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ESMQ special issue on the societal impact of elite sport

  • December 23, 2021

When facing the challenge of justifying investments in elite sport to the public, elite sport policymakers tend to argue that a wide range of societal outcomes will ‘trickle down’. However, there is scarce evidence to support this dominant discourse. The nature of this special issue is therefore timely as it underscores the critique that public investment decisions are often politically motivated and thus rarely evidence based. The contributions in this Special Issue are grounded in the believe that elite sport should be envisioned and implemented in such a way that it counteracts negatives and enables or optimises positive societal impacts. You can read the full ESMQ Special Issue here.


The introduction to this ESMQ Special Issue illustrates how the six included contributions add to our academic understanding of the complexity and multidimensional nature of both investigating and managing the societal impact of elite sport. We call for utilising robust and appropriate research designs and a shift in the future elite sport impact research agenda. Download the free full text of the introduction of the ESMQ Special Issue here.