Neven Šerić (Faculty of Economics, University of Split, Croatia)
Jasenko Ljubica (Tec de Monterrey – Campus Santa Fe, México City, Mexico)

Market Research Methods in the Sports Industry

ISBN: 978-1-78754-192-4, eISBN: 978-1-78754-191-7

Publication date: 15 May 2018


Šerić, N. and Ljubica, J. (2018), "Prelims", Market Research Methods in the Sports Industry, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. i-xx.

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Faculty of Economics, University of Split, Croatia


Tec de Monterrey – Campus Santa Fe, México City, Mexico

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2018

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ISBN: 978-1-78754-192-4 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78754-191-7 (Online)

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… to my Ana for all the patience, love and support.


To God and my family for protection and guidance, unconditional love and never-ending patience.


List of Tables

Chapter 3
Table 1 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Benchmarking for Sport Entities. 60
Chapter 8
Table 2 Comparison of Different Characteristics of Questionnaire Surveys in the Sports Industry. 125
Table 3 Example of a Nominal Scale. 127
Table 4 An Example of a Thurston Scale. 130
Table 5 An Example of a Simple Likert Scale. 131
Table 6 An Example of a Semantic Scale. 131

List of Figures

Chapter 2
Figure 1 Schematic Representation of the Environment in which the Entity Operates Sport. 46
Chapter 8
Figure 2 An Example of Ordinal Scale for Loyal Visitors of the Traditional Football Tournament. 128
Figure 3 An Example of Interval Scales (6 and 7 Degrees). 129

List of Graphs

Chapter 8
Graph 1 Income Structure of the FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014 (in Millions USD). 108
Graph 2 Global Sports Industry Income Projections 2005–2017 (in Billion USD). 109

About the Authors

Neven Šerić, Ph.D., is a Full Professor of Marketing at the University of Split (Croatia), Faculty of Economics. His research interests entail Market Research in Tourism, Marketing Strategy in Tourism, Business Logistics, Hotel Business Marketing and Product Management. He is a Visiting Professor at a number of institutions in Austria, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and serves as a member of the editorial and reviewing boards for several academic journals in Europe and the United States. His publication history entails 5 scientific books, 10 monographies and more than 60 scientific papers. He participated and delivered keynote speeches in more than 50 international conferences. In professional domain, along with two decades of executive experience in various industries, he served as a consultant for marketing management projects in sport and tourism and as an IPA EU projects consultant. He is a member of the Chair for Croatian–Austrian association, member of the council of the European Movement, President of the national karate association of the city of Split and member of the board of Fishing Sport Club Split. He served as an associate in the creation of the development strategy for the Croatian nautical tourism and valorization of Adriatic area project along with managing 16 other Croatian national ecological projects. For both his academic and professional work, he received numerous awards and recognitions such as those for his contribution in the development of martial arts in Croatia and the national Blue Band Award for rescuing the life of a diver, among other.

Jasenko Ljubica, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of International Business at Tec de Monterrey (Mexico) and a Visiting Professor at Universidad de Rosario (Colombia). He received his college diploma from the University of Zadar (Croatia, 2006), Master of Science (2012) and Doctorate (2015) degrees from the University of Split (Croatia). He completed his studies in record time, first in his generations and has received Dean’s Award for his accomplishments. He is passionate about researching expatriate phenomena entailing (but not limited to) cognition and decision-making, innovation and knowledge transfer and behavioural ethics, whilst also specializing in research methods in management sciences. Whilst pursuing his research interests he does not shy away from entering domains such as International and Cross-Cultural Management, International Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour. His geographical area of interest is the Western hemisphere. He lectures in areas of his research interests to students on all levels, publishes in highly ranked outlets (Financial Times top 50 business Journals, Cambridge University Press, Ivey Publishing – forthcoming) and presents his work on conferences around the world. He serves as an editorial and reviewing board member for a number of academic entities in the EU and the United States. While pursuing his degrees, he spent a decade serving in tourism, consulting, trade and sports industries on top-level positions earning a record of accomplishments and professional and public recognitions.


Sport is a specific social phenomenon that, through progress, constantly fosters the birth and development of various sport entities (for our terminological classification that we use in this book, see Introduction chapter) around the world. Many, primarily amateur, sport entities today have major problems with financing of their activities, enabling market research discipline to take on the role of the platform for their survival. The education of sport professionals and those who study to be such professionals as well as educators working in the area of sport management and marketing aimed at clear comprehension, and effective use of the methods of market research in sports industry, therefore, possesses the highest significance. Relevant literature is required for this purpose. If the vast professional experience also takes significant role and is knitted in such literature, the same becomes even more appealing to these audiences. For this reason, author’s experiences intertwine in the book through a number of practical examples and case studies that further argue the value of the methods and instruments of market research in the sports industry.

Given the social phenomenology of sport, it is necessary to adapt the standard market research tools and methods. The application of the methods presented in this book, ranging from the simplest – monitoring the environment, to the most complex sampling methods, can significantly contribute to the development of sport and sport entities by increasing the number of members, sponsors, followers and fans.

Amateur and professional sport represents an important component of national identities and valuable area of social activity. Due to a variety of reasons, there has always been a problem of financing of sport at the national level, especially in terms of amateur sport. Grounding the decision-making in sport and sport entity’s management in the relevant information represents the first step in the resolution of financial as well as a multitude of other types of problems sport entities, professionals and amateurs face. The perception of the environment (general population, fans and sponsors) has important repercussions on the image and attractiveness of sport and sport entities. Attractive image attracts new members and sponsors, and such environment fosters the development of new talents, the same ones that will be winning future Olympics and World or Continental Championships. With that, the circle is closed.

Identifying the sources, collecting the data and interpreting such data to form viable information is the basis of the sustainable sport management strategy. Relevant information is a useful foundation for designing activities to increase the number of members, followers and fans, as well as effective attraction of sponsors and donors.

Through the acquisition of the knowledge about the design, selection and application of the methods and tools presented in this book, each sport worker can independently determine and remedy the causes of problems in the activities of sport entities. When the actual causes of a problem that sport entity faces have been determined, it is possible to propose effective guidelines for their resolution. How to boost the membership growth, how to encourage an affirmative attitude of potential sponsors, how to intensify the broader social benefits of the sport entity’s activities in the environment? Continuous application of market research tools and methods presented in this book is the answer to these questions. For sport managers and other types of sport professionals and practitioners, this book will represent a significant aid in effective management and financing of the activities of their sport entities. The publication of this book is also an incentive for the education of sport workers to be able to relieve financial and other types of problems autonomously, the same problems that many sport and sport entities, especially amateur ones, face today.

This book is a quintessence of many years of professional sport experience in a variety of sport (football, basketball, karate, table tennis, underwater fishing, etc.) filled with numerous successfully remedied challenges. Customized market research tools and methods presented in this book are the result of such experience. Such tools and methods significantly contributed to the maintenance of financial liquidity of sport entities in which the authors acted. Using the book as an independent guide for the identification of the relevant information enables the optimization of the decision-making in managing the sport entity’s activities in the environment in which it operates. As such, it is our firm belief that this book will be a useful companion to any sport professional, sport management and marketing student as well as any student and/or educator and researcher who works in the area of research methods in management sciences.