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Performance Strategies for Meeting Multiple Objectives: The Case of Professional Sport Teams

Special issue call for papers from Sport, Business and Management

Guest Editors:

Rob Wilson, Sheffield Hallam University, UK ([email protected])
Christos Anagnostopoulos, Molde University College, Norway & University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus ([email protected])

Research activity surrounding professional sport teams is heavily linked to the field of economics and principally the concepts of uncertainty of outcome, competitive balance and profit and utility maximisation (e.g., Buraimo, Frick, Hickfang & Simmons, 2015; Fort 2015; Kesenne, 2015; Leach & Szymanski, 2015; Sloane, 2015; Vrooman, 2015). These factors are important as professional sport teams ultimately operate under multiple objectives. The two most prominent of these are generally (1) to maintain a high level of on-field performance and, (2) to maximize off-field commercial business operations in the pursuit of revenue gains. It is widely acknowledged in academia that these objectives are linked but there is no clear consensus as to which is the cause and effect. Normally, in business the fundamental aim is to make profit. However, this situation is not as straightforward in the professional sport industry and in particular sport teams; which make them in particular an interesting and contemporary research focus in the sport management industry.

There is a need for professional sport teams to develop a strategic direction which is underpinned by sound analysis and performance measurement to enable them to balance their objectives. Moreover, there are a number of unique characteristics surrounding the management of professional sport teams that will have an effect on a clubs' ability to harness the power of a global commercial market place to develop strategies to maximize revenue or guarantee sustainability (Breitbarth et al., 2015). As such, this special issue will seek to explore these characteristics and how they impact on a professional sport team's strategic direction. It aims to add to the growing body of knowledge surrounding the economics and management of professional sport teams and enhance it by harnessing research which seeks to explain, analyse and evaluate the characteristics of professional sport teams from a more holistic perspective. Recent papers that have examined this subject include (but are not limited to);

Breitbarth, T., Hovemann, G. and Walzel, S. (2011), “Scoring strategy goals: Measuring corporate social responsibility in professional European football”, Thunderbird International Business Review, Vol. 53, No. 6, pp. 721–737.
Garcia-del-Barrio, P. and Szymanski, S. (2009). Goal! Profit maximisation versus win maximisation in soccer. Review of Industrial Organisation. 34, 45-68.
Hogan, V., Massey, P. and Massey, S. (2013). Competitive Balance and Match Attendance in European Rugby Union Leagues. The Economic and Social Review. 44, 425-446.
Ramchandani, G. (2012). Competitiveness of the English Premier League (1992-2010) and ten European football leagues (2010). International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 12(2), 346-360.
Plumley, D., Wilson, R., & Ramchandani, G. (2014). Towards a model for measuring holistic performance of professional Football clubs. Soccer & Society, (ahead-of-print), 1-14.
Wilson, R., Plumley, D., and Ramchandani, G. (2013). The relationship between ownership structure and club performance in the English Premier League. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal. 3, 19-36.
Wilson, R, Plumley, D and Barrett, D. (2016) (in press). Staring into the abyss? The state of UK rugby's Super League. Managing Sport and Leisure: An International Journal.
Szymanski, S. (2014). Fair is foul: A critical analysis of UEFA financial fair play. International Journal of Sport Finance, 9(3), 218.

Consequently, this special issue welcomes papers which explore, but is not limited to, key sport business principals such as;
• Price, supply and demand in relation to broadcasting affairs;
• Sponsorship deals that open up players’ acquisition opportunities (or the opposite);
• Financial analysis that connects on-field performance and business performance;
• New organisational forms that seek glocal brand equity (e.g., City Football Group);
• The impact of corporate social responsibility on the twin objectives of professional sport teams.
• The impact of regulatory and governance mechanisms (e.g., Financial Fair Play) on financial performance and strategic direction/strategies.

The special issue welcomes both conceptual and empirical papers related to any of the above themes, and others from a wider sport management context, across any professional sport team in any relevant country. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are welcomed. It is recommended that a 250 word abstract be sent to the guest editors well-ahead of the submission deadline. This abstract will be given brief feedback with the aim of guiding final submissions. It should describe the context, method and potential contribution of the final manuscript.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: 28/10/2016
Notification to Authors: 31/11/16
Final version due on: 1/3/17
Publication: Volume 7, Issue 2, 2017


Breitbarth, T., Walzel, S., Anagnostopoulos, C., & van Eekeren, F. (2015). Corporate social responsibility and governance in sport: ‘Oh, the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind!’. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 15(2), 254-273.
Buraimo, B., Frick, B., Hickfang, M. and Simmons, R. (2015). The economics of long-term contracts in the footballers' labour market. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 8-24.
Fort, R. (2015). Managerial objectives: a retrospective on utility maximization in pro team sports. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 75-89.
Kesenne, S. (2015). Revenue sharing and absolute league quality: talent investment and talent allocation. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 51-58.
Leach, S. and Szymanski, S. (2015). Making money out of football. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 25-50. 
Sloane, P. (2015). The economics of professional football revisited. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 1-7. 
Vrooman, J. (2015). Sportsman leagues. Scottish Journal of Political Economy. 62, 90-115.