“Sport is Double-Edged”: A Delphi Study of Spectator Sport and Population Health

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Sport and Leisure Management Program, Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
  • | 2 Sport Policy Unit, Department of Economics, Policy and International Business, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • | 3 Sport Management Program, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA
  • | 4 Sport Management Program, School of Hospitality, Sport, and Tourism Management, Troy University, London, ON, Canada
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The periodic examination of research agendas in sport management is necessary for the field’s advancement. In this mixed-method Delphi study, 15 leading sport management scholars forecast how the field can have a more influential voice in understanding the relationship between spectator sport and population health. Panelists agreed on the importance to not oversell or oversimplify the role of spectator sport; to improve interdisciplinary collaboration, theorization, and research design; to recognize opportunities to advance mental and social well-being; to better relate to stakeholders; and to identify distinctive health effects of spectator sport. A lack of consensus existed about the relationship between spectator sport and environmental well-being and prospects for leveraging spectator sport for participant sport. Drawing from these findings, the authors suggest that future research consider moving beyond simply measuring the effects of spectator sport on population health and, instead, assess its health effects relative to multiple forms of leisure and entertainment.

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