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Sport event and destination co-branding: Analysis of social media sentiment in an international, professional sport event crisis
Tourism Management Perspectives  (IF6.586),  Pub Date : 2021-07-02, DOI: 10.1016/j.tmp.2021.100848
Ashlee Morgan, Violetta Wilk, Ruth Sibson, Gregory Willson

This study investigates the sentiment of social media user-generated content (UGC) when an international, professional sport event is cancelled due to a crisis. The purpose is to provide insight into the brand implications for both the sport event and the host destination. From a co-branding perspective this paper analyses the cancellation of the 2018 Margaret River Pro surfing event. Leximancer analysis of 5684 Twitter posts across three time periods (pre, during, post crisis) over a calendar year found that sentiment shifted, and negative sentiment was more closely aligned to the destination than the event. This exploratory study seeks to unpack some of the complexities of event and destination co-branding and crisis management, presenting implications for industry and academia. In doing so, the study contributes to the paucity of scholarly knowledge examining real-time social media users' response to a crisis in a sport event tourism context.