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A qualitative exploration of the franchise establishment process: a case study analysis of “Moana Pasifika” and “Fijian Drua”

Joseph Davies (Loughborough University - London, London, UK)
Daniel Read (Loughborough University - London, London, UK)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 16 August 2022

Issue publication date: 24 February 2023




League expansion involves a significant investment of time, money and resources. Therefore, ensuring the success of new franchises is imperative to the commercial health of a competition; however, there is an absence of studies examining the establishment process of franchises. In 2020, Super Rugby announced that it would expand in 2022 with the inclusion of two new franchises, Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika. The article explores what implementation challenges Drua and Pasifika faced during franchise establishment.


Following a qualitative case study methodology, data were collected via newspaper, website and document repository ‘Nexis’, and triangulated against interviews with five expert individuals involved in franchise establishment. Applying mixed-coding, thematic analysis using Redmond's franchise expansion factors framework, six deductive and two inductive themes were generated.


In accordance with Redmond's franchise expansion factors framework, financial sustainability, competitive balance and labour market challenges were identified as internal challenges, whilst media relationships, market competition and community engagement were highlighted as external challenges. Additionally, two new factors, infrastructure and business operations and youth development, were inductively identified as issues during franchise establishment extending Redmond's model.


The study offers strategic guidance to practitioners on franchise establishment and provides insight into cross-border expansion processes. Theoretically, the research supports and extends the applicability of Redmond's expansion factors framework for future research.



Davies, J. and Read, D. (2023), "A qualitative exploration of the franchise establishment process: a case study analysis of “Moana Pasifika” and “Fijian Drua”", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 195-212.



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