Title

The power of sport to unite a nation: the social value of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2013

Department

Human Performance and Recreation

Abstract

For a number of years, economists have questioned the aggregate economic value of mega sporting events, arguing that fiduciary benefits rarely materialize for host cities and/or nations. In response, governments have made stronger claims about social impacts derived from such events [e.g., Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, Olympic Games, etc.]. Applying social identity and social capital theories, we examined the influence of national identity on social capital and tested whether the 2010 FIFA World Cup positively influenced the national identity of South African residents. Residents (N=3769) from five World Cup host cities in South Africa were sampled before and after the event, using a pre-experimental design consisting of a one-group pretest-posttest protocol (O-X-O). The results demonstrated that: (1) national identity was a statistically significant (albeit modest) predictor of social capital, and (2) the World Cup minimally influenced the varying components of resident national identity, both negative and positive.

Publication Title

EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY

Volume

13

Issue

4

First Page

450

Last Page

471

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