The role of advocacy organisations for ethical mega sport events

David McGillivray*, Joerg Koenigstorfer, Jason N. Bocarro, Michael B. Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Non-governmental organisations have sought to enshrine progressive and ethical principles, protocols, and practices into governance arrangements for mega sport events. Evidence on whether, and how, they influence awarding bodies and events for the better, however, is scarce. Two research questions guided the present research: What role human rights advocacy organisations play at different stages of the event lifecycle? What is the nature of relationships between advocacy organisations and event awarding bodies to ensure that human rights are effectively embedded into decision-making processes? The authors conducted interviews with representatives from three advocacy organisations campaigning for human rights, two event awarding bodies and two intermediary organisations. A thematic analysis revealed four central themes: accepting responsibility for human rights; considering events as human-rights leveraging opportunity; facilitating within-coalition balance and independence of advocacy organisations; and implementing good governance and structural change. The findings contribute to the understanding of advocacy organisations within the sport event context by identifying relevant roles and relationships (including success factors and burdens on human rights).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1955531
Pages (from-to)234-253
Number of pages20
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number2
Early online date31 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • human rights
  • United Nations
  • stakeholder
  • legacy
  • sustainability


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