Brand messages that influence the sport tourism experience: the case of South Africa

Janice Hemmonsbey, Tembi Maloney Tichaawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper builds on the premise of the destination branding theory regarding the influence of destination brand associations on the sport tourism experience. The paper presents an empirical analysis of perceived brand messages of South Africa from the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and major event attendees. Data collected from 403 respondents and in-depth interviews conducted with 24 key industry stakeholders of sport events and destination branding organizations, revealed that South Africa is a competitive destination for sport event hosting as the destination annually attracts a significant number of international sport tourists. Destination brand images that were auspiciously perceived are the destinations’ favourable climate, the currency exchange rate, and the natural landscape/setting. Other destination branding features such as improving safety aspects and more visible on-site branding are contingent on investment and leveraging strategies from both public and private entities. The paper theoretically contributes to the destination branding theory by focusing on the application of strategic constructs of co-branding in a unique, sport tourism environment. Accordingly, it advocates stakeholders to adopt useful approaches to augment long-term brand positioning strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-194
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Destination branding
  • South Africa
  • brand messages
  • major sport events
  • sport tourism experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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