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Research on the Construction of Evaluation Index System for Chongqing International Marathon in the New Era
Chongqing International Marathon event is one of the top marathon events in China. Under the background of the new era, constructing a scientific and reasonable marathon evaluation system plays an important role in the development of this event. In this study, literature method, field investigation method, Delphi method, interview method, analytic hierarchy process, and other methods are used. And it includes 5 primary indicators, 13 secondary indicators, and 58 tertiary indicators. What is more, AHP is used to determine the weight of indicators at each level. This evaluation system can help the race-organizing committee more scientifically understand this event and lay a solid foundation for finally building an excellent brand event.
Statistics from the German Athletics Association show that there are 180 professional marathons and 3,700 mass marathons in Germany every year. Every week, there are thousands of free marathons in Germany. Currently, more than 100 cities in Germany hold New Year’s Eve Marathon or New Year’s Marathon. The events of the competition range from 800 meters to 20 kilometers. Contestants range from kindergarten children to gray-haired elderly people. After 11 years of development and precipitation, Chongqing International Marathon  (P.115), as one of the top marathon events in Chongqing and even in China, has attracted extensive attention from the whole society.
With the development of the economy and society, people pay more and more attention to health, and more people participate in sports. Running is the most and convenient choice. Chongqing International Marathon is one of the more famous marathon events in China and even in the world. The projects are diverse and distinctive, and the number of participants has doubled year by year. According to statistics, the 2019 Chongqing International Marathon has four events: full course, half course, minimarathon, and parent-child marathon, with a total enrollment of more than 100,000. Runners from more than 50 countries and regions and more than 500 cities all over the world participated in the forecast, with more than 30,000 participants and 220 foreign athletes. However, due to the need for epidemic prevention and control, the scale of the Chongqing International Marathon in 2020 will be adjusted from 30,000 to less than 4,900, including 4,000 full marathons and 900 minimarathons, and the parent-child project will be canceled. It can be seen that the Chongqing International Marathon is deeply loved by people.
The core of the Chongqing International Marathon is a sports competition. Because the event is held in Chongqing, it has always been a characteristic event of Chongqing mountain city and river since its establishment. Therefore, building such a marathon brand event in line with Chongqing will have a positive impact on the regional politics, economy, culture, society, and environment and will also become a landmark social activity in Chongqing.
As Chongqing has gradually become one of the most popular tourist cities in China, more and more tourists begin to choose sports elements in tourism. “Sports + tourism” is becoming a popular new leisure lifestyle, which also makes the sports development of Chongqing to enter the fast lane. The holding of the Chongqing International Marathon is of positive significance to Chongqing’s economic development, cultural development, and sports development. Therefore, more and more tourists also come to Chongqing.
Both the quality of the event and the number of participants showed a geometric growth . Although China’s marathon events have rapidly developed in recent years, many problems still occur from time to time, such as the overall growth stage, the imperfect event mechanism, the relatively insufficient operation and management experience of event personnel, and the weak awareness of the organizing committee to scientifically run events. This is because it has not formed a relatively complete event index evaluation system  (P.67–76) as a reference standard for the comprehensive evaluation of the event-organizing committee to help the better development of the event. The event index evaluation system can be used as a reference standard to evaluate whether the overall operation mechanism of an event is excellent or not, and it is also a basic evaluation standard for whether an event can become a brand event . At present, there is an extreme lack of relevant research on the evaluation index system of marathon in China. A total of 1,870 articles were retrieved by inputting the keyword “marathon” in CNKI literature retrieval. In the search keyword “sports event evaluation index system,” there are only 46 results, but there are only two articles in the further search keyword “marathon event evaluation system.” Although the Chongqing International Marathon has achieved certain success after year-on-year development, it still lacks an effective event evaluation index system to guide its future development direction and help the Chongqing International Marathon make experience summary, and the establishment of an event evaluation index can well fill this gap. Based on this, it is urgent to establish a scientific and effective evaluation index system  of the Chongqing International Marathon.
In this study, we have built a complete evaluation index system for the Chongqing International Marathon brand event. As an international marathon gold medal event, the event has a very good reputation at home and abroad. As one of China’s four municipalities directly under the central government, Chongqing has an important economic and social status, and the development of large-scale mass sports events is also a research hotspot in recent years. On the one hand, the construction of the evaluation index system can comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of the event and provide important theoretical support for the sustainable development of the event. On the other hand, it also has universality. On this basis, it can provide reference and reference for other marathon events at home and abroad. The members of the research group personally participated in the preparation and holding of the event in the early stage and successfully applied for the scientific research project of Chongqing Sports Bureau.
Most of the existing marathon competition evaluation systems only use SWOT analysis and literature methods for research. We extend and add the method to design a more detailed evaluation system.
At the same time, the survey objects selected by the Delphi method are also experts and scholars with important influence in Chinese sports academic circles. Their support for the subject makes the results of the whole study more scientific and rigorous.
2. Research Methods
2.1. Documentation Method
According to keywords and research directions, we consulted many books on sports events, sports social humanities, sports management, sports economics, sports event evaluation, and read relevant studies such as sports event evaluation, event evaluation system, event evaluation indicators, event evaluation standards, and event evaluation construction through CNKI. Using academic search engines such as Scirus, Issuu, CNKI, and Google, keywords such as “marathon event evaluation,” “marathon event organization and management,” “marathon brand event evaluation,” and “evaluation index system” are input. On this basis, the primary, secondary, and tertiary evaluation index factors of recelebrating the international marathon brand event are preliminarily screened.
2.2. Investigation Method
2.2.1. Interview Method
By visiting experts and scholars in the fields of domestic sports event organization and management, event evaluation standards, sports event evaluation system research, marathon event operation and management, and visiting relevant leaders and staff of Chongqing Chongma Sports Development Co., Ltd., we learned about the opinions of relevant personnel on the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand events and further improved the scientificity and preciseness of the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand events.
We designed the expert interview outline of the Chongqing International Marathon brand event evaluation system, the screening questionnaire for the importance of indicators at all levels and the Chongqing International Marathon brand event evaluation questionnaire (the questionnaire is tested by experts for reliability and validity and meets the statistical requirements, and the experts modify the evaluation indicators and assign the index weight). The overall survey is distributed, recovered, and distributed in two rounds according to the procedure after sorting out, and the expert opinions basically tend to be consistent.
Following the principles of anonymity, feedback, statistics, and research needs of the Delphi method , 15 experts and scholars were selected to conduct the second round of questionnaire survey, screening, and determine the index system, including 4 sports experts; 3 sports management experts; 4 sports sociology experts; 2 government staff; and 2 persons from Chongqing Chongma Sports Development Co., Ltd. (see Table 1 for details).
2.3. Hierarchical Analysis
Analytic hierarchy process  (P.148–153) (AHP) decomposes the problem into different constituent factors according to the nature of the problem and the overall goal to be achieved and aggregates and combines the factors according to different levels according to the correlation, influence, and subordinate relationship between the factors to form a multilevel analysis structure model. Thus, the problem is finally attributed to the determination of the relatively important weight of the lowest level (schemes and measures for decision-making) relative to the highest level (overall goal) or the arrangement of the relative advantages and disadvantages. This study establishes a multilevel rating index model of sports events by using the AHP method, then gives a quantitative description of the relative importance of each level of evaluation index according to expert advice, finally, determines the value of the relative importance order of all indicators at each level, and conducts consistency test. If the consistency conditions are not met, the judgment matrix is modified until they are met.
2.4. Logical Analysis Method
On the basis of combining a large number of theoretical data and mathematical data, through logic demonstration and summary, the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand events has been initially established.
2.5. Mathematical Statistics Method
This study obtained the analysis of the expert questionnaire, the factor analysis, and the quantitative calculation. It lays a foundation for the construction of Chongqing International Marathon evaluation index system.
3. Establishment Process of the Evaluation Index System of the Chongqing International Marathon Brand Events
The establishment of the Chongqing International Marathon brand event index system is a complex and detailed process. We need to first establish a basic understanding of the research object, then conduct an overall feature analysis of the research object, then model the research object and conduct in-depth research, then gradually improve the existing research, and finally form a systematic research result  (P.9–13). Therefore, the research process of this study is roughly divided into four steps: theoretical preparation, preliminary selection of index system, test of index factors and determination of weight, and establishment of evaluation system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand event (see Figure 1 for details). In the research method, the analytic hierarchy process is mainly used, because other analysis methods such as principal component analysis are not applicable to this study. Taking principal component analysis as an example, it needs to ensure that the cumulative contribution rate of the first few principal components extracted reaches one, and the high-level and extracted principal components must be able to give explanations that conform to the actual background and meaning.
4. Construction of the Evaluation Index System of the Chongqing International Marathon Brand Events
4.1. Preliminary Construction Process of the Construction of the Index System
Through the field investigation on the overall history, organization and holding, politics, economy, society, humanities, environment, and other factors of the Chongqing International Marathon, and by consulting the studies of China Journal Network on events, marathon, evaluation index system, and so on, and by studying the laws and regulations on sports events such as the 14th five-year plan for sports development  of government departments, it can be found that the “system” theory  (P.70–78) is a theoretical method suitable for constructing the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon. The word “system” originated from ancient Greek, meaning that parts constitute a whole. It was not until L. von Bertalanffy founded the “general system theory”  (P.5–8) in 1937. L. von. Bertalanffy believes that it is inappropriate to limit the general system theory to technology as a mathematical theory, because there are many systemic problems that cannot be expressed by modern mathematical concepts. The term general system theory has a broader content, including a very wide range of research fields and three main aspects: first, the science of system, also known as mathematical system theory. This is to use accurate mathematical language to describe the system and study the fundamental theory applicable to all systems. Second is system technology, also known as system engineering. This is to study complex systems such as engineering system, life system, economic system, and social system with system thought and system method. Third is system philosophy: it studies the nature of the scientific methodology of general system theory and raises it to the status of philosophical methodology. L. Von. Bertalanffy tried to extend the general system theory to the category of system science, including almost all three levels of system science. However, the main research contents of modern general system theory are still limited to system thought, system isomorphism, open system, and system philosophy.
The subsystems involved in large-scale sports events such as the Chongqing International Marathon include politics, economy, culture, society, and environment. These systems are closely interrelated. For the Chongqing International Marathon, it itself is a huge system engineering . The index evaluation of system engineering needs to be considered from the perspective of system, its operation and development must follow the viewpoint of system theory, and its internal subsystems and internal factors independently interact and develop. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the political, economic, cultural, social, and environmental systems involved in the event and then systematically analyze each subsystem on the basis of the above analysis to obtain the index factors of each subsystem.
Finally, considering the time and economic cost of the survey, and the factors of reasonable selection of indicators, high evaluability, and high testability, the evaluation index system  (Table 2) of the Chongqing International Marathon brand event is preliminarily determined, which is composed of five first-class indicators , 13 second-class indicators, and 58 third-class indicators, including politics, economy, culture, society, and environment.
4.2. Selection Process of the Index System
4.2.1. First Round of Expert Consultation
First, this study carried out expert thematic discussion and open-ended questionnaire survey on the rationality of the primary indicators. The result is that the concentration of reservations of the five primary indicators is relatively high, so the primary indicators do not need to be modified. Then, according to the preliminary index system, the questionnaire is made into two sections: secondary index and tertiary index Ι. The scoring mechanism of the questionnaire adopts the basic idea of the Likert 5 scale method  (P.18–23,28), that is, the expert score is graded according to important-unimportant 5. However, considering the traditional the Likert 5 scale is rough for complex systems such as medium and large marathon systems, it is improved to a continuous graduation scale. SPSS 26.0 was used to analyze the questionnaire Ι. We use Cronbach’s α to test the reliability of the scale. If the α coefficient does not exceed 0.6, it is generally considered that the internal consensus reliability is insufficient; when it reaches 0.7-0.8, it means that the scale has considerable reliability, and when it reaches 0.8-0.9, it means that the scale’s reliability is very good. The result is that Cronbach’s α is 0.81, which indicates that the reliability of the scale is good. Through letters, questionnaires, and face-to-face interviews, questionnaires were collected on the spot, and 15 valid questionnaires were obtained. SPSS 26.0 was used for analysis to determine whether the index was retained or not according to the importance mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation of each index score. Among them, the mean value of importance reflects the unified result of expert opinions. The greater the value, the more the index should be retained. The standard deviation reflects the divergence degree of expert opinions. The smaller the value, the smaller the divergence caused by the index, and the more the index should be retained. The smaller the coefficient of variation of each index score, the higher the coordination of expert opinions, and the more the index should be retained. We eliminated the six tertiary indicators with the smallest mean value, the largest standard deviation, and the largest coefficient of variation and retained 13 secondary indicators and 52 tertiary indicators (see Tables 3 and 4 for the scores and screening results of secondary and tertiary indicators). In Table 3, secondary indicators correspond to each support item under primary indicators in Table 2. The results are discussed with experts after the following revisions: (1) merge C49 into C21; (2) simplify C54 to environmental protection facilities.
4.2.2. Second Round of Expert Consultation
According to the results of the first round of expert consultation, a questionnaire ΙΙ containing secondary indicators and tertiary indicators is formulated. The scoring mechanism of the questionnaire still adopts the improved Likert 5 scale method ΙΙ, the Krambaha reliability coefficient is 0.85, indicating that the scale has good reliability. Questionnaire ΙΙ is issued to experts, and the questionnaire was analyzed according to the same method as in round 1 of ΙΙ and followed the opinions of experts and imposed more strict restrictions on the mean value of importance. When the mean value of importance is less than 75% (i.e., 3.75) of the full score, it is considered that the index cannot meet the standard. In the second round, one secondary indicator and 14 tertiary indicators were successively deleted, and finally an indicator system with 12 secondary indicators and 37 tertiary indicators was obtained (see Table 5). The expert opinions of the indicator system were highly unified. The complete index construction process is shown in Figure 2.
4.3. Weight Determination of the Index System
Whether the index weight  (P.47–55) is reasonable greatly affects the scientificity and correctness of the evaluation. In this study, AHP and probability distribution function are preselected to calculate the weight of each index. The two methods will be discussed with experts. Considering the AHP method, experts need to be reinvited to compare and fill in the form for up to 2,275 times among 5 primary indicators, 12 secondary indicators, and 37 tertiary indicators, which will waste experts’ energy cost and research time cost. The improved Likert 5 scale method has good perception and accuracy for quantitative scoring. Therefore, the latter probability distribution function is used to calculate the weight of each index. Among them, the weight of each three-level indicator is the average value of its importance in the second round of expert consultation. The weight of level I and level II indicators obeys uniform distribution , and its calculation formula isamong them,
The calculation method of the weight coefficient of tertiary indicators is as follows: (1) calculating the sum of expert scoring weights of all tertiary indicators and (2) weighting coefficient of the m-th tertiary indicators .
The calculation method of the weight coefficient of secondary indicators is as follows: (1) calculating the expert scoring weight of each secondary indicators, respectively, (2) calculating the sum of all expert weights of all secondary indicators , and (3) weighting coefficient of the -th secondary indicators .
The calculation method of the weight coefficient of primary indicators is as follows: (1) calculating the expert scoring weight of each primary indicator, respectively, (2) calculating the sum of expert weights of all primary indicators , and (3) weighting coefficient of the j-th primary indicators .
5. Conclusions and Outlooks
As one of the top marathon brand events in Southwest China and even at home and abroad, the Chongqing International Marathon itself has its unique research value. Therefore, the construction of a complete set of logical, highly scientific, and rigorous index evaluation system for the Chongqing International Marathon brand events is conducive to the comprehensive impact of the event itself on the host region and provides important theoretical support for the development of the Chongqing International Marathon brand events and the practical work of relevant sports departments in the future. It also has more practical significance.
The core of the Chongqing International Marathon is a sports competition, and the event itself is located in Chongqing. Since its establishment, it has always been a characteristic event of Chongqing mountain city and river water. Therefore, building such a marathon brand event in line with Chongqing will have a positive impact on the regional politics, economy, culture, society, and environment and will also become a landmark social activity in Chongqing.
In this study, the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand competition established by using the methods of literature, Delphi, and analytic hierarchy process includes 5 primary indicators, 13 secondary indicators, and 58 tertiary indicators, including politics, economy, culture, society, and environment. Through the evaluation index system of the Chongqing International Marathon brand event, it can be seen that society (0.523) is the main impact of the event on the host region, indicating that the event itself has a great impact on all levels of society in the host region; then, the event also has a great impact on the regional culture (0.519), indicating that the event plays a positive role in promoting and carrying forward culture; second, the impact of the event on the politics (0.504) and economy (0.496) of the host region is roughly the same; finally, the relatively small impact of the event on the local environment (0.487) shows that with the event held for many years, people have formed a good awareness of environmental protection.
The advantage of the research method adopted in this study is that it combines both subjective research methods (Delphi method) and objective research methods (AHP), because it avoids greater subjectivity compared to only using the Delphi method for research. Compared with the method that only uses survey data, it avoids overanalysis of data.
The brand event evaluation index system constructed in this study takes the Chongqing International Marathon as the research object. The index is relatively detailed and contains strong integrity. However, in the process of consultation and interview, due to limited conditions, only 15 experts and scholars’ opinions were collected, and only 15 experts were consulted in the overall study. The number of experts is relatively small. Due to the large scope of the research object, the selection of experts is still not comprehensive. In addition, there is little research on the construction of the marathon brand event evaluation system in China, which has a certain impact on the construction of the Chongqing International Marathon event evaluation system. However, the author of this study will continue this kind of research and will further improve and improve in many deficiencies.
No data were used to support this study.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
The authors would like to thank Mr. Li and Mr. Zhang of the Organizing Committee of Chongqing International Marathon for their support for our research work. Their data and help for our research enabled the authors to have first-hand accurate data in the writing of the paper and ensure the authenticity of the paper. At the same time, the authors would like to thank the experts and scholars interviewed in the paper, who put forward their valuable opinions and comments on the construction of the evaluation system in their busy schedule, so that they can improve the construction of the evaluation system step by step and make the framework of the whole paper more rigorous. Finally, the authors would like to thank Mr. Jin, Mr. Teng, Mr. Huang, and Mr. Li of the research group for their full participation in the Chongqing International Marathon. Without the joint efforts of the research group, there would be no delivery of today’s paper. Here, the authors would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the teachers who have guided and helped them! At the same time, the authors would also like to thank the monographs of scholars cited in this paper. Without the inspiration and help of the research results of these scholars, the authors would not be able to complete the final writing of this paper. The authors also want to thank their friends and classmates. They gave them a lot of useful materials in the process of writing this paper and also provided warm help in the process of typesetting and writing this paper! There are spots even in the sun. Due to their limited academic level, this thesis will inevitably have shortcomings. The authors urge all teachers and students to criticize and correct. This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research at the King Saud University for funding this work through research group no. RG-1438-027; general project of Chongqing Sports Bureau in 2020: research on the construction of evaluation system of Chongqing International Marathon brand competition (project no.: d202017); and social science fund project of the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications (project no.: k2020-84).
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