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Elite sport impact


Nations' investments in high performance sport is booming, which requests policy makers to justify their use of public taxes. It is predominantly argued – despite a lack of robust empirical evidence – that elite sport will trigger a number benefits for the population. The latter is highly contested among academics. Surprisingly, insights in how the tax-payer perceives the societal outcomes of elite sport is scarce. As the latter could provide valuable knowledge, the research question of this study is: ‘What positive and negative societal outcomes of elite sport are perceived by the Belgian population?’


We are also conducting an international study using the MESSI scale. For more information about MESSI see ‘Athletes4Society’

Do you want to have insights in the public opinion and support of elite sport in your nation? Check ‘what we offer’


SPLISS developed, tested and validated the so-called ‘Mapping Elite Sport potential Societal Impact (MESSI) framework and measurement scale scale that is a tool to measure the opinion of a population about the impact of elite sport (positive and negative societal outcomes).A MESSI study complements the SPLISS input-throughput-output studies as it addresses the question ‘What positive and negative outcomes does elite sport lead to for society and for your nation?’ and therefore provides insights on why your nation should (not) invest in elite sport.


VUB vrije universiteit Brussel




Principal investigators

Research output