Sport Event Innovation: A Preliminary Conceptualization and Directions for Future Research

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize sport event innovation and propose a fruitful future research agenda for scholars.

Following Gilson and Goldberg's (2015) criterion of a good conceptual paper, the authors (a) provide a review of the central tenets of innovation and sport innovation literature and link them together within a new definition of sport event innovation, (b) expand the field by suggesting several theoretical perspectives for studying this area and (c) visually represent the links between each aspect of our conceptualization in a figure. Based on our definition, the authors also highlight illustrative examples of sport event innovation.

This paper provides an initial working definition of sport event innovation and offers avenues of sport event innovation research underpinned by various research perspectives (i.e. process of innovation, institutional theory, stakeholder theory, interorganizational relationships and knowledge-based view) likely to prove useful for the advancement of scholarship in sport event management. Additionally, a general recognition of the potential practical implication related to this paper is discussed.

This conceptual paper bridges the knowledge gap between sport event and innovation research by merging the independent literature and conceptualizing sport event innovation. In doing so, the authors provide an advantageous starting point for future research on innovation in the sport event context with a view towards advancing both theory and practice in this area.