How skateboarding made it to the Olympics: an institutional perspective

Mikhail Batuev*, Leigh Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Utilising new institutionalism and resource-dependency theory, this paper examines the organisational context of competitive skateboarding. Many within skateboarding have sought to distance themselves from the institutionalised competitive structure exemplified by the Olympic Games, despite a growth in competitive skateboarding within increasingly formal structures. This paper explores how the sport has evolved and how Olympic inclusion has impacted on its organisational arrangements. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, supplemented by selected secondary sources. The conclusions of the research are: 1) skateboarding has always functioned as a network which includes event organisers, media companies, and equipment producers, with governing bodies playing a more peripheral role; 2) there was a strong lobby from elite skateboarders in support of inclusion in the Olympics although only on ‘skateboarders terms’; 3) interest from the International Olympic Committee has affected the organisational evolution of skateboarding and has stressed issues of organisational legitimacy in this sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-402
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
Issue number4/5/6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2017


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