• Sport events and representational capital: investigating industry collaboration in Rugby World Cup 2015 planning

      Shephard, Emily Jessica (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-09)
      This research study investigated intangible assets generated by sport event hosting, specifically in relation to those industries that could influence the planning and leveraging of this alternate value source at Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2015 host destinations. The industries under scrutiny were sport, public sector and tourism, and the sampled host destinations were Cardiff, Exeter, Brighton and Gloucester. The objectives of this thesis were threefold: (1) to respond to the lack of knowledge around the collaborative roles of sport, public sector and tourism organisations in sport event planning, (2) to pioneer representational capital, a concept that looks to examine the input of those pinpointed planners in the identification and valuation of intangible opportunities generated by hosting RWC 2015 fixtures, (3) to probe planning discourse for examples of leveraging representational capital. Expert opinions were captured from executive-level RWC 2015 planners, and supported by secondary data analysis. The findings showed that public sector and sport organisation planning representatives were key RWC 2015 planners and that tourism planners, at a destination level, were not key collaborators in central planning forums, but collaborated extensively with national and international tourism organisations on RWC 2015 planning matters. Additionally, the analysis uncovered that representational capital was predominantly made-up of three key intangible asset areas: destination image, exposure and reputation. Indeed, these intangible areas were recognised and valued by all three industries, but the data analysis indicated that the levels of collaboration between the sampled planning industries did not translate into collectively leveraging representational capital. Moreover, one of the main breakthroughs from this investigation was identifying the interconnected nature of a range of intangible assets in generating greater value, i.e. increasing representational capital available to planners. Representational capital was found to have a strong connection throughout the leveraging process, in terms of the maximisation strategy and planned outputs in RWC 2015 planning, further supporting the study project objective of investigating the intangible in relation to sport events.