i-RISE Research Areas

i-RISE Research

i-RISE Research

i-RISE has conducted a number of research projects that have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Some of the research highlights describe the interrelationship between event and destination images as well as the events’ impacts and legacies and include the following:

  1. The influential impact of sport event image on destination image perceptions and tourism development.
  2. The incorporation of destination imagery in the event image perceptions suggesting interdependence between the two concepts.
  3. The critical role of mega event legacy planning for long term benefits regarding the quality of life of the host community.
  4. The importance of non-sport infrastructure and pride of hosting for Olympic Games host cities quality of life.
  5. The importance of event satisfaction with the event experience and the associated meanings of health tied to a sport event from a participant standpoint.
  6. The importance of emotional engagement in onsite sponsorship activation programs that influence attitude toward the sponsor brand.

Mega Sport Events

2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games

On January 18, 2018 an online survey was conducted among 200 USA participants on the topic of North and South Korea relations 3 weeks before the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. The survey took place to identify the reactions toward the two countries meeting after years of “cold” relationships ahead of the 2018 Games to send a joint team and athletes in the 2018 Games. The 200 respondents were recruited from an online consumer panel called Amazon Mechanical Turk. The respondents were mostly male (55.5%), white (80%), with 54% having income between $20,000 and $60,000,  50% with a college degree education, most of them (72.5%) employed and on average being 36 years old.

The results showed that the image of North and South Korea can be influenced by the talks the two countries had ahead of the Olympic Games to jointly participate in the Games.  Specifically, 48% of the whole sample was fully aware of the meetings taking place. An overwhelming 90.6% of the people, who were aware of the two countries meeting to send a joint team to the Games, thought such event was very good for the relationships between the two countries. Also from those who were aware of this news, 68.8% thought that the Olympic Games are promoting peace and 70.9% thought the Olympic Games offer the opportunity to bring nations together.  In addition, among those who were aware of the news, 66% thought the Olympic Games image was somewhat or very positive. Furthermore, of those respondents who were aware of the news (48% of the whole sample) between North and South Korea ahead of the Olympic Games, 76% had a somewhat or very positive image of South Korea as a tourism destination, compared to 2% who had a positive image of North Korea. Of those who were not aware of these talks (52%) 59.6% had a positive image of South Korea as a tourism destination. This difference in perceptions about South Korea’s image shows the potential influences of these talks on the country’s tourism development.

2022 Qatar World Cup: Impact Perceptions among Qatar Residents

The purpose of this study was to evaluate how the impacts from the 2022 World Cup preparations in Qatar influenced local residents’ attitudes, personal and community quality of life perceptions, excitement about hosting the event, and support toward the event. The examination of the way mega sport event impacts influence residents’ perceptions of personal and community quality of life is lacking in the literature. Data were collected using systematic sampling in October 2014 from Qatari nationals and white-collar expatriates. Overall, 2,163 interviews with Qatari nationals (1,058) and white-collar expatriates (1,105) were completed. The results revealed that eight years before the event, sociocultural impacts were the most influential type of impact for residents’ attitudes toward the event, community and personal quality of life, excitement about the event, and support of the FIFA decision to host the event in Qatar.

Business Legacy Planning for Mega Events: The Case of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar 

Mega events can bring a number of changes in the host country. From the moment the host country decides to bid for the event to the time of selection and throughout the preparation for the event hosting, there are opportunities to leverage the event to achieve long term goals. This study aimed to explore the processes of business networking which lays the foundation for business legacy outcomes initiated by the award of a mega event in a region. Social and human capital development and innovation were identified as potential legacy. Qualitative data analysis revealed a process that involved a relationship between certain factors.

The Role of the Media  in Enhancing People’s Perception of Hosting a Mega Sport Event: The Case of Pyeongchang’s Winter Olympic Bids

Pyeongchang was a candidate city for 3 consecutive bids for the Winter Olympic Games, and it finally won its latest bid to host the 2018 Games. Media plays a vital role in framing public (residents) perceptions of Olympic bids. This paper was about the examination of media coverage of hosting the Olympic Games during the Olympic host-city bid process. A quantitative content analysis was conducted on newspaper articles about Pyeongchang, Korea. The results indicated that positive, nationwide discussions of hosting the Olympic Games were presented during the successful bid. Infrastructure legacy was mentioned frequently and dominantly for both successful and unsuccessful bid periods, whereas the presence of sport-development and sociocultural-legacy themes increased in the latest, successful, bid.

Small Scale Sport Events

Legacy Perceptions among Host Tour de Taiwan Residents: The Mediating Effect of Quality of Life

The sustainability of major sport events depends on whether host residents’ views are embedded into the planning process. Residents’ involvement and support can emerge from offering volunteer services, turning events into urban festivals, creating local event atmosphere, and interacting with spectators, athletes, and visitors. Through the involvement and interaction process, residents’ quality of life (QOL) can be affected. All event legacies should increase in residents’ QOL. Using the social echange theory as its framework, this paper measure the QOL based on resident surveys. Results from a sample of 454 host residents indicated QOL significantly influences event support.

Participant-based Brand Image Perceptions of International Sport Events: The Case of the Universiade

The purpose of this study was to identify dimensions of brand image of an international sport event, the 2009 Summer Universiade held in Belgrade, Serbia. Five core event image dimensions were revealed from interviews of athletes and official team delegates: competition, emotional, social, cultural, and organizational. These themes related to past research but showed a more balanced interplay between the competition and socio-cultural images of the event.

Sport Infrastructure in a Small Community: User and Non-User Perceptions of the Impact on the Community

Small communities can experience the building of new sport facilities that accommodate certain sport events, sport activities, and recreation and leisure programs that target the local and non-local residents. The building of new infrastructure requires financial investments that can have a direct impact on the community support and bring to the forefront questions about long-term benefits and costs of that facility on the communityThe purpose of the study was to examine the benefits and costs of having a sport complex built within a small community and to identify the legacy components from such infrastructural “intervention”.

The Effect of Event Service Quality and Satisfaction on Happiness Among Runners of a Recurring Sport Event

The consumption of sport events through direct participation can influence participants’ (e.g., runners of 5k and 10k) perception of happiness. This paper examined how sport event (5k and 10k running event) service quality aspects operationalized through the physical environment, interaction, and outcome factors influence overall satisfaction with the event and experiential happiness. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed the positive effect of outcome and physical environment factors on satisfaction with the event and the positive influence of event satisfaction and outcome quality on experiential happiness.

Determinants of Tourists’ Expenditure at Mass Participant Sport Events: A 5-year Analysis

Using the five-year data of a US running event (N = 9380), this paper examined key determinants of tourists’ expenditure in a mass participant sport event. The proposed four-facet model (economic constraint, travel-related, socio-demographic, and sport-related facets) provides a broader framework for event organisers and destination marketers in evaluating what factors determine participants’ spending behaviours while at the destination, thereby maximising the potential economic benefits of hosting a participant sport event.

Understanding Sport Event Success: Exploring Perceptions of Sport Event Consumers and Event Providers

The success of a sport event is an important outcome for both the organizing entity and the destination where the event is hosted to properly leverage its hosting. Utilizing the multiple constituency approach in assessing organizational effectiveness, the purpose of this study was to examine factors that contribute to the success of a sport event through the perspectives of the event providers and the spectators of small-scale sport events who experience the events. The results revealed complementarity in the views from both sides and a differential weight placed on stated success factors for each group. Effective event management and delivery was the common denominator between the two entities.

The Triggers of Inspiration in Sport Event Participation among Runners

Inspiration plays an important role in motivating people to take part in sports. Inspiration triggered by sport events has the potential, although not automatically, to contribute to an increase in participation in physical activities. What triggers the inspiration for sport participation? Data were collected from runners participating in 5 and 10 km and marathon races within a marathon event that took place in Greece in the city of Thessaloniki and also from runners that participated in a half and full marathon event in the Southeastern part of the United States.

Impact and Legacies of Sport Events

Legacies of Four Summer Olympic Cities 1996-2008: Tourism as A Common Legacy

It is known that mega events bring impacts to the host city. The aim of this research is to examine the various ‘legacy’ aspects as they relate to the quality of life of host city residents. The analysis of the various legacy models for the various host cities revealed a number of different initiatives within each of the legacy categories – economic, cultural, environment, event success, governance reform, health, infrastructure, knowledge development, legacy management, political, psychological/emotional, social, sport development, tourism, urban development.

 Psychic Income and Social Capital among Host Nation Residents: A Pre-Post Analysis of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Following a growing focus on the social impacts of mega-sport events over the past decade, this study examined perceptions of psychic income and social capital among South African residents prior to, and following, the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Psychic income is a measure of event-related pride/euphoria and social capital is a proxy for social cohesion. Psychic income significantly increased from pre to post-event; males and Black South Africans rated psychic income significantly higher. Three social capital dimensions decreased and two exhibited no change post-event; Black and younger South Africans perceived higher social capital levels.

 Quality of Life, Event Impacts and Mega Event Support among South African Residents before and after the event: The case of the FIFA 2010 World Cup

Limited research has empirically tested whether quality of life (QOL) is perceived as an exchange benefit that facilitates resident support of mega-events. The purpose of the study was to explore the role of mega-event impacts on perceived satisfaction with quality of life and support among South African residents before and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Results indicate significant differences in perceived impacts before and after the event.

 The Importance of Legacy Outcomes for Olympic Games for Summer Host Cities Residents’ Quality of Life: 1996-2008

The importance of legacy evaluation for Olympic host cities is noted in sport, tourism, economic, and sociological journals. This study explored the importance of legacy outcomes for residents’ quality of life in four Summer Olympic cities: Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, and Beijing. The results suggest that residents of Atlanta and Sydney value outcomes from the Games such as emotional investment and spaces associated with the Games that have a socialization dimension higher than residents of Athens and Beijing who value the more tangible outcomes as more important for their quality of life.

Destination Image Research

Destination Personality, Affective Image, and Behavioral Intentions in Domestic Urban Tourism

The term destination image has been used to capture an individual’s opinions and impressions about a destination suggesting holistic imageries in a tourist’s mind. This paper was designed to explore the predictive power of affective destination image and brand personality on overall destination image and behavioral intentions. Data analysis confirmed the influential role of destination personality and affective image in the formation of overall destination image among urban tourists.


The Impact of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on China’s Destination Brand: A U.S.-Based Examination

This study investigates the impact of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on China’s destination brand perception—in terms of destination image and personality. Specifically, this study, based on surveys of American leisure travelers before and after the Games, confirmed the immediate impact of the Beijing Olympics on China’s national tourism brand. That is, the event media could influence respondents’ destination perceptions.


  • International Olympic Committee
    • In 2010 the IOC Olympic Studies Center funded Dr. Kaplanidou to conduct research on the long term legacies of the Olympic Games in the cities of Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Residents of these cities were asked about the importance of changes the Olympic Games brought to their quality of life. This study was published in a special issue on Olympic Games offered by European Sport Management Quarterly.
    • Kaplanidou, K. (2012). The importance of legacy outcomes for Olympic Games four summer host cities residents’ quality of life: 1996-2008. European Sport Management Quarterly, 12(4), 397-433.
  • Gainesville Sports Commission
    • I-Rise has partnered for the years 2007-2009 with the Gainesville Sport Commission to research the impact of small scale sport events for Alachua County, Florida.
  • Qatar University - Social and Economic Survey Research Institute
    • The Social and Economic Survey Research Institute from Qatar University and the i-Rise lab from the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management have partnered for a research project that examines the impacts of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the country is undergoing a significant number of changes.