Dr Richard Keith Wright

profile image

Senior Lecturer – Sport Management

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext. 7312

Email: richard.wright@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

AF306, AUT North Shore Campus

Memberships and Affiliations:

AUT Centre for Active Ageing
AUT New Zealand Tourism Reseach Institute
Australian & New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies
European Assocation of Sport Mangement
Sport Management Association of Australia & New Zealand


Dr Wright is a member of the Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) teaching and research group, specialising in the study of sports tourism, serious leisure and sustainable event legacy development.  He teaches the undergraduate students about innovative planning and entrepreneurship, and the postgradautes about sports event management. Richard obtained his PhD (Otago) in 2011, and prior to joining AUT in 2012, was the Programme Leader of the MSc Sports Event Management within the UK Centre of Events Management at Leeds Becketts University. He was the leader of the Graduate Programme in Sport and Exercise from 2015-2018, and continues to publicly promote this programme to industry practitioners and former professional athletes looking to enhance their knowledge of the sport and recreation industry”. Richard is an Associate Editor of the International Journal for the Sociology of Leisure, an ambassador for the Generate Network and sits on the steering committee for the AUT Centre for Active Ageing and is a board member of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies, looking after the event portfolios of both organisations. He also sits on the Board of the Auckland Sunday Football Association and has been the Chairman of the North Shore Table Tennis Association since July 2016. In 2018, along with two of his former students, Dr Wright co-founded FindYourFirst.Com, a free online directory for New Zealanders looking to build their social capital through active participation in sport and recreation activity.

Teaching Areas:

  • Sport Entrepreneurship & Innovative Planning
  • Advanced Sports Event Management

Research Areas:

  • Sports Event Legacies
  • Sports Tourism
  • Serious Leisure
  • Project/Problem-based learning

Research Summary:

Dr Wright’s inter-disciplinary research interests and activities focus on the consumption, production and evaluation of sports event legacies, and the role of serious leisure within sport, recreation and event tourism, particularly amongst university students and the active ageing (masters) community. Richard is a strong advocate for the use of project and problem-based learning within Higher Education and has also called for a much a greater appreciation/acceptance of creative analytical practice within the study of sport and recreation management, including personal narratives, autoethnography and creative non-fiction. He has presented at over a dozen international sport, event and leisure-focused conferences and had his research published in sport, event, leisure and tourism management journals and textbooks.

Current Research Projects:

  • Leveraging sports event legacies within the land of the long white cloud: exploring the impact of New Zealand’s major event strategy on the international appeal of Aotearoa as a future host of the Olympics
  • Masters of their universe: exploring the movement and motivations of active aging athletes and participant sports event volunteers from a Serious Leisure perspective.

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • 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). ‘All the lonely people’: embracing autoethnographic creative analytical practice at the 2017 World Masters Games.. Annals of Leisure Research. doi:10.1080/11745398.2018.1503087

  • 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

  • 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. (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

  • 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. (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 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Hobart.

  • 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.

  • 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). ‘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/

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

Other outputs

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

  • 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