Section: Overview
Key publications
Research funding
Supervising & teaching

Key details

Areas of expertise

  • Global sport business
  • Event impact and legacy
  • Futures and scenario planning
  • Sport event management
  • Sport facility management

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries

About Michael Linley

Michael is a Senior Research Fellow in Sport Strategy, and has more than 20 years of international consulting experience leading client engagements with a specialist international advisory firm. 

His deep interest in the interconnections between cities, events and sports is reflected in his research on the assessment of event legacies and the shifting value across economic, media, sport, brand, social and environmental dimensions – and in particular building and capturing the intangible value for stakeholders including communities, hosts and owners. 

In planning and assessing how to maximise value and impact, he has worked with government investment and tourism agencies, national sporting organisations, sports funding authorities, major event agencies and researched international sports events, including FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, and Commonwealth Games. 

Michael's background in both operational and strategic development roles has underpinned the focus on designing practical and execution-focussed solutions to complex issues.  He has worked with on projects in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, USA, Australia and NZ, for government, cities, sports and sporting events, banking and airlines. Originally a scientist by background, Michael also holds an MBA in international business, and has pursued further specialisations in futures thinking and scenario planning at Oxford University.


  • Oxford Scenarios Program, University of Oxford, UK
  • PhD, Victoria University, Australia
  • MBA International, Deakin University, Australia
  • BSc, Monash University, Australia

Key publications

Year Citation
2024 Linley, M. (240101). Commonwealth Games - Legacies and Futures In Solberg, H. A;. (Ed.) (pp. 1-1). London, UK: Edward Elgar.
2022 Linley, M. (220101). Case studies - Innovation, Global strategy and Futures In Westerbeek, H. ;. (Ed.) (pp. 4-4). Oxford: Routledge.
2017 Swart, K., Linley, M., & Muresherwa, G. (170815). Sport mega-events and the media In Brittain, I. (Ed.) (pp. 235-235). London: Routledge.
2014 Linley, M. (140101). City Branding durch Sportevents (pp. 235-254). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

doi: 10.1007/978-3-8349-3695-0_12

Year Citation
2023 Linley, M. (230101). Ready for which future? Scenario planning and the future of sport World Association of Sport Management.
2022 Linley, M. (220101). Decoding audiences, Driving destinations - An empirical analysis of image and functional drivers of city brand attractiveness across stakeholder audiences. IPBA.
2010 Westerbeek, H., & Linley, M. (100101). Destination branding through sport: comparing Melbourne and Delhi German Sports University.

Year Citation
2013 Swart, K., Linley, M., & Bob, U. (131001). The Media Impact of South Africa's Historical Hosting of Africa's First Mega-Event: Sport and Leisure Consumption Patterns. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 30(16), (1976-1993).

doi: 10.1080/09523367.2013.861130

2012 Westerbeek, H., & Linley, M. (120101). Building city brands through sport events: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. Journal of Brand Strategy, 1(2), (193-205).

Research funding for the past 5 years

Please note:

  • Funding is ordered by the year the project commenced and may continue over several years.
  • Funding amounts for contact research are not disclosed to maintain commercial confidentiality.
  • The order of investigators is not indicative of the role they played in the research project.

Building Sport Knowledge Infrastructure in Kerala
From: Government of Kerala
Other investigators: Aspr Camilla Brockett, Prof Hans Westerbeek
For period: 2019-2020
Not disclosed

Supervision of research students at VU

Available to supervise research students

Available for media queries


Details of this Researcher's career are currently unavailable.