public around major sport events regarding sport participation. Due to the power of major sport event media in generating broad-based exposure as well as influencing public opinion, perception and cultural attitudes, a host sport governing body’s media, public relations, promotions and community engagement plans offer valuable opportunities to achieve sport participation legacy.
|Date of Award||16 Jun 2021|
|Supervisor||Danny O'Brien (Supervisor) & Lisa Gowthorp (Supervisor)|