Dr Richard Wright

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Senior Lecturer

Email: richard.wright@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8103-782X

Links to relevant web pages:

Academic appointments:

  • Senior Lecturer - Sports Management, Auckland University of Technology (2017 - ongoing)
  • Programme Leader - Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in Sport and Exercise, AUT (2015 - 2018)
  • Lecturer - Sport Management, AUT University (2012 - 2017)
  • Programme Leader - MSc Sports Event Management & BA (Hons) Sports Event Management, Leeds Metropolitan University (2010 - 2011)
  • Lecturer - Sports Event Management, Leeds Metropolitan University (2009 - 2011)
  • Assistant Lecturer, University of Otago (2007 - 2009)


  • PhD, University of Otago
  • Master of Tourism, University of Otago
  • Bachelors of Arts (Hons) Tourism Management, University of Brighton
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Leeds Metropolitan University


Dr Richard Wright is a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Sport Leadership and Management. He is a member of the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) and the AUT Centre of Active Ageing (ACAA). Dr Wright sits on the board of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies and was Chair of the 2016 Sports Management of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ) Conference. He is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, and a regular reviewer for a number of sport, event, tourism and leisure journals, within which he has also published his own interdisciplinary research. Off-campus, he has accrued over a decade worth of valuable industry experience in the UK and New Zealand and has been Chairman of the North Shore Table Tennis Association since 2016.

Research interests:

Sports Event Management
Sport Development / Sports for Development
Sports Tourism & Serious Leisure
Sports Entrepreneurship
Active Ageing
Creative Analytical Practice (Autoethnography, Creative Non-Fiction, Ethnodrama)

Teaching summary:

Sports Event Management
Sports Entrepreneurship & Innovative Planning

Fields of research:

  • Sport and Leisure Management
  • Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Wright, R. K. (2020). ‘If you build it … ’: Exploring occupational devotion within an academic field of dreams. Annals of Leisure Research. doi:10.1080/11745398.2020.1778495

  • Wright, R. K., Doyle, J., & Ali, H. (2020). “It’s not just cricket”—exploring the expectations and experiences of the connoisseur sport tourist. German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research. doi:10.1007/s12662-020-00660-z

  • Wright, R. K. (2019). ‘Que será, será!’: Creative analytical practice within the critical sports event tourism discourse. Tourism Geographies. doi:10.1080/14616688.2019.1648542

  • Wright, R. K. (2019). ‘All the lonely people’: Embracing autoethnographic creative analytical practice at the 2017 World Masters Games. Annals of Leisure Research, 22(3), 342-361. doi:10.1080/11745398.2018.1503087

  • Wright, R. K. (2018). Event bidding, politics, persuasion and resistance. Annals of Leisure Research, 21(5). doi:10.1080/11745398.2018.1452620

  • Wright, R. K. (2018). ‘Doing it for Dot’: exploring active ageing sport tourism experiences through the medium of creative analytical practice. Journal of Sport and Tourism, 22(2). doi:10.1080/14775085.2018.1466349

  • Wright, R. K. (2018). Setting them up to fail: The challenge of employing project-based learning within a higher education environment. Event Management, 22(1). doi:10.3727/152599517X15111988554026

  • Wright, R. (2017). Book review: Leisure, sport and tourism, politics, policy and planning, by Anthony James Veal, 4th edition. Sport Management Review. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2017.08.010

  • Gammon, S., Ramshaw, G., & Wright, R. (2017). Theory in sport tourism: Some critical reflections. Journal of Sport & Tourism, (2). doi:10.1080/14775085.2017.1319515

  • Wright, R. K. (2017). "Looking back (and forth)": Acknowledging the people who make personal narratives plausible. Sport Management Review, 20(1). doi:10.1016/j.smr.2016.11.004

  • Wright, R. (2015). Book review: Tourism and cricket: Travels to the boundary, edited by Tom Baum and Richard Butler. Journal of Tourism History, 6(2-3). doi:10.1080/1755182X.2015.1005886

  • Wright, R. K. (2012). Book review: Sports facility management: Organising events and mitigating risks, by Robin Ammon Jr., Richard M. Southall and Mark S. Nagel, 2nd edition. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 4(3). doi:10.1080/19407963.2011.613234

  • Wright, R., & Hind, D. (2011). International Field Trips – the Tourism & Entertainment Management field trip to The Gambia, West Africa. The Assessment, Learning and Teaching Journal, 11(Summer). Retrieved from http://repository-intralibrary.leedsmet.ac.uk/

  • Thompson, A., Lovelock, B., Reis, A., Kjelsberg, M., Sides, G., Wright, R., & Jellum, C. (2009). ‘Traditional livelihoods, conservation and recreation: Reflections on managing visitation in New Zealand conservation parks’, .. Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 4(4). Retrieved from http://www.chios.aegean.gr/tourism/vol4no4.pdf

  • Wright, R. K. (2007). Planning for the Great Unknown: The Challenge of Promoting Spectator-driven Sports Event Tourism. International Journal of Tourism Research, 9(5). doi:10.1002/jtr.640

Book chapters

  • Wright, R. K., & Wiersma, C. (2020). ‘It pays to play’: The emergence of innovative planning, occupational devotion, and lifestyle entrepreneurship in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In V. Ratten (Ed.), Sport entrepreneurship and public policy: Building a new approach to policy-making for sport (pp. 23-39). Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-29458-8_3

  • Wright, R. (2019). Walking the way of Saint James: Spiritual journeys to the cathedrals of sport. In R. Dowson, J. Yaqub, & R. Raj (Eds.), Spiritual and religious tourism: Motivations and management (pp. 174-181). Wallingsford, UK: CABI. doi:10.1079/9781786394163.0000

  • Wright, R., & Kobayashi, K. (2018). New Zealand. In K. Hallman, & S. Fairley (Eds.), Sports volunteers around the globe: Meaning and understanding of volunteering and its societal impact (pp. 151-164). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-02354-6

  • Wright, R. (2015). Case study: Leveraging of legacy: Stag World Veteran Table Tennis Championships 2014. In R. Dowson, & D. Bassett (Eds.), Event planning and management: A practical handbook for PR and event professionals (pp. 30-34). London, UK: KoganPage.

  • Wright, R. (2013). Personal mobility and professional movements: Monitoring the motives of modern sports migrants. In B. Garrod, & A. Fyall (Eds.), Contemporary cases in sport: Volume 1 (pp. 221-255). Woodeaton, Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Limited. Retrieved from http://www.goodfellowpublishers.com/

  • Wright, R. K. (2011). “Been there, done that”: Embracing our post-trip experiential recollections through the social construction and subjective consumption of personal narratives. In M. Morgan, P. Lugosi, & B. Ritchie (Eds.), The Tourism and Leisure Experience: Consumer and Managerial Perspectives (pp. 117-136). Bristol, UK: Channel Vire Publications. Retrieved from http://www.multilingual-matters.com/

  • Morgan, M., & Wright, R. (2008). Elite sports tours: special events with special challenges. In J. Ali-Knight, M. Robertson, A. Fyall, & A. Ladkins (Eds.), International Perspectives of Festivals and Events. Oxon: Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/

  • Wright, R., Higham,, J. E. S., & Mitchell, R. D. (2007). Sport, nostalgia and tourism planning: The case of the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. In S. Gammon, & G. Ramshaw (Eds.), Heritage, Sport and Tourism
    Sporting Pasts – Tourist Futures
    . UK: Routledge.

Conference contributions

  • Hallmann, K., Wright, R., & Morellato, M. (2019). Volunteering as way of life in New Zealand: Volunteering as serious leisure?. In The Diversity of Leisure: Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies (ANZALS) 14th Biennial Conference 10-13 December 2019 Queenstown, New Zealand (pp. 64). Queenstown. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/anzals2019/programme/index.html

  • Hallmann, K., Wright, R. K., & Morellato, M. (2019). Social legacies from sport volunteering in Auckland: Interrelationships of serious leisure, social capital, and perceived volunteer’s happiness. In SMAANZ 2019 Book of Abstracts (pp. 34). Christchurch.

  • Ajiee, R., Wright, R., & Dickson, G. (2018). Community Sport as a method for migrant inclusion. In 2018 Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference. Adelaide: Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand. Retrieved from http://smaanz.org/conference/smaanz-conference-history/

  • Wright, R., MaCallum, K., Kobayashi, K., & Coetzee, W. (2018). ‘Taming Lions in the Land of the Long White Cloud’: exploring the legacies and lessons learned from hosting two ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sport tourism experiences. In 2018 Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference. Adelaide: Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand. Retrieved from http://smaanz.org/conference/smaanz-conference-history/

  • Wright, R., & Ali, H. (2018). It’s not just cricket”: exploring cricket spectator engagement, expectations and experiences in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In 2018 Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference. Adelaide: Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand. Retrieved from http://smaanz.org/conference/smaanz-conference-history/

  • Wright, R., & Eyal, Y. (2017). Get Lost In The Garden Of Eden: Exploring The Pulling Power Of New Zealand’s National Sports Stadium.. In 25th EASM Conference; Challenges & Development of Sport Organisations (pp. 286). University of Bern: Bern Open Publishing. doi:10.7892/boris.105238

  • Wright, R. (2017). Masters of their universe: The personal creation and consumption of social capital at the Serious Leisure Olympic Games. In Leisure for Social Change: Book of Abstracts for the 13th Biennial Australia and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies Conference (pp. 44-45). Hobart: University of Tasmania.

  • Wright, R. (2017). ‘In it to win it’: Exploring the local sport development opportunities attached to hosting the world’s largest participant sports event. In Leisure for Social Change: Book of Abstracts for the 13th Biennial Australia and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies Conference. Hobart: University of Tasmania.

  • Wilson, A., Wright, R., & Phelps, S. (2017). HRM in the A-League’s early years: The global recruitment strategies of small to medium-sized local football franchises. In The 25th EASM Conference, Challenges and Developments of Sport Organisations, Book of Abstracts (pp. 145-146). Bern and Magglingen: Bern Open Publishing. doi:10.7892/boris.105238

  • Ajiee, R., Wright, R., & Dickson, G. (2016). Contribution of community sports to the integration of migrants. In Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand: Book of abstracts, SMAANZ Conference 2016 (pp. 99). Auckland.

  • Sharp, A., Dickson, G., & Wright, R. (2015). Playing with paradox - purpose, performance, power and potential in a digitised web of sport. In 21st SMAANZ Conference ‘Coming of Age’. Hobart.

  • Sharp, A., Dickson, G., & Wright, R. (2015). Playing with Paradox: Purpose, Performance, Power and Potential in a Digitised Web of Sport. In Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Hobart.

  • Wright, R. (2015). Setting Them Up for Failure: a Longitudinal Cost-Benefit Examination of Project-based Learning within Sport Management Education. In Proceedings of the 21st Sport Management Association Australia New Zealand (SMAANZ) Conference (Theme: “Coming of Age”). Hobart: The Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, Hobart (Australia).

  • Martin, S., & wright, R. K. (2014). Going for Gold(s):
    A critical analysis of the organisational practices influencing
    elite-level sports podium performances. In AUT Business & Labour History Group Conference: "The Future of Work: Lessons from the Past - Lessons for the Future". Auckland.

  • Wright, R. K., & Ratsdorf, T. (2014). Project Ping Pong: Evaluating the costs and consequences of employing Project-Based learning (PBL) within Tertiary Education. In TERNZ 2014. Auckland.

  • Wiersma, C., & Wright, R. (2014). Leveraging local legacies through major international sports events: 2014 World Veteran Table Tennis Championships. In 22nd Conference of the European Association for Sport Management (EASM). Coventry.

  • Wright, R. (2014). Sports stadia tourism: From sleeping giant to active edutainment. In LSA 2015 Sport, Festivity and Digital Cultures (pp. 69). Paisley. Retrieved from http://uws.ac.uk/lsa2014

  • Wright, R., & Werner, K. (2013). Knowledge is power(ful): Tracking the tangible transfer of transient sports event management knowledge. In Eventing the Future 2013. Auckland.

  • Wright, R. (2012). “As good as gold”: Examining the sustainability of educational sports event experiences. In Australian Event Symposium 2012: Academic Paper Proceedings (pp. 109-111). Sydney: Australian Centre for Event Management, University of Technology, Sydney.

  • Wright, R. (2012). "It's nothing personal": Managing the equity and exploitation of mobile sports migrants. In Making a Difference in Leisure, Sport, Tourism & Hospitality: Exploring Diversity, Equity and Social change. Sydney.

  • Wright, R. (2012). Dreaming in the theatres of football: Capturing the creative and cultural consumption of commercial stadia tourism. In 18th Annual Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ) Conference. Sydney. Retrieved from http://www.smaanz.org/docs/SMAANZ%202012%20Program_FINAL.pdf

  • Wright, R. K., & Dashper, K. (2011). ‘“In it to win it”: Exploring the selfish and selfless side of creating serious leisure consumption through charity sports event challenges’. In Australia and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies 2010. Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/

  • Wright, R. K. (2011). Going Places:Exploring the Enhancement of student Expectations, Engagement & Employability through the increased creation of informal learning Environments.. In 9th AEME Forum 2011: Securing the future. Telford.

  • Wright, R. K. (2011). ‘Who goes on tour, stays on tour’: (re)moving the socio-cultural boundaries between active and passive sports event tourism activity.. In Royal Geographical Society-IBG Annual International Conference. London. Retrieved from http://www.rgs.org/

  • Wright, R. K. (2010). ‘Going Places’: The critical examination of informal environment utilisation within the enhancement of ALT at Leeds Metropolitan University.. In PGCHE Annual Conference. Leeds.

  • Wright, R. K. (2010). Waking the ‘sleeping giant’ of nostalgia sports tourism: A critical exploration into the commercial production & cultural consumption of UK stadia as sites of ‘authentic’ local heritage. In 11th World Leisure Congress. ChunCheon City.

  • Breitbarth, T., & Wright, R. K. (2010). (Re)living "A life-long dream": A narrative-inspired longitudinal exploration into the experiential legacy of consuming ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ sports event tourism. In Global Events Congress IV: Events and Festivals Research: State of the Art, Incorporating the 8th AEME Events Management Educators Forum. Leeds. Retrieved from http://www.eventsandfestivalsresearch.com/

  • Wright, R. K. (2010). “Objects in the rear-view mirror”: A reflexive exploration and autoethnographical evaluation into the multiple reasons why what-ever goes on tour will never be able to stay there. In Leisure Studies Association 2010: Diversity & Equality in Leisure, Sport & Tourism. Leeds. Retrieved from http://www.leisure-studies-association.info/LSAWEB/2010/Accepted.html

  • Wright, R. K. (2008). If Being There is Everything: How important is it to Know Where We’ve Come From?, Exploring self through personal heritage, nostalgia & the construction of an ‘away’ Sports Fan narrative. In ATLAS 2008 Annual Conference; Selling or Telling? Paradoxes in Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Brighton. Retrieved from http://www.brighton.ac.uk/ssm/research/symposia/2008/2008papers.php

  • Wright, R. K. (2008). If Being There is Everything: How important is it to Show Where We’ve Come From?, Exploring Identity through the Performance(s) & Pilgrimage(s) of Trans-Tasman Sport Tourists. In Leisure Studies Association 2008 Conference; Community, Capital & Cultures. Liverpool. Retrieved from http://www.leisure-studies-association.info/LSAWEB/2008/Programme.html

  • Wright, R. (2007). Planning for ‘the Great Unknown’. In Event Tourism Conference: Enhancing Destinations and the Visitor Economy. Bournemouth, UK. Retrieved from http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/

  • Wright, R., & Mitchell, R. (2006). Co-opetition amongst RTOs during the 2005 Lions Tour of New Zealand.. In 2006 New Zealand Tourism Research Council Conference. Dunedin. Retrieved from http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/tourism/research/abstractbooknzthrc.pdf

  • Carr, A., Lovelock, B., & Wright, R. (2006). Beyond National Parks: Conservation Parks – the New Destination for New Zealand Outdoor Families.. In 2006 New Zealand Tourism Research Council Conference. Dunedin. Retrieved from http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/tourism/research/abstractbooknzthrc.pdf


  • Wright, R., & Wiersma, C. (2015). Sport beyond school: Final evaluation report.

  • Wright, R. K. (2014). Stag World Veteran Championships 2014 Leveraging of Legacy Strategic Plan 2014-2020. Retrieved from http://www.sportsground.co.nz/Article.asp?SiteID=25363&ArticleID=33643

  • Carr, A., Lovelock, B., & Wright, R. (2006). Ahuriri Conservation Park Visitor Survey 2006’. Visitor Impact Assessment for New Zealand’.


  • Wright, R. K. (2011). From the Abbey to the Academy:The Heartful Autoethnography of a lost and Lonely-Looking Self Indulgent Sport Tourist. (University of Otago, Dunedin). Retrieved from http://otago.ourarchive.ac.nz/handle/10523/620

  • Wright, R. K. (2006). Taming the Lions: An Exploratory Study Into the Actions Taken by RTOs Ahead Of, and for the Duration Of, the 2005 Lions Tour. (University of Otago, Dunedin). Retrieved from http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/

Oral presentations

  • Wright, R. (2017). Careers in Sports, Parks & Recreation – Tertiary Pathways. Muriwei Surf Club.

  • Wright, R. (2017). Innovative Planning in Parks, Sport and Recreation. Christchurch City Council.

  • Wright, R. (2012). ‘Home isn’t always where the heart is’: Exploring the expanding eligibility options of amateur athletes.. NZTRI Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Wright, R. (2012). Personal mobility & professional movements: Monitoring the motives of modern day sports migrants. Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association, Auckland.

  • Wright, R. K. (2011). Winning the war of the Roses: clearing the boundaries between active & passive sports event tourism.. Bournemouth, UK,.

Other outputs

  • Wright, R. (2016). Edutainment in the sleeping giants of the sport and recreation industry. In Australasian Parks and Leisure Journal (Iss. Winter 2016). Parks and Leisure Australia. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/parksandleisure/docs/pla192_ipad

  • Wright, R. (2015). Project Ping Pong: Evaluating the costs and consequences of employing Project Based Learning (PBL) within Tertiary Education..

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