Research Topic

Sport Mega-Events and The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

About this Research Topic

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been associated with sport for development and peace since their inception. In 2015, the Commonwealth Secretariat identified six SDGs where sport-based approaches could make effective contributions to humankind. These are:
● Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages
● Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
● Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
● Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
● Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
● Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels

Whilst some research has associated the SDGs and sport for development and peace, the literature lacks studies that associate the goals with sport mega-events. Sport mega-events are the most visible and media-appealing products of sport. For example, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, drew in an audience of 3.6 billion people. Any leveraging of sport mega-events to promote the SDGs and any commitments from event owners to make their events sustainable and work towards the achievement of the goals are potentially very significant.

The relationship between sport mega-events and the UNSDG is still a topic to be explored in research. Owners of the largest sport events like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have explicitly manifested their support for the SDG. These have slowly but surely also been used by sport organisations and sport policy developers to guide thinking on what constitutes an effective sport event organisation. Even though sustainable development practices are claimed by many, research associating them with sport mega-events is still in its nascency. Furthermore, existing literature lacks investigations of the relationship between the SGCs and measures of organisational effectiveness of sport event organisations. In the area of sport marketing more research is also needed to evaluate the effects of SDGs on the development of the brand identity and brand personality of mega sport events, their owners, and their sponsors.

This Research Topic seeks to address this gap in current scholarship, and present research the empirically examines the relationship between organising, hosting, sponsoring, and leveraging legacies of sport mega-event and the promotion of the SDGs.

We encourage submissions that cover Original Research, Case Reports, Reviews, General Commentaries and Perspectives that will advance knowledge on the topic.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Describing and exploring the use of SDGs as guidelines to improve the management of sport mega-events
• Analysing host city contracts and their potential to promote SDGs
• Best case examples of the use of SDGs when hosting and managing sport mega-events
• Consumer behaviour, fandom, and sponsorship of sport mega-events and the SDGs
• Claims versus reality in the use of SDGs by sport mega-event owners (e.g. IOC, FIFA, UEFA, etc.).
• Importance of sustainability reporting for managing sport mega-events
• Assurance of sport mega-events sustainability reporting
• The relationship between SDGs and organisational effectiveness
• The effects of SDGs on sponsorship outcomes
• The effects of SDGs on brand identity and brand personality of mega sport event owners and sponsors
• Sport mega-event management and the promotion of wellbeing for all
• Sport mega-event management and health in all policies
• Sport mega-event management and inclusive and equitable quality education for all
• Sport mega-event management and gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
• Sport mega-event management and sustainable economic growth
• Sport mega-event management and safe, resilient, and sustainable cities
• Sport mega-events and effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels


Keywords: UNSDGs, sustainability, major events, Olympic Games, World Cup


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been associated with sport for development and peace since their inception. In 2015, the Commonwealth Secretariat identified six SDGs where sport-based approaches could make effective contributions to humankind. These are:
● Goal 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages
● Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
● Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
● Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
● Goal 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
● Goal 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels

Whilst some research has associated the SDGs and sport for development and peace, the literature lacks studies that associate the goals with sport mega-events. Sport mega-events are the most visible and media-appealing products of sport. For example, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, drew in an audience of 3.6 billion people. Any leveraging of sport mega-events to promote the SDGs and any commitments from event owners to make their events sustainable and work towards the achievement of the goals are potentially very significant.

The relationship between sport mega-events and the UNSDG is still a topic to be explored in research. Owners of the largest sport events like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have explicitly manifested their support for the SDG. These have slowly but surely also been used by sport organisations and sport policy developers to guide thinking on what constitutes an effective sport event organisation. Even though sustainable development practices are claimed by many, research associating them with sport mega-events is still in its nascency. Furthermore, existing literature lacks investigations of the relationship between the SGCs and measures of organisational effectiveness of sport event organisations. In the area of sport marketing more research is also needed to evaluate the effects of SDGs on the development of the brand identity and brand personality of mega sport events, their owners, and their sponsors.

This Research Topic seeks to address this gap in current scholarship, and present research the empirically examines the relationship between organising, hosting, sponsoring, and leveraging legacies of sport mega-event and the promotion of the SDGs.

We encourage submissions that cover Original Research, Case Reports, Reviews, General Commentaries and Perspectives that will advance knowledge on the topic.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Describing and exploring the use of SDGs as guidelines to improve the management of sport mega-events
• Analysing host city contracts and their potential to promote SDGs
• Best case examples of the use of SDGs when hosting and managing sport mega-events
• Consumer behaviour, fandom, and sponsorship of sport mega-events and the SDGs
• Claims versus reality in the use of SDGs by sport mega-event owners (e.g. IOC, FIFA, UEFA, etc.).
• Importance of sustainability reporting for managing sport mega-events
• Assurance of sport mega-events sustainability reporting
• The relationship between SDGs and organisational effectiveness
• The effects of SDGs on sponsorship outcomes
• The effects of SDGs on brand identity and brand personality of mega sport event owners and sponsors
• Sport mega-event management and the promotion of wellbeing for all
• Sport mega-event management and health in all policies
• Sport mega-event management and inclusive and equitable quality education for all
• Sport mega-event management and gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
• Sport mega-event management and sustainable economic growth
• Sport mega-event management and safe, resilient, and sustainable cities
• Sport mega-events and effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels


Keywords: UNSDGs, sustainability, major events, Olympic Games, World Cup


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

08 May 2021 Abstract
05 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

08 May 2021 Abstract
05 October 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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