Sport Management
eBook - ePub

Sport Management

Principles and Applications

Russell Hoye, Katie Misener, Michael L. Naraine, Catherine Ordway

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  1. 320 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Sport Management

Principles and Applications

Russell Hoye, Katie Misener, Michael L. Naraine, Catherine Ordway

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About This Book

Now available in a fully revised and updated sixth edition, Sport Management: Principles and Applications tells you everything you need to know about the contemporary sport industry.

Covering both the professional and nonprofit sectors, and with more international material than any other introductory sport management textbook, it focuses on core management principles and their application in a sporting context, highlighting the unique challenges of a career in sport management. The book contains useful features throughout, including conceptual overviews, guides to further reading, links to important websites, study questions, and up-to-date case studies showing how theory works in the real world. It covers every core area of management, including:

  • Strategic planning

  • Human resource management

  • Leadership and governance

  • Marketing and sponsorship

  • Sport and the media

  • Sport policy

  • Sport law

The sixth edition includes expanded coverage of key contemporary issues, including integrity and corruption, digital business and technology, and legal issues and risk management.

With useful ancillary material for instructors, including slides and case diagnostic exercises, this is an ideal textbook for first- and second-year students in sport management degree programs and for business students seeking an overview of applied sport management principles.

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PART I The sport management environment

CHAPTER 1 Sport management

DOI: 10.4324/9781003217947-2


This chapter provides a brief review of the development of sport into a major sector of economic and social activity and outlines the importance of sport management as a field of study and employment. It explains the unique nature of sport and the drivers of change that affect how sport is produced and consumed. A model that explains the public, nonprofit, and professional elements of sport is presented, along with a brief description of the salient aspects of the management context for sport organizations. The chapter also serves as an introduction to the remaining sections of the book, highlighting the importance of each of the topics.
After completing this chapter, the reader should be able to:
  • Describe the unique features of sport;
  • Understand the environment in which sport organizations operate;
  • Describe the three sectors of the sport industry; and
  • Explain how sport management is different to other fields of management study.


Sport employs many millions of people around the globe, is played or watched by the majority of the world’s population, and, at the elite or professional level, has moved from being an amateur pastime to a significant industry. The growth and professionalization of sport has driven changes in the consumption, production, and management of sporting events and organizations at all levels of sport. Countries with emerging economies such as Qatar, hosts of the 2022 World Cup for football, or Mexico, partnering with Canada and the United States to host the 2026 World Cup, as well as advanced economic powerhouses such as France (host of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games) and Italy (host of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games), increasingly see sport as a vehicle for driving investment in infrastructure; for promoting their country to the world to stimulate trade, tourism, and investment; and for fostering national pride amongst their citizens.
Managing contemporary sport organizations involves the application of techniques and strategies evident in the majority of modern business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Sport managers engage in strategic planning and performance management, manage large numbers of paid and voluntary human resources, deal with media rights contracts worth billions of dollars, and manage the development and welfare of elite athletes who sometimes earn 100 times the average working wage. Sport managers also work within a highly integrated global network of international sports federations, national sport organizations, government agencies, media corporations, sponsors, and community organizations that are subject to a myriad of regulations, government policies, and complex decision-making frameworks.
Students seeking a career as a sport manager need to develop an understanding of the special features of sport and its allied industries; the environment in which sport organizations operate; and the types of sport organizations that operate in the public, nonprofit, and professional sectors of the sport industry. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to a discussion of these points and highlights the unique aspects of sport organization management.


Smith and Stewart (2010) provided a list of ten unique features of sport which can assist us to understand why the management of sport organizations requires the application of specific management techniques. A unique feature of sport is the phenomenon of people developing irrational passions for sporting teams, competitions, or athletes. Sport has a symbolic significance in relation to performance outcomes, success, and celebrating achievement that does not occur in other areas of economic and social activity. Sport managers must learn to harness these passions by appealing to people’s desire to buy tickets for events, become a member of a club, donate time to help run a voluntary association, or purchase sporting merchandise. They must also learn to apply clear business logic and management techniques to the maintenance of traditions and connections to the nostalgic aspects of sport consumption and engagement.
There are also marked differences between sport organizations and other businesses in how they evaluate performance. Private or publicly listed companies exist to make profits and increase wealth of shareholders or owners, whereas in sport, other imperatives such as winning championships, delivering services to stakeholders and members, or meeting community service obligations may take precedence over financial outcomes. Sport managers need to be cognizant of these multiple organizational outcomes while at the same time being responsible financial managers to ensure they have the requisite resources to support their organization’s strategic objectives.
Competitive balance is also a unique feature of the interdependent nature of relationships between sporting organizations that compete on the field but cooperate off the field to ensure the long-term viability of both clubs and their league. In most business environments the aim is to secure the largest market share, defeat all competitors, and secure a monopoly. In sport leagues, clubs and teams need the opposition to remain in business, so they must cooperate to share revenues and playing talent and regulate themselves to maximize the level of uncertainty in the outcome of games between them so that fans’ interest will be maintained. In some ways, such behaviour could be construed as anti-competitive, but governments support such actions due to the unique aspects of sport.
The sport product, when it takes the form of a game or contest, is also of variable quality. While game outcomes are generally uncertain, one team might dominate, which will diminish the attractiveness of the game. The perception of those watching the game might be that the quality has also diminished as a result, particularly if it is your team that loses! The variable quality of sport therefore makes it hard to guarantee quality in the marketplace relative to providers of other consumer products such as mobile phones, cars, or other general household goods.
Sport also enjoys a high degree of product or brand loyalty, with fans unlikely to change the team or club they support or to switch sporting codes because of a poor match result or the standard of officiating. Consumers of household products have a huge range to choose from and will readily switch brands for reasons of price or quality, whereas sporting competitions and their teams are hard to substitute. This advantage is also a negative, as sporting codes that wish to expand market share find it difficult to attract new fans from other codes due to their familiarity with the customs and traditions of their existing sport affiliation.
Sport engenders unique behaviours in people, such as emulating their sporting heroes in play, wearing the uniform of their favourite player, or purchasing the products that sporting celebrities endorse. This vicarious identification with the skills, abilities, and lifestyles of sports people can be used by sport managers and allied industries to influence the purchasing decisions of individuals who follow sport.
Sport fans also exhibit a high degree of optimism, at times insisting that their team, despite a string of bad losses, is only a week, game, or lucky break away from winning the next championship. It could also be argued that the owners or managers of sport franchises exhibit a high degree of optimism by touting their star recruits or new coach as the path to delivering them on-field success.
Sporting organizations, argued Smith and Stewart (2010), are relatively reluctant to adopt new technologies unless they are related to sports science or data analytics, where on-field performance improvements are possible and, indeed, highly desirable. In this regard, sport organizations can be considered conservative and tied to traditions and behaviours, more so than other organizations.
The final unique aspect of sport is its limited availability. In other industries, organizations can increase production to meet demand, but in sport, clubs are limited by season length and the number of scheduled games. This constrains their ability to maximize revenue through ticket sales and associated income. The implication for sport managers is that they must understand the nature of their business, the level of demand for their product and services (whatever form that may take), and the appropriate time to deliver them.
Collectively, these unique features of sport create some challenges for managers of sport organizations and events. It is important to understand the effects of these features on the management approaches and strategies used by sport managers; the next section explains how these unique features of sport influence the operating environment for sport organizations and their managers.


Globalization has been a major force in driving change in the ways sport is produced and consumed. The enhanced integration of the world’s economies has enabled communication to occur between producers and consumers at greater speed and variety, and sport has been one sector to reap the benefits. Consumers of elite sport events and competitions such as the Olympic Games; World Cups for rugby, cricket, and football; English Premier League Football; the National Basketball Association (NBA); and Grand Slam tournaments for tennis and golf enjoy unprecedented access through mainstream and social media. Aside from actually attending the events live at a stadium or venue, fans can view these events through free-to-air and pay or cable television on flat-screen TVs or mobile devices; listen to them on radio and via the internet; read and hear about game analyses and their favourite players and teams through newspapers and magazines in both print and digital editions as well as podcasts; receive progress scores, commentary, or vision on their mobile phones or tablets through websites or social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or dedicated apps; and sign up for special deals and information through online subscriptions using their email address or preferred social media platform. The global sport marketplace is very crowded, and sport managers seeking to carve out a niche need to understand the global environment in which they must operate. Thus, one of the themes of this book is the impact of globalization on the ways sport is produced, consumed, and managed.
Most national governments view sport as a vehicle for nationalism, economic development, or social development. As such, they consider it their role to enact policies and legislation to support, control, or regulate the activities of sport organizations. Most national governments support elite training institutes to assist in developing athletes for national and international competition, provide funding to national sporting organizations to deliver high performance and community-level programs, support sport organizations to bid for major events, and facilitate the building of major stadia. In return for this support, governments can influence sports to recruit more mass participants, provide services to discrete sectors of the community, have sports enact policies on alcohol and drug use or gambling, and support general health promotion messages. Governments also regulate the activities ...

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