Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 2 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

GAPS and Games partners: Legacy of goodwill

How do partners of major sport events create a legacy of goodwill and why is this important? Read what Dr Alana Thomson has to say about this.

What is goodwill and why is it important?

If we think about an organisation or a company, goodwill is understood as being the positive reputation it holds. Goodwill is built up over time and needs good staff, stakeholder relationships and community involvement. While you can’t touch or see goodwill (ie, it is intangible), it is an asset that contributes to the overall value of an organisation.

Goodwill is a key ingredient for organisations to have continued success over the long-term and is important for opening up future opportunities. Take, for example a sport sponsorship scenario. The research tells us that the short-term outcomes, such as consumers buying more of a sponsor’s product or service, are often limited1. Instead, the goodwill (i.e. the positive connections consumers make between the sponsor and the event or cause) that is created for the sponsor over the long-term is where we see the value of sports sponsorship. So, it is this legacy of goodwill that should be the focus and the goal.

Let’s now consider the layers of goodwill built up through the GAPS Programme that has been our focus this week.

Goodwill built between University, GC2018 and broader Games movement

The GAPS Programme, although not a part of the partnership agreement between Griffith University and GC2018 Commonwealth Games, certainly has a strong connection to the official partnership and greatly contributed to building a legacy of goodwill for Griffith University,
the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the broader Games movement.

How has it done this? A legacy of goodwill has been built by the GAPS Programme as it has:

  • shared with us the stories and sporting achievements of all those involved in the GAPS Programme, which has had an important sport and social impact.

  • contributed to the overall value of Griffith University’s partnership with the Games.

For Griffith University, the stories of GAPS help to demonstrate that the values of the University, GC2018 Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is more than just 11 days of sport, it is about contributing to social equity and encouraging people from all walks of life to strive towards remarkable outcomes in and through sport.

Goodwill built between University and its key stakeholders

The GAPS initiative also has the potential to contribute to goodwill with key stakeholders of the University outside of the formal partnerships. With the Australian higher education system moving towards a greater emphasis on the social impact of research and employability outcomes for students, an initiative such as GAPS offers opportunities for sport scientists and researchers to put their studies into practice, as well as offering students real-world learning experiences through their involvement in the programme.

In addition, we know there are likely to be positive effects on employee engagement with organisations engaging in sport sponsorship activities2. The research has shown that where initiatives such as GAPS are effectively promoted to employees, they are more likely to support an organisation and its activities and are also more likely to contribute more to their organisations2.

Goodwill built between individuals involved with GAPS

Not only do athletes have the potential to act as role models to inspire engagement with sport, as we discussed in an earlier section, but there is also the potential for athletes to showcase and demonstrate the kind of peaceful togetherness and international unity through their social interactions and cultural exchanges, as valued by the Commonwealth Games movement.

The GAPS initiative represents an extension of the Commonwealth Games experience for the participating Oceania athletes. For these guys, the relationship building and cultural exchanges already began before the Games, between each other, as well as between the GAPS staff and the Oceania athletes.

Your task

Do you know of any examples in sport where a legacy of goodwill has been built? If yes, share these with us in the comments below.


  1. Hermann J.L, Kacha M, Derbaix C. “I support your team, support me in turn!”: The driving role of consumers’ affiliation with the sponsored entity in explaining behavioural effects of sport sponsorship leveraging activities. Journal of Business Research. 2016;69(2):604-612.

  2. Khan A, Stanton J, Rahman S. Employee’s attitudes towards the sponsorship activity of their employer and links to their organisational citizenship behaviours. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. 2013;14(4):20-41.

This article is from the free online

Major Sport Events: Winning Through Diversity and Inclusion

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now