Aligning Destination Image, Sport Event Image and Image Fit: An Exploration of the Interrelationship between Cognitive and Affective Images among Spectators of Dutch Running Events
Bennekom, L. van
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Existing literature suggests that there is a relationship between the image of a destination and its sport events and that their common image associations lead to an image fit. This study aims to empirically explore the destination image, sport event image and the image fit, dividing them in cognitive and affective components, among spectators of sport events. Also, the interrelationships between these images are studied to fully grasp the dynamic relationship between event image and destination image. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among spectators (n=140) of three running events held in three different cities in the Netherlands. The findings indicate that there is a moderate strong interrelationship between the images of a destination and its sport event, which leads to a positive cognitive and affective image fit. Policymakers should, therefore, focus on organizing sport events that match the positive characteristics of the destination in order to create more positive sport event images, as destination images and sport event images are not formed separately from each other.