I spent one month in mobility from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) to North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the USA. The general focus of my research was the (mega) sport event governance process in the USA. I was welcomed at NCSU by Jason Bocarro, Mike Edwards, and Kyle Bunds, who all carry out research in the wider sport events topic.
We had several meetings in order to determine which aspects of the wider “event governance process” topic we could address during my mobility, in order to identify relevant academic and non-academic stakeholders that could support me having a better understanding of how this process is carried out in the USA. The NCSU team and I decided to have one Skype call with David McGillivray (University of the West of Scotland), who is one of our EU partners in the EventRights project, to better align our joint research efforts. After some discussion, we agreed that the common focus we could research on was the mega sport event bidding process. In particular, we found that one under-researched and interesting part was the whole bidding process happening “on the ground” with stakeholders, before the actual formal documents for the bidding are produced. This focus would allow us to understand which stakeholders are included and which are excluded, as well as determining which is/ which might be the role of NGOs and civil organizations (e.g. UNICEF; Amnesty) in this process.
I had the opportunity to discuss with some stakeholders, both academic and non-academic.
One non-academic stakeholder was Hill Carrow. Hill has been working in mega sport event organization and sports tourism industry for over 30 years, as well as being part of the Olympic Committee for several years. He invited me to attend the event “Curling Night in America” and discussed with me about his work and experience, both in USA and worldwide.
I had the chance to discuss also with Prof. Laurence Chalip, a renown academic in the sports and tourism field. Particularly, he is an expert in event governance and policy, and gave me some key information about how the event process for mega sports events is carried out in the USA. Moreover, together with researchers at NCSU, we had a Skype call including Laurence Chalip and other American researchers interested in sport events to present them Event Rights objectives and possible joint research opportunities. The project raised much researchers’ interest and willingness to be involved.
The insights provided by stakeholders and researchers in the USA will support the joint outputs that the University of Gothenburg, NCSU, and the University of the West of Scotland aim at delivering: one abstract for the European Sport Management Conference (EASM) that will take place in London in 2020, and one paper exploring sport event bidding processes across different world countries to provide a comparative study. Moreover, my hosts at NCSU introduced me to several faculty members and I had the opportunity to get acquainted with different researchers and new graduate students and their research interests.