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This paper employs agency theory and resource dependence theory to explore relationships between Australian national sport governing bodies and commercial tour operators. These relationships produce domestic and international travel packages to major sport events and can provide commercial revenue to sport governing bodies. The research identifies agency challenges inherent in the relationships and how these are managed by sport governing bodies. Findings indicate that while sport governing bodies and tour operators interact to generate revenue, the two parties have divergent attitudes toward risk, particularly risks associated with pursuit of profit. The sport governing bodies manage interaction with tour operators through control of event tickets, a perishable and finite resource. The research contributes insights into the challenges confronting sport governing bodies attempting to diversify revenue into commercial sport tourism, as well as the underexplored role of sport bodies in facilitating major event tourism.
Millicent Kennelly and Kristine Toohey are with the Department of Tourism, Sport & Hotel Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.