About the Sport Laboratories

Greek Sport

Innovative Research Initiatives in Sport Events (i-RISE) 

Given the increase in the number of sport events hosted by communities, i-RISE is a research group that aims to create a central hub that studies the business of sport events in the state of Florida and internationally. The i-RISE research group was introduced by Dr. Kaplanidou in 2013 and it aims to assist the sport event industry through research and consultation.  Past research efforts have been support by the International Olympic Committee and regional sport and tourism organizations. Current research efforts are supported by Qatar University, Qatar and aim to examine the perceived legacy of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

i-RISE Research Emphasis

Organize, plan and execute research that focuses on the demand and supply side of sport event business

♦  Demand Side

    • Behaviors of sport event spectators, participants
    • Perceived sport event economic impacts
    • Perceived sport event social and psychological impacts

♦  Supply Side

    • Sponsorship activation evaluation
    • Business networking legacies

i-RISE Research Tools 

  • Web surveys
  • Paper and pencil surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Face-to-face interviews

i-RISE Deliverables

  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Technical reports
  • Presentations
  • Predictive models of sport event consumer behaviors

Laboratory for Athlete & Athletics Development & Research (LAADR)

The rapidly growing and evolving amateur sport industry in the United States has experienced a great deal of success but also continues to suffer from a general lack of integration, informed decision making, and development (Farrey, 2013). The Laboratory for Athlete and Athletics Development and Research (LAADR) aims to address these knowledge gaps by providing scholars and athletics industry practitioners with the knowledge required to effectively develop amateur sports and athletes.

The LAADR relies on two major pillars of research, training and outreach to achieve its mission:

Development of Athletes

  • Youth and college athlete human development through sports science
  • Youth and collegiate athlete well-being and success away from and after sport, including career development, life transitions, and value creation.

Development of Athletics

  • Sport business principles that enable the capacity of sports properties that serve amateur athletes to run efficient, ethical, and sustainable programs
  • Sport management and administration knowledge and principles to create a more holistic and inclusive amateur sport environment for all.

The major goals of the LAADR are:

  1. Attract interdisciplinary research teams to collaborate on research specific to amateur athletes and athletics organizations.
  2. Support academic enrichment of the university community through technical reports, database development and warehousing, data dissemination, symposiums, seminars, conferences, lectures, and academic courses pertinent to athletics administration and development.
  3. Serve as the preeminent scholarly laboratory for the management, development, and dissemination of information related to developing and managing amateur sports and athletes.
  4. Provide UF students and faculty with experiential research and learning activities through the work of the laboratory.


Sport Policy and Research Collaborative (SPARC)

SPARC is an interdisciplinary research collaborative within the Sport Management Program in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida. The purpose of SPARC is to produce relevant and timely research that addresses sport as a facilitator of the physical, social, and emotional health of individuals, and the economic health of communities.  SPARC is comprised of sport management faculty within the UF Sport Management Program, as well as research and policy experts serving as associate members from both within and external to the University of Florida. The collaborative serves to bring together the talents of our faculty and bring cohesion to our individual research efforts and successes. Dr. J.O. Spengler serves as the Director of SPARC, and Dr. Michael Sagas provides support and oversight to the collaborative.

SPARC is the official research partner of the Aspen Institute’s Project PlayProject Play is a two-year project that will lay the foundation for the nation to get and keep more children active in sports, as a means of encouraging habits that promote health, fitness and well-being into adulthood. Dr. Spengler serves on the Project Advisory Committee. Project Play connects the silos among sport, policy, philanthropy, academic, media and other groups. As the official research partner of Project Play, SPARC supports the Project by identifying, aggregating and packaging the best available research on given topics for the national summit, program roundtables, and a national sports activity plan at the conclusion of the two-year project.