Interdisciplinary PhD in Sport, Gambling and Marketing Communications at Ulster University

Project Title: A participatory approach to exploring the nexus between online gambling, sports broadcasting and the problem gambler: an island of Ireland study.

Funding: A scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 14,777 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be “settled” in the UK.


For full details and to apply (deadline: 18th Feb 2019), please visit:


Initial Project Outline: Gambling is an everyday leisure activity for many in British and Irish society, whether it be a flutter on the horses, or a punt on the lotto.  Recently, the practice of online gambling has increased with the advent of mobile devices.  The global online gambling market has doubled between 2009 and 2015 and is expected to reach US$60bn by 2020 (Statista, 2018).  Driving this growth has been the relaxation of regulation in both the UK and Ireland.  This has been combined with the increased marketing communication of online gambling, particularly through sports broadcasting.  This has led to the ‘gamblification’ of sport (Lopez-Gonzalez & Griffiths, 2017).

This research will explore how marketing communications influences so-called ‘problem’ gamblers’ betting behaviour to generate public health solutions that are relevant.

To achieve we outline the following working objectives:

  • To map the rise of the sports marketing and gambling communications on the island if Ireland
  • To categorise the marketing communications tactics employed by betting companies in this region
  • To devise an appropriate sample and participatory methods for generating data
  • To devise participatory approaches to explore the role of marketing communications in the consumption of online gambling
  • To co-create potential solutions to reduce harmful betting behaviours
  • To co-create potential solutions to prevent gambling or improve the marketing communications of safe and responsible gambling

This project is inter-disciplinary as it combines two Ulster academics in sport and health (Life and Health Sciences) and marketing communications (Ulster Business School) on the practices of online gambling consumption.

For an informal discussion, please contact either: or


(Image: Jim Makos/Flickr – )

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