Inspirational effects of sports events on spectators subject of guest lecture

When the pandemic cancelled major sports events, industry professionals had an opportunity to reflect on how spectators respond to these events and why.

One of these audience responses is a phenomenon known as the “demonstration effect,” which refers to the capacity for sports events or athletes to inspire spectators to participate in sport and physical activity.

Recent research by Luke Potwarka, Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Health, extends beyond whether this effect exists and aims to discover social and environmental conditions and mechanisms that might amplify the likelihood of demonstration effects.

He will present his findings Friday, March 25 at a special Goodman Luncheon Speaker Series event co-hosted with Brock’s Department of Sport Management in his talk, “In Search of Inspiration: A Realist Synthesis Approach to Understanding Demonstration Effects.”

Potwarka is also the Founder and Director of the Spectator Experience and Technology Laboratory at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on consumer behaviour related to sports events, specifically how they can have positive implications on individuals and organizations in host communities.

The Goodman speaker series provides Goodman faculty, staff and students with an informal opportunity to listen and discuss recent advances in research, teaching and practices with business colleagues virtually.

Potwarka’s talk will take place Friday, March 25 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Master of Science students are welcome to attend in person at TH259 and all other attendees can RSVP to receive a link to the session livestream by emailing Crystal Li at

Read more stories in: Applied Health Sciences, Briefs, Business
Tagged with: , , , , , ,