PurposeSport 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/approachThis 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.FindingsThe 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 implicationsKey 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/valueRegional 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.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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