UC Hosts 2023 Asia-Pacific Sport Industry Symposium

12 May 2023

Industry, academics and students came together to share insights and make valuable connections.

  • 2023 Asia-Pacific Sport Industry Symposium

On May 6th, the University of Canterbury hosted the 2023 Asia-Pacific Sport Industry Symposium. The half-day symposium, chaired by Dr. Chris Chen, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, aimed to discuss the challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 has brought to the sports industry and to explore potential collaborations between different regions and academic practitioners. 

The event was attended by four groups, including a delegation team from China, local guests from the sports industry in New Zealand, academics from the UC Business School and UC Health, and event students from the University of Canterbury. It provided a platform for conversation and communication between governors in the sports industry, sport professionals, and academics.

One of the keynote speakers, Yang Xuedong, the Director of the Sport Economy Department, General Administration of Sport of China, gave an insightful talk on the Development and Opportunities of China's Outdoor Sports Industry. She invited sport organisations and enterprises from New Zealand to China for collaborations to deepen exchanges and cooperation with developed countries in the sports industry, in particular outdoor sports.

Another keynote was delivered by Grace Jones, Head of Marketing at Crusaders, and Grant Keenan, International Academy Manager at Crusaders. They shared their work on Crusaders' culture building and internationalisation via their newly introduced international academy program. This was followed by the CEO of Canterbury Rugby Football Union, Mr. Tony Smail, sharing his work on developing rugby as a sport in the Canterbury region.

Dr. Chris Chen and Dr. Nick Maitland from the University of Canterbury also shared their work on sport marketing and management-related research and teaching, including a study on residents’ perception of mega-events and their relation to wellbeing post-COVID in the case of Beijing Winter Olympics. They also spoke about the recently renamed Bachelor of Sports degree at UC.

Pavel Castka, Associate Dean (Research) of UC Business School, emphasized the potential of international collaborations between New Zealand and China and pointed out that sport has the power to bring people together in his welcome speech for this symposium.

The event was well supported by UC Business School outreach team and the Department of Marketing, Management, & Tourism. A group of student volunteers taking MKTG340 and MBUS627 Event Management and Marketing classes attended the event as a work-integrated learning opportunity and practiced their skills developed from their in-class learning, from logistics, catering and event planning, to time and project management.

The symposium was successful in fostering communication and exchange between different regions and academic practitioners in the sports industry. One Chinese delegate shared, “The successful cases in New Zealand may provide useful references to our future work.”

The event demonstrated the potential for international collaborations to drive the growth and development of the sports industry, particularly in the post-COVID era.

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