The purpose of this paper is to explore the sources of inspiration for active participants in sport events, and the link between inspiration sources and event-related outcomes (i.e. life satisfaction and behavioral intentions).Design/methodology/approachResearch questions were examined using a Greek (n=264) and a US (n=103) sample of participants of two small-scale running events. Content analysis was used to identify and code the themes of inspiration, while a multivariate analyses of variance was performed to test the inspiration group differences on life satisfaction and behavioral intentions.FindingsThe qualitative findings revealed three categories of inspiration source identified in each sample. The quantitative results showed that the interaction between inspiration source and event type had an overall effect on participants’ life satisfaction and future participation intention. Specifically, findings highlighted the different roles of inspiration on influencing life satisfaction and participation intention of short-distance (i.e. 5 and 10k) event participants than those of long-distance (i.e. marathon) runners.Research limitations/implicationsThis study identifies the sources of inspiration in small-scale sport events and provides preliminary empirical evidence where inspiration source and event type jointly influence participants’ life satisfaction and behavioral intentions.Practical implicationsUnderstanding the sources of inspiration provides event leveraging opportunities to inspire citizens to become more active in sports. Given that the sources of inspiration vary among different segments of event participants, event managers need to adopt differential communication and promotional activities geared to the needs of these targets.Originality/valueThe study provides the first empirical work exploring the sources of inspiration among active participants in small-scale sport events.
International Journal of Event and Festival Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 17, 2018
Keywords: Behavioural intentions; Life satisfaction; Active participants; Inspiration sources; Running sport events