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The impact of corruption on sport demand

Carlo Amenta (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Statistiche, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)
Paolo Di Betta (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Statistiche, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 25 June 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2021




The article presents an empirical analysis that evaluates the effects of a systemic corruption scandal on the demand in the short and the long run. In 2006, the Calciopoli scandal uncovered the match rigging in the Italian soccer first division. The exemplary sportive sanction of relegating the primary culprit to the second division imposed further negative externalities on the other clubs. Should we prefer the sportive sanction on the team or the monetary fines for the club?


We estimated two log-linear models of the demand side (stadium attendance) using a fixed effect estimator, on two panel data set made of all the Italian soccer clubs in the first and second division (Serie A and Serie B) for the seasons 2004/2005 to 2009/2010, considering the relegation of the Juventus as the event which impacted the demand for soccer.


Relegating Juventus to Serie B caused an immediate decrease of 18.4% in the attendance for all the teams, both in Serie A and in Serie B, for the three seasons considered, and 1% decrease when all the seasons are considered to measure the fallout of the scandal on the fans' disaffection.


The effect of corruption in sport on demand is an important issue, and there are few studies already published. As for sports economics and management, our results are of interest for sport-governing bodies – as a case study that can help in designing a more effective sanctioning system to prevent corruption episodes.



Amenta, C. and Di Betta, P. (2021), "The impact of corruption on sport demand", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 369-384.



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