For the love of 'sportswashing'; LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia's push for legitimacy in elite sport

DAVIS, Leon, PLUMLEY, Dan and WILSON, Rob (2023). For the love of 'sportswashing'; LIV Golf and Saudi Arabia's push for legitimacy in elite sport. Managing Sport and Leisure.

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Rationale: The purpose of this article is to provide an understanding of the emergence of LIV Golf, a new tour in the sport of professional golf, funded by finances from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth, the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Approach: Constructed through a range of theoretical concepts and media information, this article explains the concept and format of LIV Golf, traced through the economic structures of professional team sports, the emergence of breakaway competitions and the use of sport to leverage and legitimise what has been termed as a ‘soft power’ approach. Findings: This article explores the wider strategy of the PIF in relation to LIV Golf with consideration of Saudi Arabia’s quest for legitimacy on the global sporting stage. We explore how the LIV tour has brought the concept of sportswashing into sharp focus, whilst fracturing men’s professional golf and becoming a threat to the dominant PGA TOUR. We provide insights into what this might mean for golf and other sports in the future. Research Contribution: This article provides new insight into how a government is using the sports faction of its entity to legitimise itself in a global sport. We also discuss the concept of sportswashing, which has been under researched in academic studies.

Item Type: Article
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2023 09:33
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 17:01

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