This study investigates the determinants and consequences of the perceived social impact of a sport event by analyzing data obtained from 458 local attendees of the 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic. Results show that a sport event generates a higher level of social impact for local attendees if they feel a greater sense of social camaraderie at the event and/or perceive a higher level of the social responsibility of the event. In turn, the creation of social impact leads to greater business returns, such that local attendees perceiving a high level of social impact are likely to support the event and its sponsors. These results offer some empirical evidence for Chalip’s (2006) framework of social leverage, and show why events and their sponsors need to make efforts to generate social benefits for host communities.
Yuhei Inoue and Cody T. Havard are with the Department of Health and Sport Sciences at The University of Memphis in Memphis, TN. Address author correspondence to Yuhei Inoue at firstname.lastname@example.org.