International Journal of Event and Festival Management

Emerald Article: Athletes' event experiences of the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India Eric W. MacIntosh, Lesley Nicol

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To cite this document: Eric W. MacIntosh, Lesley Nicol, (2012),"Athletes' event experiences of the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 3 Iss: 1 pp. 12 - 29 Permanent link to this document: Downloaded on: 22-10-2012 References: This document contains references to 45 other documents To copy this document:

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and holding the opening ceremonies further in advance of the start of competition were suggested by athletes. Findings – Overall. MacIntosh School of Human Kinetics. housekeeping. Design/methodology/approach – A multi-dimensional instrument was created with an expert panel of Commonwealth Games Federation board members and sport management academics to examine athletes’ experiences. Factors such as ceremonies (e. Sports. 3 No.e.htm IJEFM 3. p. Certain aspects of the Games were identified as requiring improvements such as accommodations (e. Developing countries. region or nation in which they occur. A further objective was to identify key factors of the Games outside of athletic performance that shaped athletes’ experiences. Mega-sport event. despite high scores for security.The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www. 1. 42) wrote that the “Commonwealth Games are second only to the Olympic Games in size (countries. Originality/value – The study was the first known study to empirically examine athletes’ experiences with a mega-sport event such as the Commonwealth Games.g. athletes also reported feeling uneasy about additional travel outside the athletes’ village. India Paper type Research paper International Journal of Event and Festival Management Vol. This complexity may be increased when the competitions are held in developing countries where challenges to delivering successful events may be amplified.g. athletes) and how they experienced the mega-sport event environment of the XIX Commonwealth Games in the developing nation of India and the city of Delhi. fitness facility) and sport venues (e. and secondly.1108/17582951211210915 Introduction Hosting a mega-sport event such as the Commonwealth Games (CWG) is a complex task for an organizing committee due to various complexities and multiple stakeholders to consider in the planning and operations of the event itself.emeraldinsight. 2012 pp.g. ancillary areas (e. Ottawa. Commonwealth Games. that they will attract considerable media coverage”. p. New Zealand Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to examine one primary stakeholder (i. Data was collected after the start of competition up until three weeks after the completion of the Games. 12-29 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1758-2954 DOI 10.g. and 12 Lesley Nicol Sports Med Canterbury. environment) in particular were rated by the athletes as positive. The impact of hosting mega-sport events like the CWG presents attractive qualities for potential host cities in both developed and developing regions. 2) noted that mega-sport events can “have significant consequences for the host city. Canada.1 Athletes’ event experiences of the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi. athletes and range of . India Eric Keywords Athlete stakeholder. Horne and Manzenreiter (2006. laundry) and communication (e. Practical implications – Enhanced opportunities to experience the city outside the athletes’ village. opening). Lockstone and Baum (2009.g. Sporting events. Further. the athletes had a positive experience. increased merchandising opportunities. Christchurch. wireless availability). The University of Ottawa.

the contextual factors surrounding the CWG being held in Delhi. p. studying the athlete stakeholder is essential given the prominent role they play in the success and perceived quality of the event. India 13 .e. 2009.g. athletes) and capture how they experienced the mega-sport event environment. Williams et al.. Since no instrument was found to assess the athletes’ experiences with mega-sport events. Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi. the opportunity to host another mega-sport event (India hosted the 1982 Asian Games) in the capital city of Delhi. such an assessment can inform CGF and their organizational operations and management strategy as to ways to help improve athlete experiences. 2005. Preuss et al. The evaluation of the athlete stakeholder can help in the assessment of the legacy of hosting the CWG for India and the city of Delhi. 134). and the attraction of sport tourists (e. Commonwealth Games Federations. which include the economic impact on the host community (e. 2009). As well. Research on mega-sport events has examined a number of areas related to hosting. Chappelet and Bayle (2005) explained that evaluating the success of a mega-sport event is a multi-faceted and lengthy process.. Therefore. once again brought athletes. India and the athlete stakeholder as part of the organizational branding strategy.e. 2000.sports)”. In recent years. and is seen to raise the profile of the host city as a tourist destination (Gratton et al. Arguably. the contribution of this study lies in revealing some of the controllable facets of the athlete experience. the legacy of which is not really fully understood until many years after the Games have finished. this study sought to develop testable items for future organizing committees to evaluate their event quality from the athlete’s point-of-view. coaches. Hence. Doherty. Preuss. Kaplanidou and Vogt. The primary purpose of this research was to examine one primary stakeholder (i. Preuss and Alfs. such an evaluative measure can also inform other possible host cities with respect to their strategies targeted towards enhancing the athlete experience. Farrell et al. For India. and the development of a questionnaire to assess the athlete’s experience. 1997. Further.. Parent. 2008).e. 2010). Delhi Organizing Committee. there is a paucity of research related to the athlete stakeholder of mega-sport (c.f.g. 2011). Parent.g. 1998. Parent and Foreman (2007) noted that research amongst athlete stakeholder groups is needed for both the property rights holder (i. many developing regions have been awarded the right to host mega-sport events like the CWG. Xing and Chalip. The following sections will outline some of the research on sporting events. DOC). 2008). CGF) and the organizing committee of the Games (i. the majority of this research has examined mega-sport events within developed nations.g. Hosting sport events in developing countries is part of the brand building strategy for property owners such as the CGF. However. Lastly. providing a long overdue discussion on how athletes experience mega-sport events.. the meaning of volunteering and working for a sport event (e. 2007). media and others from all over the world together in one place to celebrate sport and culture during the XIX CWG. the challenges faced by organizing committees (e. the evaluation of the Games should consider the viewpoints of athletes as they are prime producers and beneficiaries of sport and are “essential human resources involved in the production of the entertainment” (Chelladurai and Riemer. A secondary objective was to identify key facets of the Games outside of athletic performance that shaped athletes’ experiences. 1995.

Tien et al. a host of factors are important to building the brand over time and thus. Indeed.g. risk management and ticketing challenges (e. Consequently. help in the differentiating process (Couvelaere and Richelieu.e. 1999. Furthermore. is critical to developing strong brands over time. Solberg and Preuss (2007) noted three structures that are particularly important for a host city to consider in regards to the developmental plan (i. Gurhan-Canli and Batra. Kitchin. Most marketing scholars and practitioners agree that these aspects require a long-term investment to achieve positive brand equity (Berry. which presumably can motivate competitors to attend events including the environmental aspects. 2004). secondary and tertiary structures). p. All of these aspects appear to be important for property holders (i. social aspects and services offered. slogans (e.. CGF) and organizing committees (i. and work and traffic such as airports and telecommunications. Preuss. 2000. 2010.. distinguishing their brand of sport from other organizations (e. able-bodied and para-sport athletes compete during the same time frame). 232) noted that “exogenous events can detrimentally affect inbound tourism. as an athlete. Toohey and Taylor.. van Gelder.f. 2004. the Friendly Games) and the products and services (e. 2004). Gregory (2004) noted the consistency by which the organization expresses and delivers stated objectives. Gregory. Experiences with the organization’s products and services (e. Berry.f. van Gelder. experiences are comprised of many aspects that make up the intended personality and identity of the organization (Hatch and Schultz.g. research has shown that inculcating a trustworthy reputation contributes to building a stronger brand (c. 2010. These aspects are thought to influence the image of the city and have the potential to impact the tourism legacy for the host city and region.. IOC) through such aspects as symbols (e. Solberg and Preuss (2007. 2000. 2011). Moreover. 2007).e. [and that] terrorism has increased the risk of such events”.1 14 Background Sport event research has examined many factors involved in producing.e.g. Mullin et al. 2005. primary. 2000). Thannopoulos and Gargalianos. and that understanding the attitudes and attributes people ascribe towards the product or service is important for brand success (Gwinner and Eaton. and recreation such as the athlete’s village. 2007). 1999). the majority of research to date has taken place in developed nations where purportedly environmental and physical factors such as available infrastructure may differ from developing countries (c. “the bar” which symbolizes efforts to raise the profile of sport for all humanity and level the playing field). 1998. Kaplanidou and Vogt. 2003). 2005.IJEFM 3. For the CGF. 2007. 2002.. Gratton et al.g. However. and the economic impact of event tourism to the host city (e. 2010). 2008). Solberg and Preuss.g. sport managers need to understand their stakeholder perceptions of their products and services and communicate them in an accurate fashion externally (Hatch and Schultz. Getz.g.f. These structures included the sport and leisure facilities for competition. as a paying customer) shape brand meaning and affect brand equity (c. housing. Fullerton. 2004). DOC) to account for when preparing to host mega-sport events. operating.g. . Kaplanidou and Vogt (2010) further highlighted additional aspects outside of athletic goal achievement. and evaluating the impact of Games such as building the brand through sponsorship opportunities (Gwinner and Eaton.

they may be unenthusiastic. both local and international media outlets expressed concern and doubt regarding a successful outcome of the event. and incomplete plumbing and electrical work in the athlete’s village. Delhi is attempting to modernize the Indian sport landscape (Kamaluddin and Radzi.g. the athletes are central to achieving the goals of producing and delivering the Games to other local and international stakeholders (e. the vision to promote a unique. the CWG have athletes compete in both para-sport and able-bodied sport during the same time period in a variety of different individual and team sports (e. and destiny (Commonwealth Games Federation. accommodations). Even local media outlets expressed disappointment that athletes would not get to see and experience the Indian culture outside the event and village due to security concerns (Furlan. Scotland. Caribbean. Concurrently. yet. Europe. For the CGF and the DOC. Africa. (circa 1930 with the first event hosted in Hamilton. who threatened not to send athletes to compete. infrastructure around and within the facilities. friendly and world-class event which demonstrates the values of humanity. India from October 4-14. Leading up to the XIX Games in Delhi. Wales). aquatics. security concerns.e. Nessman (2010) commented that with the Beijing Olympics showcasing China’s economic clout. if the athletes speak poorly about the quality of the event then the association with the CGF Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi. Boswell (2010) expressed some of the Canadian delegation’s concerns regarding the state of preparedness of the construction of the athletes’ village and further noted that the CWG Canada President believed that India risked considerable international embarrassment unless some of the deficiencies in preparation could be immediately addressed. Nessman (2010) further remarked that several facilities (e. a barrage of issues and criticism faced by the DOC created a cause for concern for the CGF and the successful hosting of the XIX Games. India 15 . multiple issues were raised by various delegations including facility preparation. Chakrabarti (2010) noted that “the biggest international sporting spectacle ever to be held in India is just five weeks away – and the CWG are still mired in controversy. Australia. 2010). media). prompted concerns from the CGF and other countries’ delegations. weightlifting venue) were to be done a year in advance and to hold test preparations. inefficiency. and Oceania). athletics. If the athletes feel apprehensive regarding the conditions of the event (e. The athlete stakeholder The athlete stakeholder and their experiences with the Games are largely shaped by the CGF and the DOC. 2010. Walker (2010) indicated that unhygienic housing conditions. England. facilities. Held every four years. New Zealand. The CGF divides up the competing nations into six regions (i. equality. India’s organizers were under pressure to showcase India’s Rising. Canada. For example. 2011). and perhaps even perform below their capabilities. Hence.g. Ontario Canada).The XIX Commonwealth Games Formerly known as the British Empire Games. Asia. bureaucratic infighting and delays”. Delhi. The concept of hosting sport in a developing region aligns well with the mission of the CGF to help develop sport throughout the Commonwealth and. is home to over 15 million people with a large homeless population. the capital city.g. they were still not ready shortly before the opening ceremony. rugby sevens). uncomfortable.g. America. the XIX CWG was hosted in the city of Delhi.g. 2010). fear of health related diseases and unhygienic housing (e. consumers.

Athletes were informed of the online version after the Games through direct communication with their specific Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) representative. Scotland in 2014) and other candidature regions. A multi-dimensional instrument was created with an expert panel of CGF board members (e.00 p.. Thus. 2002. 1991.000 athletes. Hatch and Schultz. Lacsniak et al. Australia. Poor feedback regarding the perceived quality of the event and any type of negative association over time can have detrimental effects on both corporate and sponsor reputations and ultimately brand equity for the event (Aaker. understanding how these aspects are perceived may help to strengthen the Games’ brand (Berry. the ease of travel.g. Questions regarding athletes’ experiences. The first type. To some degree. these are controllable aspects for the CGF and the DOC. Aaker.f. Kowalczyk and Pawlish. Participants and procedure Prior to data collection. Aaker (1991) argued that perceived quality contributes to brand equity and may help differentiate a product or service from competitors.e. 1991). For example. 2002. Kowalczyk and Pawlish. satisfaction. medical services. athletes’ views of the accommodations.1 16 brand may suffer (c. the voice of the athletes as a primary stakeholder and their perceptions may influence decision making regarding the CGF brand as well as the future planning for the next host organizing committee (i. the previous CWG held in Melbourne. Ultimately. and nutrition and food availability (and quality) may influence their overall experience. 2000. had 4.m. utilized a Likert scale to collect athlete responses. 2002). the Athletic Representative for the CGF) and sport management academics over the course of several months. The first technique commenced during the Games between the hours of 10.00 a. in the Dining Hall of the Athletes Village. According to CGF data from 2006. athlete feedback can act as an evaluative measure for the CGF and the DOC regarding their performance while further illuminating challenges and opportunities to improve upon the Games’ experience. 2010). athletes are central to the external projections of the organization and understanding their experiences with the CWG can benefit the CGF and assist in the co-creation of the brand where key values can be communicated externally (c. and what they would tell family and friends about their experience were also asked. provided full consideration is given to athletes’ feedback. Two techniques were also employed for data collection. The second technique utilized an online survey instrument. 2002. To serve these ends. The second type utilized open-ended responses to identify emerging categories or responses. and village transportation among other items outside athletes’ actual competitions. 2001). a sample size calculation was performed to determine the number of completed instruments required to achieve 90 percent confidence that the sample and population would not differ more than 5 percent.m. two types of data were collected. India.IJEFM 3.f. Method This study employed a survey design methodology to collect data from athletes regarding their experiences with the XIX Games in Delhi. Hatch and Schultz. As such. Item generation was based on the observations and experiences of athletes involved in previous CWG and included questions on food quality. Glasgow. opening ceremonies. and 3. It was . However.

(3) sporting venues (e. (7) communications (e. accommodation tower number. availability). competition management). Instrument The instrument was developed in consultation with the CGF Athletes Representative and CGF board members ðN ¼ 14Þ to identify a number of aspects of the Games outside of performance results which would influence athletes’ experiences. This technique commenced after the first day of athletic competition and ended on the last day of competition.g. and (4) to suggest ways for the CGF to improve the opening ceremonies. transfer to village. (2) identify whether they had any suggestions on how to improve future Games. quality. medal). August. The survey was tested for readability and clarity with the assistance of a panel of sport management researchers ðn ¼ 3Þ. (6) ceremonies (e. CGF Board members ðn ¼ 14Þ. I have let my family and friends know my overall experience has been). India 17 .g.expected that Delhi would slightly exceed this number (Personal Communication. accreditation). 37 items were created based on the eight areas. A Likert scale was used where 1 (very poor). confidence in staff. Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi. A neutrally worded script was used in the recruitment strategy.g. Thus. 4 (good) and 5 (excellent) anchored the survey. presence.g. Chef de’ Missions and CGA athlete representatives made their athletes aware that the survey was posted online if they wished to participate. transportation in village). Further. (4) travel (e. it was determined that a minimum of 400 questionnaires would be required for the adequate level of statistical power (Field. training facilities. (2) food services (e. Chef De’ Mission availability). and underwent a pilot test with university sport management students ðn ¼ 5Þ to assess the flow of the instrument prior to implementation. A total of eight core areas were identified as important considerations for the athlete experience: (1) athletes village environment (e. To recruit participants the researchers obtained permission from the CGF to access the Dining Hall of the Athletes Village. Respondents were also asked to indicate their gender.g.g. three items were used to assess the overall athlete experience (e.g. confidence). and the country for which they were competing. sport venue name. opening. In total. online data collection commenced following the closing ceremonies. Athletes were presented with a letter explaining the voluntary nature of the study and their rights as a possible research participant. 2010). Overall. (3) identify and describe one thing above all else not related to their athletic event which contributed to their enjoyment.g. 2 (poor). Next. four open-ended questions were included which asked participants to: (1) indicate and describe any immediate concerns.g. 3 (satisfactory). fitness centre. I would assess my experience as. anti-doping information). In addition. wireless access. 2009). (5) games security (e. and (8) medical (e.

100 useable online questionnaires were collected over a three-week period following the Games. Rugby. Each time a response fell under that code.0 were examined. Items that were 0. Hockey teams).89. 2001). 0. A total of 637 surveys were distributed to athletes during the Games. Table I shows the CGF records of the athletes who competed at the XIX CWG based on regional representation and. Ultimately. Cronbach’s alpha values above 0.352 athletes from 71 different Commonwealth countries competed in Delhi. In the early stages of research. Tabachnick and Fidell. To probe the psychometric properties.709 were women (39 percent). 2003). To test if there was a temporal effect between those that responded on-site versus those that responded online. Netball. 2001).40 or higher were retained only if they did not load within 0. Sampling adequacy was examined using the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test with the acceptable level set at . 2.10 of any other scale (Stevens. 2001). this method is preferred in order to help eliminate any weak factors present in the research (DeVellis.e. This assisted in reducing the raw data and producing themes that were widely reported by athletes for each question.1 18 Data analyses First.13 percent of total athlete population). Results Respondent profile According to CGF records. Exploratory factor analysis The sample size was determined to be adequate for conducting an exploratory factor analysis based on the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin sample statistic (KMO ¼ 0. this procedure helped to determine how items loaded on a particular factor. 269 were men (51 percent) and 259 were women (49 percent). and athletes from 46 different countries responded to the survey. Next. yielding a 67 percent response rate. Scale intercorrelations should not exceed 0. 3. 4. a multi-variate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and Pillai’s trace was used. Eigen values in excess of 1. alpha reliability and scale intercorrelations were computed. While 437 were returned. respondents to the study based on region of competition as well as those that responded on-site versus on-line.90 as this would suggest a problem with multicollinearity (Tabachnick and Fidell. an independent samples t-test was performed on the factors. it was counted. 2002). Open-ended responses were transcribed verbatim for each of the four questions. A principal component analysis with a varimax rotation was performed. responses were then shortened into a code that best described the response. 428 were deemed useable due to incompleteness and coaches responding.696 athletes were registered as individual competitors and 656 were registered as team competitors (i. In addition to the on-site collection. A principal components analysis using varimax rotation yielded nine . In total. Items were also examined for a conceptual match with the scale on which they loaded.IJEFM 3.60 (Tabachnick and Fidell.70 are considered acceptable measures of internal consistency (Tabachnick and Fidell. To test differences between regional responses. 528 questionnaires were retained for testing (12. Of the respondents.643 were men (61 percent) and 1. as it is robust to violations of assumption. the factor structure of the instrument was assessed through an exploratory factor analysis technique. The largest delegation of athletes was from India ðn ¼ 407Þ and the smallest was from the British Virgin Islands ðn ¼ 2Þ: Of the participants. 2001).

the food quality item cross-loaded and was removed. Competing athletes regional representation and study respondents .possible factors with eigenvalue in excess of 1.17 7. and (8) ceremonies. (3) medical.8 17. No signs of multicollinearity were found. accommodations.7 100 Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi. Tabachnick and Fidell. p . with an effect that accounted for 6. 0. Multivariate analyses of variance To test whether athletes differed in their mean response to the factors based on their regional representation. larger groups were randomly reduced to help maintain multivariate normality with a ratio of largest to smallest group recommended to be less than 1.0. 0. (2) security. Due to unequal group sizes.04 23.57 8. Univariate tests of significance demonstrated a significant effect of region for: transportation F ð5.40. 201Þ ¼ 12:09.70.7 31. F(9.44 percent of the variability in transportation.001.8 12. p . p . with 39 percent of the variability in the multivariate composite accounted for by differences in region. (5) sport venues.193) ¼ 2. 0.5 (Field. (4) accommodations. which were removed.352 Table I. A significant multivariate effect was found for region (Pillai’s Trace ¼ 0. 2001). India 19 Region Africa America Asia Caribbean Europe Oceania Total n 878 346 895 350 1.8 percent CGF records % 20. The independent samples t-test which compared on-site versus on-line respondents found no significant differences among the factors (see Table IV).446.142. Inspection of the rotated component matrix revealed two items (i.16 20. factor loadings. Further. F ð5.11 100 Response location On-site On-line 54 70 63 25 118 98 428 3 24 4 0 47 22 100 Study respondents % 10.95 20.001 an effect that accounted for 30. Items were also scanned for a conceptual match with their emergent factors and all were deemed to be adequate.008 875 4. (6) ancillary areas. 201Þ ¼ 2:589. a MANOVA was performed.05. 0. variance and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for each factor are presented in Table II and scale inter-correlations to examine the independence of the factors are reported in Table III. water and isotonic beverages) with values less than 0. Psychometric properties All factors demonstrated acceptable levels of internal consistency (Cronbach apha . 2009).7 4. The descriptive statistics. This process yielded eight factors with three or more items each: (1) transportation. (7) communication.3 22.e.

46 4.62 0.84 0.77 3. Ceremonies Cultural welcome Opening Medal M 3.67 0.77 0.69 0.83 1.91 0.72 0.59 0.60 0.83 3.72 0.83 0.80 0.92 0.82 0.96 4.98 3.03 1.87 0.91 3.75 0.22 3.48 3.13 1.02 0.80 0.12 0.80 5.94 3.01 0. Communication Handbook Contact others Wireless Administration Chef de mission Press operations 8.64 0.82 0.71 0.98 4.67 0. Ancillary areas Games ´ Internet cafe Fitness center Food availability Nutrition 7.81 0.40 0.94 4. Security Village security Venue security Presence Confidence 3. 2.34 4. Eigen values and Cronbach alpha reliability for the athletes experience survey 9.64 0.46 0.48 3.94 0.74 0. Transportation CGA travel Transfer Accreditation Village transp.92 1.27 3.76 0.33 4.82 0.2 0.50 0.80 0.76 2.82 0.88 7.73 0.69 0.67 0.14 3.69 0.67 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 0.81 Table II.70 3.87 0.71 0.76 0. 4.99 3.16 3.83 0.10 4.58 0.62 0.08 3.67 0. Factor loadings. Overall experience Experience Family/friends Overall satisfied Variance Cronbach’s alpha . Medical Anti-doping Staff confidence Accident conf.53 3.88 33.90 0.05 4.21 4.93 3.79 0.44 2.61 0.68 0.86 3.IJEFM 3.11 4.19 4.96 0.89 1 0.82 0.80 0.81 4.79 0.75 0.77 4.75 1.91 0.03 SD 0.81 4.85 0.87 0.87 0.80 0.98 3.95 0. Accommodations Rooms Housekeeping Laundry Village 5. Sport venue Facility Management Training venue Environment 6.75 0.71 0. Ease of transp.1 Factor loadings 1.22 0.06 3.71 0.69 0.91 3.88 0.81 0.84 0.46 4.97 4.72 0.80 0.95 4.89 6.78 0.02 0.48 0.20 3.

in regards to overall experience. 3. 7.44 0.51 0. over 600 responses were collected from the athletes regarding the four questions on the survey instrument.05 percent of the variability in sport venues and finally.14) and Europe (M ¼ 4. p . 0.12 3.46 0.03 2 0.56 0. 9.71 0. 2.0 7 0.35 1.47 0.50 0.45 0. Table V reports the mean scores for the factors based on region.95 0.01 3.53 4.0 6 0. experience F ð5.44). the Americas (M ¼ 3.41 1.74 1 1.89) and Oceania (M ¼ 3. respondents in Oceania (M ¼ 3.92) and Europe (M ¼ 3.60 0.92 0. respondents in Oceania (M ¼ 3.70 0.51 0.29 4.07 SD 0. sport venues F ð5. 201Þ ¼ 3:269. Caribbean (M ¼ 4.62 0.53 0.0 2 0.65 0.33 2 0. 4.51 1.47 0.0 5 0. Tukey’s post-hoc testing demonstrated that for the factor of transportation. Means (M).45 0.65 0. Means (M). 6.75 0.76). Transportation Security Medical Accommodations Sport venue Ancillary areas Communication Ceremonies Overall experience M 4.of the variability in accommodations.07 4.35 0.43 0. Asia (M ¼ 4.51 4.51 0.52 1.53 0.46 0. Open-ended responses In total. respondents from Europe (M ¼ 4. Caribbean (M ¼ 3. India 21 Note: all values p .12 0.44 0.41) and the Caribbean (M ¼ 4.46 0.42 0. Caribbean and Europe. standard deviations of on-site versus on-line respondents .72 M 3.50 0.21) had higher mean scores than Africa (M ¼ 3. 4.95 4. 7.02 3.0 8 0.08 SD 0.47 0.47 1.49 0.81 0.0 4 0.66 0.68 0.81).27 0. respondents from Oceania (M ¼ 3.35 0. 9.94 1.30 4.35 0.58 4.38 4.54 4.00 4.01 Table III. standard deviations (SD) and inter-correlation matrix of factors Onsite Factors 1.28 2 1. an effect that accounted for 8.0 Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi.13 percent of the variability in experience. 2.75 0. For the factor of accommodations.46 2 1.87 4.93).72 0.39 0.38 0.99 4.0 3 0.36 0.50 0.35 4.37 0.49 0.65 0.25).39 Sign 0.01 3.69 0.0 9 0. 0.01.17 Table IV.19 0. Asia (M ¼ 3.40) also had lower mean scores than Africa (M ¼ 3. 5. and athletes from Americas (M ¼ 3.55 0.58 0. 201Þ ¼ 1:545.03 3.04) had a lower mean score than all other regions.38 4.88) had lower mean scores than Asia (M ¼ 4. 8.01 an effect that accounted for 10.32 4.78 0.48 0.67 0.79).47 0.89) also had a lower mean score for transportation than Asia. Last. 6. Coding of the results identified a number of Factors 1.92).63 0.80) had a significantly lower mean score than respondents in Africa (M ¼ 3.08 3. Further.46 1.31 0.14). p .48 0.20 On-line SD 0. 0.36 1.41 3.79 t 1.40 0.35 1. 5.52 0. Transportation Security Medical Accommodations Sport venue Ancillary areas Communication Ceremonies Overall experience M 3.70 0.07 2 0. Results also showed that for the factor sport venues.49 3.36 0.97 4. 3. 8.

93 3. Increased merchandise options 5.49 11 8.59 0.50 24 16. Improving experience 212 3.64 0.76 4.10 0.62 0.53 0.24 3. essential services.88 3.69 4. Atmosphere in athlete village Response (%) 1.03 3. Means and standard deviations of factors based on regions Note: Group sizes reduced to help achieve multi-variate normality (e.22 4.67 0.96 3.41 0.42 0.14 4.63 0.60 Oceania (n ¼ 37) M SD 3.5) emergent categories for each question (see Table VI for the top five responses for each question).31 3.31 3.43 4.91 16 7.79 0.43 0.89 0.77 3.57 0.41 4.52 0.42 0.73 112 88.46 3.50 97 70. Trip to the Taj Mahal 5. Cleanliness of accommodations 2.58 4.82 Carib (n ¼ 25) M SD 4.88 3.39 0. Volunteer friendliness 3.65 0.24 3.IJEFM 3.00 13 9.04 3.15 3. Important aspects 137 4.08 121 57. The following section highlights the importance of infrastructure quality.51 0.59 0.52 4.82 19 13.81 4.67 17 13.89 16 11.67 0.43 0.28 15 10.59 95 65.66 0. Security presence bothersome 5.08 34 24.56 0.59 4.93 4.55 0.92 4.09 21 9.66 4.60 0.1 Transportation Security Medical Accommodations Sport Venue Ancillary Areas Communication Ceremonies Overall Experience Africa (n ¼ 37) M SD 3.60 0.59 0. Internet and cellular availability 2.38 0.75 0.51 0.56 0.25 4. logistical processes.36 3.49 3.67 0. Entertainment provided while waiting Response (%) Frequency n % 27 18.50 0. social ambiance.70 0.80 4. Wireless communications not working 4.21 4.70 15 11. Complete & clean accommodations early 3.45 4.00 29 23.13 0.50 0. Meeting athletes from different countries 2.50 4. Selected Total responses n 146 Ranking and response Characteristics 1.82 Americas (n ¼ 37) M SD 3.59 3. Opening ceremony 4.92 4.57 22 Table V. Better athlete transportation in village 4.40 4.64 0.68 0.76 Europe (n ¼ 37) M SD 4. Air-conditioned holding area 3. security arrangements.07 4.74 Asia (n ¼ 37) M SD 4. Less time waiting in holding area 4.06 4.89 4.20 3. Shorter ceremony 5.93 3.56 0.45 0.g.35 4.50 0.44 4. Hold 24 hours before competitions 2.14 4.39 0. largest to smallest group ratio of 1. and information technology on the athlete experience of mega-sport events. Increased opportunity to experience city Response (%) 1.91 34 27. Top open-ended responses based on frequency of athlete reporting 126 Note: Other data is available upon further request .44 15 10.55 15 7.91 Survey question 1.10 3. Invasive housekeeping service Response (%) 1.44 0.51 4. Opening ceremony Table VI.49 0.02 21 16.73 0.71 0.67 0.50 0.71 0.21 0. Immediate concerns 2.81 0.47 0.09 37 17.09 0.28 14 9. Becoming ill due to conditions 3.54 0.48 4.45 32 15.27 3.

” Further. One athlete wrote that “the cleanliness of the rooms and things going missing after house-keeping had visited” was a concern. but also offered the following suggestions in that the “CGF should go even further and try implementing a buddy system with athletes from different countries.” Several also expressed concerns with becoming ill due to such things as the “toilet facilities at the sporting venues”. in particular. In addition.remarks have been chosen within each of the four open-ended questions on the survey. “difficult[y] to get tickets for family and friends”. many also noted that it was “difficult to purchase SIM cards and find places to call people.” As well. medical info was last minute).” Important aspects. . causing them problems with communicating with family and friends. another athlete wrote that “at times security was too intense. or sunscreen or insect repellent. improvements to infrastructure were noted such as completing and cleaning the accommodations earlier. Another person commented that when first arriving “the state of the rooms was abysmal. many athletes were concerned about the technology arrangements within the Village not functioning well and being unreliable. in the wrong places and seemed lacking at other times.g. With respect to technology. “late timetable changes not being finalized until the night before”.” Amongst other athlete concerns noted were logistical concerns such as confusion around the location of “Anti doping”. India 23 .” Another person noted that logistical aspects could be improved and that “despite things being well organized. guides and providing transport). and the “mosquitoes carrying disease. one person wrote: “Make sure rooms are totally finished [and] plug sockets are fitted properly to the walls [and] wireless internet access functions. one athlete noted that the Village social environment was pretty good in that it promoted positive exchanges with athletes. did not instil a lot of confidence.” In reference to the athletes’ rooms. As well. which illustrate further the emergent categories for consideration towards enhancing the athlete experience. “the poison control fumes to eliminate mosquitoes”. One person wrote: Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi. it would be better (e. “family and friends are not allowed to bring in drinking water into the stands. . Immediate concerns.” Other respondents expressed concern with a lack of attendance in the stadiums. a lot of administrative things were left to the last two weeks before the games – if it can be done earlier. The opportunity to meet athletes from different countries and to mingle within the Village itself was reported to be very important for athletes and a positive aspect of the CWG. many athletes noted being frustrated with the “lack of ability to reach family members at home. security arrangements were also reported to be a concern. improving Internet and cellular availability were reported as areas where the athlete experience could be improved.” As well.000 seat stadium. “being sick and having stomach problems from the food”.” Improving experience. Of the many different responses in this category.” Other athletes noted the “lack of available merchandise to buy”.g. one person wrote that “there were only 100 people sitting in a 3. “extreme heat in the holding areas during the opening ceremony”. For example. technology arrangements and.” In addition. One athlete stated that the security presence “despite the security being very visible . “difficult travel within the Athlete’s village” and the desire to have “easier access to local tourist attractions (e.

International Zone. 2000). fitness centre) and ceremonies in particular were considered to be positive aspects. Opening ceremony. “allowing athletes to enter stadium at the very start to be involved earlier on”. despite many of these concerns and according to the findings of this study.” Finally. However. A number of athletes also commented on the “amazing opening ceremony” and the “splendour of the event. many athletes noted the importance of experiencing the local culture in India and the opportunity to travel to Delhi in particular to compete in their event. India. Leading up to the event in Delhi. “more water available”. as athletes indicated that their experience was positively impacted by the chance to meet other athletes from around the . Sitting on the floor of the arena we couldn’t see much of what was going on. or simply watch the TV screen behind us for what was going on in front or beside us. ancillary areas (e. The majority of athletes expressed positive comments in regards to the opening ceremony.IJEFM 3. Considered as producers and beneficiaries of sport (Chelladurai and Riemer. The open-ended comments also supported the CGF slogan of “the Friendly Games”.” A number of people remarked that “less time spent in the holding area” [and] “something to do whilst there” would be helpful. athletes) and how they experienced the mega-sport event of the XIX CWG in Delhi. The findings of this study demonstrated that the factors of sport venues. however.g. One person noted that the CGF should “hold the opening ceremonies two days prior to competition (or earlier in the day) so that athletes competing on day 1 can attend.1 The ability to talk to a cross-section of humanity from 71 countries and share experiences and perspectives on multiple areas of interest-all of us sharing a common bond [members of our Commonwealth]-this common bond and its significance was never previously appreciated and is a testament to the former and even current relevance and impact our collective nations have on the global world stage-of which sport is important as a catalyst for dialogue and healthy interaction.” One person noted the following: Having the athletes sitting in the stands of the stadium so they can also see and experience the ceremonies would help. the “ease of approachability” and their “availability at all times. hosting the event for the first time in a developing nation supported the mission and vision to help build the sporting capacity of Commonwealth nations.e. entertainment. Other suggestions included having a “speaker system for the athletes seated at ground level so they can hear all that is going on”. the athlete stakeholder group had an overall positive experience in Delhi. and “having a TV screen in the Athlete holding area so the athletes can see what is going on inside the stadium. Such experiences can have implications on the CGF brand (Berry. criticism and concern was expressed through various international media outlets regarding the possibilities of staging a successful CWG. 1997). capturing the athletes’ views can help inform event managers regarding some of the controllable factors outside of athletic performance. several also offered ways to improve the experience.e. CGF). relaxing with fellow athletes). Discussion The purpose of this research was to examine one primary stakeholder (i.g. which shape and impact their experiences.” The overall social atmosphere of the Athlete Village was also cited as a key aspect of the athlete experience (e. Most of us had to stand on our chairs. For the property rights holder (i. 24 Many athletes also noted the overwhelming friendliness of the Indian volunteers.

Interestingly. infrastructure such as the athlete accommodations and the service elements within such accommodations are important to cultivating brand equity (Berry. this study identified areas for future improvement. Many athletes wanted to go outside of the ‘gated athletes village environment’ but due to warnings from various CGAs and concerns related to health and safety. Specifically. respondents reported a high level of enjoyment. transportation services. The athletes also expressed a desire to experience more of the Indian culture within the city of Delhi. Communication and the logistical processes surrounding the Games are key components enhancing the contemporary athlete experience during mega-events. With regard to the factor of communication. Solberg and Preuss. Similar to most types of evaluative research. some athletes noted that the accommodations had some problems with faulty piping and wiring. 1991. As well. air conditioning. 2010).g. 2005). Hatch and Schultz. contact information and city tourism details. 2014) should consider this type of feedback to improve upon athlete experiences (Chappelet and Bayle. 2010). some athletes noted problems with the hot weather within the holding area of the tunnel leading into the main stadium and recommended additional water stations. In addition. a deeper understanding of these areas can assist the CGF in co-creating the brand with their athletes to ensure that “the Friendly Games” is a felt experience (c. umbrellas). Other suggestions for improving the Athletes’ event experiences in Delhi.f. many decided not to partake in additional travel experiences.f. 2002). ways to increase air-flow (e. Glasgow. and reduction of wait times. Consequently. fans. Solberg and Preuss (2007) argued that exogenous events such as the threat of terrorism or health concerns could be detrimental to tourism impact. Gregory. Hence. Although athletes were happy with the cultural entertainment provided in the village. Kowalczyk and Pawlish.e. The open-ended comments reflected athletes’ concerns with untidy room conditions. the athletes reported that two factors – accommodations and communications – could be improved. mingle in the social environment of the Athletes Village. Concomitantly. This may have had an impact on the tourism legacy of the XIX Games. There was evidence in this study that the fear of exogenous events did play a role in athletes not leaving the protected and secure area of the village and their sporting venues. personal belongings going missing and insufficient cleaning schedules. the strategic management in future events of CWG host countries (i. the desire to see more of the actual city and experience the “real culture” was clear. For example. These findings highlight the notion that primary and secondary structures (c. 2007) are important in shaping athletes’ experiences. 2004. With regard to the opening ceremonies. these findings may shape the meaning and reputation behind the CWG brand (Aaker. Athlete feedback indicated that accommodation concerns surrounding housekeeping. laundry services and the state of the rooms overall were slightly above satisfactory. problems surrounding the wireless technology and difficulty contacting people in particular were evident in this study. Many athletes reported dissatisfaction with the Internet and Cellular service capability in the village. further inspection of the open-ended comments revealed some ways to improve upon the experience. A number of athletes also noted that they did not receive the Athletes Handbook which was a tool that outlined a variety of information for the athletes regarding sport schedules. as athletes contribute to the economic activity of sport events (Kaplanidou and Vogt. India 25 . and experience the hospitality and friendliness of the Indian volunteers.Commonwealth. 2000).

g. village security). increased merchandising options (e.1 26 ceremonies included holding them further in advance of athletic competition.g. in general. These additional services.g. sponsors.g. Hence. further exploration into regional differences is needed with a larger sample size to gain a deeper appreciation of the cultural differences and how they shape the athlete experience. much of what they can control will significantly influence multiple stakeholders (e. Conclusion Property holders and organizing committees of mega-sport events can only control so much of the environment surrounding the competitions. access to wireless internet within the Village and making the various ceremonies (e. The findings also noted significant differences based on regional experiences. It was clear that for this cohort of athletes. which fall outside the actual sporting competition. 2010). or that they experienced service problems in addition to those of other regional athletes. In addition to these recommended changes. presence. Some athletes reported that the overwhelming presence of security caused anxiety and feelings of discomfort. In general. pins. these factors could be improved for future Games. sport venues). it is possible that the towers in which athletes from Oceania were staying had specific problems in addition to those of other region’s towers. government) including the athletes. ensuring they have a good experience is critical to the success of building the CGF brand and reputation as well as inculcating positive images of the host country and nation upon the athletes’ return home. In regards to accommodation. improving sight-lines to the main stage and having other types of entertainment for the athletes while they wait to march into the stadium. Despite the DOC’s best efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment (to which . accommodations. in the open-ended questions many athletes noted that it detracted from their enjoyment of the Games. and increased experiences with the local culture outside the athletes’ village.g. Leading up to the XIX Games in Delhi. For mega-sport events like the CWG. athletes also suggested increased transportation availability in and around the athletes village. the athletes are key ambassadors of the brand and play a fundamental role in delivering the entertainment. the diversity and richness of the host culture can only be truly experienced by providing other opportunities to engage with citizens. Caution should be taken when generalizing regional differences found in this study. For example. respondents from Oceania rated many factors lower than respondents from other regions (e. This may be a key driver in athlete spending contributing a part of the tourism legacy of the mega-event. opening. can serve to motivate an athlete to compete (Kaplanidou and Vogt. despite the high mean scores for the factor of security (e.IJEFM 3. For future candidate and host cities of mega-sport events. transportation. apparel. Last. international media expressed concerns for participants’ health and safety. bags. considering ways to offer athletes an enhanced cultural experience outside of the Athletes Village. However. areas for athletes to trade country delegation pins. medal) more athlete focussed would likely improve their overall experience. in this study many athletes noted similar concerns. It is also plausible that hosting the CWG in Melbourne in 2006 may have also shaped expectations for these athletes going into the XIX Games (particularly those athletes from Australia). local souvenirs). It would be interesting to examine such phenomena in future games with the athlete delegation from the previous host country. While various efforts to showcase the local culture are appreciated by the athletes. media.

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