Need for Sport Tourism Research and Planning (State-of-the-Industry Study Summary)

Scope and Methodology

A comprehensive 13 question survey of National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) members, primarily destination marketing organization (DMO) and sports commission entities, conducted over March and April 2017 with 203 responses received resulting in a highly acceptable margin of error under +/–5%. Information is also provided on respondent and associated organization characteristics such as position, years of experience, structural type, funding and related allocations. Initial survey results were presented at the 2017 NASC symposium in Sacramento, CA.

Sport Tourism Research and Planning Key Topics

  • DMO
  • Best Practices
  • Types
  • Pre-Outcomes
  • Strategy
  • Budget
  • Post-Outcomes
  • Data
  • Benefits
  • Funding
  • Information
  • Sports Commission
  • Multi-Year Work Program
  • Decision Making
  • Organization Culture

Insufficient Sport Tourism Annual Research and Planning Effort

1:4 Only

(one out of four have a formalized executable program of work)

Reasons Why Not

  • Lack of budget funding
  • Inadequate staffing
  • No time
  • Not currently required

Status of Top Actual/Perceived Benefits of Sport Tourism Research and Planning

Common sport tourism measurable results
Effective sport tourism destination team development and communications
Focused sport tourism segment determination
Agreed-to priority sport tourism initiatives
Objective data-based decision making
Aligned meaningful sport tourism programming

Sport Tourism Research and Planning Lead Proponent

1. Sport Tourism


2. DMO/Sports Commission


3. Outsourced

Sport Tourism Consultant

4. DMO/Sports Commission

Research Director

Priority Types of Sport Tourism Research Conducted

  1. Sports facilities assessment/audit
  2. NASC sport event database review
  3. Sport event participant/spending impact analysis
  4. Sport facility market and/or feasibility study
  5. NASC sports related research studies and trends reports review
  6. Visitor/sports segment behavior profile
  7. Sport tourism measurements determination
  8. Sport tourism brand analysis and strategy
  9. Sport tourism event publications review
  10. Sport tourism segmentation analysis

Benchmark Survey Takeaways

  • Full Commitment received from key community
    stakeholders to pursue the sport tourism/event
    market (DMO/Sports Commission CEO/Executive
    Director, Board of Directors, local/regional
    government and event organizers)
  • Active Requirement for an integrated research-based sport tourism/event strategy and plan (marketing,
    sales, development, advocacy and resources)
  • More Investment in sport tourism brand
    development research and strategy (community/
    destination, sports and facility/venue alignment)
  • Strong Need for enhanced budget allocation given a sport tourism/event potential analysis (business
    case submission)

Priority Types of Sport Tourism
Planning Undertaken

  1. Sport events incentive/grant support program
  2. Annual sport tourism marketing/sales strategy and plan
  3. Sport tourism operational/budget analysis and preparatory report
  4. Specific sport events operational plans
  5. Long-term/sports related strategic plan
  6. Sport event fundraising/sponsorship plans
  7. DMO and/or sports commission partnership development plan
  8. Sport tourism advocacy/local stakeholder plan
  9. Sport tourism new funding business case/strategy
  10. Sports commission formation business plan

Recommended New Directions

Multiyear integrated and rolling year sport tourism strategy with focus on marketing, sales, development, advocacy and resources (part of DMO strategic plan and/or specific Sports Commission strategic plan)
Segmented and measurable sport tourism marketing/sales strategy and plan aligned to above strategic plan
Independent sports tourism experience/ product development assessment of destination, facilities, venues, events and services
Ongoing sports event sales opportunity research analysis and event tourism economic and social impact
Sources: National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) Sport Tourism Research and Planning Survey (2017),
Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Program Sports Destination Marketing and Development course
(2010–2016) and Sport Tourism Literature Review (2010–2019)
© 2017 DCG