The relationship between community sporting event participants and the media. The case of Abu Dhabi

Source of Publication

Journal of Sport and Tourism


© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The present study proposes a combined effort of a theory of media portrayal implemented into the ‘Event-tourist career trajectory model’ developed by [Getz, D., & Andersson, T. D. (2010). The event-tourist career trajectory: A study of high-involvement amateur distance runners. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 10(4), 468–491]. The relation between sport and media has been mainly concentrated in studies of the history of sport, gender studies, cultural and leisure studies, but little is known about media influence on event-participating athletes. An online questionnaire was used to collect data from athletes at two community events organized in Abu Dhabi, Zayed Marathon and TriYas Triathlon in 2016. The questionnaire constituted 4 sections: motivational factors, media influence, travel style and behavioural changes, event and destination choice. Descriptive statistics (mean, SD and t-test) were calculated to understand statistically significant differences between runners and triathletes. Moreover, a factor analyses was performed for the 9 items measuring media influence in order to identify underlying dimensions of media items. Results show that athletes from different sport disciplines differ in some items, which confirm the fact that not all athletes have the same motivation, media preferences, travel styles and behaviour, but they may have a very similar attitude towards event and destination choices. Factor analyses also gives meaningful findings; it shows that active participants of community events participate more at sport events when they see a possibility to become popular via media. Theoretical and practical implementations are further researched.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Nataša Slak Valek, Zayed University