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Interpreting sports events from a resource-based view perspective

Tommasina Pianese (Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean, National Research Council, Napoli, Italy)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 29 May 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021




This study aims at understanding how professional sports events compete with each other to attract spectators, sponsors and media coverage, by referring to the resource-based view (RBV) theory, which interprets firms as a bundle of idiosyncratic resources and capabilities. Specifically, the authors aim to identify the value-creating resources that support event success in the long run.


The authors conducted a literature review on RBV and sports events, which provided the analytic categories used for on a cross-case analysis of popular cycling events held in Italy.


Each event has different value-creating resources, depending on its governance model. Specifically, organisational knowledge accumulated over time by a stable event promoter/organiser enables an understanding of stakeholders’ needs and leads to a competitive advantage. As for events with temporary organising committees, event reputation is decisive to their long-term success. Here, event promoters play a key role in managing reputation over time, i.e., properly selecting host countries, balancing their cultural differences and supporting their capacity to produce long-term benefits.


Sports events may be leveraged within place-branding strategies to increase the attractiveness and level of socio-economic development of a destination. It is thus important to understand the competitive dynamics among sports events. The existing studies have focused on event organisers while underestimating the contribution of sports organisations and/or private companies that promote sport events. This study adopts a broad perspective that takes account of both promoters and organisers in order to verify whether and how the governance model affects the resources relevant to the event’s success.



Pianese, T. (2021), "Interpreting sports events from a resource-based view perspective", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 240-261.



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