Support for sport events and the economy of appearances: a case study of the 2011 World Rally Championship in Australia
Reis, AC & Sperandei, S 2014, 'Support for sport events and the economy of appearances: a case study of the 2011 World Rally Championship in Australia', Event Management, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 231-245.
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This article proposes an alternative way of analyzing the support commonly given by different members of host communities to staging large-scale sport events. It includes the contextualization of this phenomenon within the concept of the “society of the spectacle” and its derivate economy of appearances. Drawing from Debord we argue that the desire to be on the “world-stage,” be labeled as “international,” and win a competition with local neighbors may overrule the tangible losses often incurred by staging such large-scale events. We present data from a survey of 226 local business managers from the relatively small community of Coffs Coast in New South Wales, Australia, as well as analysis of local newspaper articles that support the premise of the economy of appearances. This theoretical position has hence proven useful in understanding some “hidden” players in this game and can be a useful tool for further developing research in this field.