Call for Papers | “Sports and Urban Development: Critical Issues” | Special issue of International Journal of Sport Marketing & Sponsorship. Call ends June 1, 2020


With today’s globalized economy, geographical and cultural boundaries are continuously being transcended. Contemporary approaches to urban development recognize sport’s potential to revitalize urban environments, transform communities, advance public infrastructure, improve destination image, enrich quality of life for local residents, promote active lifestyles, enhance cohesion and sense of community, and stimulate economic development. The impact of sports on urban development is a widely discussed topic amongst government officials, professionals, and researchers. In the academic field of sport management, many studies have investigated events and stadiums and their social, economic, and environmental impacts on host communities. However, a majority of the researchers have not pursued these topics from broad perspectives of urban development. There is a general lack of summative and systematic analyses.

This IJSMS special issue is intended to build on the synergy and momentum created during a recent international conference on sports and urban development held in Xiamen, China. The aim of the special issue is to advance interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship between sports and urban development. This will be achieved by systemically inquiring and advancing theoretical underpinnings, identifying and promoting best practices, recognizing critical hindrance and developing problem-solving mechanism, garnering empirical evidence for teaching and learning, and stimulating and establishing foundations for continued research investigations. To attain this aim, scholars and practitioners with keen interest and specialized expertise in one or more related topic areas are invited and welcome to submit manuscripts. Diverse, holistic, and interdisciplinary perspectives of critical analyses are encouraged.

While it is very necessary to understand the theoretical foundations, establish a strong theoretical framework for empirical studies, and articulate conceptual and relational mechanism for research generalization, selecting those manuscripts with well-conceived and genuinely applicable implications for urban planning, development, and reconstruction through sport programs and events is of equal priority. Consistent with the aims and objectives of IJSMS, the special issue seeks contributions that critically examine, debate, and shed light on broad perspectives of sports and urban development. The journal’s editorial board is especially interested in empirical, theoretical, critical, and case studies focusing on a wide spectrum of topics and issues. Comprehensive reviews, position papers, and case analysis from industrial experts are welcome. The research topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. How to develop a sport vision and translate the vision into strategies and action plans for sustainable urban development?
    2. What and how are the key catalytic agents that sports (i.e., initiatives, programs, event bidding, event staging, or sustainable actions) can contribute to the transformation of cities and communities?
    3. Identifying or developing theoretical framework and practical procedures for using sports to revitalize urban environment.
    4. What are the critical issues associated with the link between sports and public infrastructure?
    5. How to project and elevate destination image for tourism and business through sport initiatives, programs, and/or events?
    6. How to enrich residential quality of life and nurturing an active lifestyle through sports?
    7. How to enhance societal harmony and solidarity through sport programming?
    8. How to promote inter-organizational collaborations and work efficiency through sports?
    9. How to leverage sport legacy program for mega, large, medium, small, or hallmark sport events for urban community development and sustainability?
    10. Analyzing and integrating the functions of sports for development from social, cultural, economic, and environmental perspectives.
    11. Identifying and promoting best practices of using sports for urban development.
    12. Recognizing critical hindrance and developing problem-solving mechanism.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be made through the online submissions system. Before submitting authors should consult the journal author guidelines available at When submitting please select this special issue from the drop down menu provided. The co-editors for the special issue are keen to discuss and advise on proposed research projects; however, there is no guarantee of publication.

Manuscripts should be submitted via the IJSMS manuscript submission system no later than June 1, 2020. All questions about this special issue can be directed to the co-editors of this special issue:

Dr. James J. Zhang, Professor
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602, USA
Tel. 01-706-542-4420
Dr. Geoff Dickson, Professor
La Trobe University
Melbourne, Victoria 3086, Australia
Tel. +613 9479 1343 | M: +61 (0)475776029
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