Luke R. Potwarka

Associate Professor

Director, Spectator Experience and Technology Laboratory (SEAT)

Luke Potwarka

Contact information

Office: B.C. Matthews Hall (BMH) 2312

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 42748


Website: Spectator Experience and Technology (SEAT) Laboratory

Pronouns: he/his/him

Remote video URL

Research interests

My research focuses on consumer behaviour related to sport events. It addresses the overarching question: under what conditions do sport events have positive impacts for individuals and organizations in host communities? My research draws from diverse disciplinary perspectives (e.g., social psychology, geography) and methodological approaches. The knowledge generated from my work is aimed to improve event management practices in ways that maximize participation and economic-related impacts that can result from hosting elite-sport events. To this end, my research falls within two broad themes: (i) Exploring the role of elite-sport events in the promotion of physical activity and sport participation; and (ii) exploring commercial and tourism-related responses to elite sport events.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

I am currently accepting applications from graduate students with research interests related to:

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Sport and event management 

Graduate studies application details 

Teaching interests

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Sport and event management 


  • REC 101: Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services
  • REC 203/SOC 210: Sociology of Sport
  • REC 219: Introduction to Event Studies
  • REC 611: Issues in Leisure Organizations and Policy


BA, Univeristy of Waterloo

MA, Brock University 

PhD, University of Waterloo

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Potwarka, L.R., Ramchandani, G., & Castellanos-García, P., Kokolakakis, T., *Teare, G., & *Jiang, K. (in press). Beyond the host nation: An investigation of trickle-down effects in the “hometowns” of Canadian athletes who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games. European Sport Management Quarterly.

Potwarka, L.R., Snelgrove, R., *Drewery, D., *Bakhsh, J, & Wood, L. (2020). From intention to participation: Exploring the moderating role of a voucher-based event leveraging initiative. Sport Management Review, 23(2), 302-314.  

Potwarka, L. R., *Drewery, D., Snelgrove, R., Havitz, M. E., & Mair, H. (2018). Modeling a demonstration effect: The case of spectators' experiences at 2015 Pan Am Games' track cycling competitions. Leisure Sciences, 40(6), 578-600.

Potwarka, L.R., & Leatherdale, S. (2016). The Vancouver 2010 Olympics and leisure-time physical activity rates among youth in Canada: Any evidence of a trickle-down effect? Leisure Studies, 35(3), 241-257

Potwarka, L.R. (2015). Exploring physical activity intention as a response to the Vancouver Olympics: An application and extension of the theory of planned behavior. Event Management, 19(1), 73-92

Potwarka, L.R., McCarville, R.E., & Kaplanidou, K. (2014). Predicting decisions to purchase from sponsors of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 15(5-6), 238-260.