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World Masters Games 2017: organisational delivery models

Lara Middleditch (School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Trish Bradbury (School of Management, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 14 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore how multiple partners could be managed to ensure the successful delivery of the World Masters Games (WMG), 2017. Specifically, its objectives are to understand how event organisers manage relationships with multiple delivery partners, what tools and practices are used to ensure consistency and what risks and benefits exist.


An applied, qualitative, exploratory method used thematic analysis to obtain findings from seven semi-structured interviews of senior managers involved in five international sports event held in Australasia.


Findings were interpreted into nine themes related to event delivery partnerships such as reducing inconsistency, localising delivery through specialists, managing stakeholder relationships, managing workloads and taking an athlete-centred approach. Recommendations include establishing relationship strategies for each partner, determining the degree of control over delivery, crafting contracts appropriate to each partner, creating a suite of tools to aid consistency, recruiting an executive team with Games/mass participation event experience and a senior management team with sport or venue operations experience, centralising knowledge and planning, up-skilling partners as necessary and fully engaging local communities.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was restricted to five event organisations and only a small number of participants per organisation were interviewed. This study collected the experiences and opinions from the event organisers’ point of view and did not capture the same from delivery partners.


The literature revealed little specifically on operational delivery methods adopted by sport events; therefore this study adds to the conversation on sport event delivery models from an outsourcing perspective.



Middleditch, L. and Bradbury, T. (2014), "World Masters Games 2017: organisational delivery models", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 263-278.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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