Is prioritisation of funding in elite sport effective? An analysis of the investment strategies in 16 countries

Posted: Wed, 05 Sep 2018 22:42

Is prioritisation of funding in elite sport effective? An analysis of the investment strategies in 16 countries

Research question: This paper explores the extent to which nations prioritise elite sport funding; whether such nations are more successful than those whose funding is more diversified; and, if the sports that receive the most funding are also the most successful.

Results and findings: Generally, all sample nations are prioritisers. Nations with smaller total elite sport budgets tended to prioritise more. There is a slight negative association between the distribution of funding within a country and subsequent success, indicating that the sample countries that prioritise more tended to be less successful. Sample nations that diversify their funding more, are found to be successful in a wider range of sports. In addition, the data illustrated only low allocative efficiency for some nations.

Implications: The study produced ambiguous conclusions that prioritisation as a deliberate strategic choice is an efficient way to invest funding. The findings have important implications for high-performance managers and suggest that a more diverse resource allocation policy may help to avoid unintended negative consequences.

Tags: Funding, Olympics, Physical Activity, Sport, Uksport, sport policy