Valuing elite sport success using the contingent valuation method: A transnational study

Hiroaki Funahashi*, Simon Shibli, Popi Sotiriadou, Jarmo Mäkinen, Bake Dijk, Veerle De Bosscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents an application of the contingent valuation method for valuing medal winning success on a transnational basis to test whether more medals won equates to more utility. To achieve this aim, a research project was set up in five countries: Belgium, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Respondents were asked to state their willingness to pay to avoid a large-scale reduction in government funding for elite sport, resulting in a 50% reduction in medals won at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Results show that willingness to pay for avoiding reduced medal winning performance differs significantly between countries with the more successful countries reporting higher willingness to pay values than the relatively less successful countries. This finding indicates that more medals won appears to be linked with more utility. The validity tests on the regression models were generally consistent with the theoretical expectations. Implications are discussed in terms of how governments can promote elite sport development while being conscious of the public's acceptability of such investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-562
Number of pages15
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun


  • Olympic success
  • international comparison
  • monetary value
  • welfare economics
  • willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing


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