The emergence of a national sport event policy in Denmark


Christian Tolstrup Jensen
Department of Sport Sciences, Malmö University

This paper analyses the development of the sport event policy in the case of Denmark, a small, Western country with no mega sport event hosting experience. Based on an analysis of archival documents, media coverage and interviews with representatives of sport federations, municipalities, and the organisations carrying out the event policy, the paper traces the start of the policy to 1994 when the Danish sport confederation (DIF) founded Idrætsfonden Danmark (The Sports Foundation Denmark) supported by among others the Danish ministry of culture. Drawing on the sociology of translation, the paper shows how the policy slowly managed to showcase (‘problematise’) events as suitable investments for both sport organisations, municipalities and the state. The interest of the state showed in particular as the Ministry of culture increased its funding temporarily in 2007 and permanently in 2014. Finally, the paper shows how this development and national recognition is reflected in the policy’s impact on the stakeholders, which changes from an initial one-way form of financial support and advice related to a specific event to a freer form, a “triangle” in which all corners (the policy, the sport federations, and the municipalities) share the responsibly for developing Denmark as a host of international sport events.

Click here to read this peer reviewed article in Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, Vol. 15, 2024

CHRISTIAN TOLSTRUP JENSEN, Ph.D., is a lecturer in sport management at Malmö University. With a background in history and cultural studies, his research focuses on Nordic sport history, sport events and the scout movement.


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