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Specialization versus diversification in the event portfolios of amateur athletes

Journal article
Authors Tommy D. Andersson
D. Getz
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Pages 22
ISSN 1502-2250
Publication year 2020
Published at Centre for Tourism
Pages 22
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2020.17...
Keywords Participation sports portfolios, specialization and diversification, consumption constellations, event travel career trajectory, recreation specialization, competing priorities, serious leisure, sport, tourism, involvement, constraints, runners, loyalty, Social Sciences - Other Topics, Sociology
Subject categories Economics and Business

Abstract

This study explores the personal event portfolios of amateur athletes, differentiating between those who pursue a specialized career within one sport and those who diversify within multiple sports. The impetus for this paper was the observation made in previously published research that many sport-event tourists participate in multiple sports. The twin objectives of the study are to better understand highly involved participants and to draw implications that could contribute to the events' and the country's competitiveness in sport event tourism. The study also addresses the question of whether or not these portfolio choices emerge as involvement increases - in other words, do highly involved amateur athletes tend to specialize in one sport, as suggest by recreation specialization theory? A total of 6691 participants were surveyed online in five events (cross-country run, Nordic ski, half-marathon run, open-water swim, and road cycling), out of which 2329 were identified as pursuing a portfolio strategy. The major contributions of this paper include identification of a large number of significant differences between "specialized" and "diversified" portfolios. Planning and marketing implications that can potentially enhance the attractiveness of individual and collectively marketed events are also discussed.

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