Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5.
Advancing knowledge about governance, sponsorship and talent development in sports. Best papers from the 2014 EURAM "Managing Sport" tracks in Valencia
Knowledge is perceived as input, output, and capital, even if imperfectly understood. We are convinced that knowledge can be managed in sophisticated, rational ways and that networking and information exchange are essential tools for doing so. The sport management track and the European Academy of Management (EURAM) strategic interest group (SIG) on "Managing Sport" provides an important platform to share knowledge among academics and practitioners in its sixth year after inauguration. The annual EURAM conference 2014 was held 4-7 June 2014 in Valencia (Spain) under the title "Waves and winds of strategic leadership for sustainable competitiveness". Valencia is marketing itself as a city full of sporting activities with a range from motorsports at the Ricardo Tormo Motor Racing Circuit (hosting Moto GP races), the Valencia Street Circuit (Formula One), to Golf and sailing, swimming or diving, just to name a few. In 2007 the harbour of Valencia provided the central base for all the America’s Cup sailing teams. We are grateful to Alejandro Escribá, head of the Valencia EURAM 2014 team and Jorge Coll from European Sports Business School in Valencia, to establish contact with Pablo Pernía (Director of communication of the Ricardo Tormo circuit and Valencia street circuit) and Javier Viguera (former general manager at JCFerrero-Equelite Sport Academy in Valencia, currently Tournament Manager at Grand Gemdale Event Management in China) as to link up the SIG’s activities with local sports businesses during a well-attended pre-conference. Thank you Pablo Pernía and Javier Viguera for providing us highly interesting insights into the knowledge of managing a race circuit and keeping (or loosing) race series as well as on the entrepreneurial creativity necessary to establish, develop and run a training academy for tennis talents. A further keynote-address by Simon Chadwick (Coventry University Business School) on "Issues in event management – the challenges ahead" provided a more academic perspective on the nature and scope of event management studies and related disciplines by demonstrating what is unique and challenging about event management.
For the academic programme at the EURAM 2014 conference we have been able to maintain a constant stream of high-quality full-paper submissions, leading to about 30 papers presented in Valencia. We are grateful to Emerald Group Publishing for continuing the strong bonds between Sport, Business and Management and the managing Sport-SIG also by sponsoring an annual best paper award and a best reviewer award. The best paper award in Valencia was presented to Margaret Johnston and Luc Bourgeois (University of Queensland, Australia) for their paper entitled "Third-person perceptions of gambling sponsorship advertising". The best reviewer award was presented to Dimitrios Kolyperas (University of Stirling, UK). The Award Committee included Emilie Malcourant (as 2013 best reviewer), Mathieu Winand (as the SIG’s Programme Chair) and James Santomier (as SIG Treasurer). We wish to thank them and all the reviewers of the track for their excellent work. In addition to the award winning paper by Margaret Johnston and Luc Bourgeois we selected the following four papers for this special issue aiming to advance our knowledge about governance, sponsorship and talent development in sports. These are Brian Minikin (University of Stirling, UK) on "Legitimacy and democracy: implications for governance in sport"; Emilie Malcourant, Alain Vas and Thierry Zintz (all Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium) on "World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): a meta-organizational perspective"; Sten Söderman (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Harald Dolles (Molde University College, Norway & University of Gothenburg, Sweden) on "Unlocking advertising, activation and sponsorship in an emerging market: the case of Beijing Olympics"; and "Talent development in football: are young talents given time to blossom?" by Stig Arve Sæther (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) and Harry Arne Solberg (Sør-Trøndelag University College, Norway). All papers have been at least double-blind reviewed to be accepted for presentation at the EURAM 2014 conference and revised afterwards in exchange with the reviewers.
In the award winning paper by Margaret Johnston and Luc Bourgeois "Third-person perceptions of gambling sponsorship advertising" the authors apply Davison’s third-person effect framework to examine perceptions of sponsorship advertising by legalised gambling companies, including its influence on individuals, children and other adults in Australia. Behavioural reactions around support for restrictions on gambling sponsorship and intentions to gamble with sponsors were also investigated. Consistent with the third-person effect framework, results indicate that people assume gambling sponsorship advertising influences others more than it does them. Findings reveal a range of responses to sponsorship by gambling agencies. Some view gambling sponsorship positively, they are anticensorship and happy to bet with sponsors. Others, who bet on sports but have no particular allegiance to gambling sponsors, appear highly protective of children, and endorse gambling sponsorship restrictions.
The second paper by Brian Minikin examines the processes that lead to the selection of people in positions of "power" in sport organisations and demonstrates how the existing mechanisms for legitimising member based sport organisations can lead to poor governance. The self-regulatory nature of sport assumes that elected representatives put the organisation’s interests before their own and that they always act in the best interests of the members. Through three case studies, the author illustrates how individuals can manipulate the established rules in order to obtain and retain power. The paper raises important questions about the appropriateness of the legitimising mechanisms that affect sport and the challenges that face modern sport organisations. It challenges the basis of how sport is structured and how member based sport organisations are legitimised and argues that the concepts of democracy and autonomy in sport organisations need to be reviewed.
In the third paper Emilie Malcourant, Alain Vas and Thierry Zintz, investigate the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) through the theoretical framework of meta-organisations that focuses on organisations that are themselves made up of organisations. The data are drawn from a unique case study based on interviews of WADA’s experts and documentary analysis. The authors analysed WADA through two dimensions of meta-organisations, namely the organisational and strategic dimensions. The findings suggest that the WADA can be apprehended through meta-organisational theory. However, the criterion of consensus decision-making process needs to be nuanced since it is not the only process used by WADA in its decision making. The paper enhances the understanding of a specific international sports organisation at the heart of current major sports issues and enriches the literature on meta-organisational theory.
The fourth paper by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles aims to describe and explain the advertising behaviour seen as an activation strategy performed by Olympic sponsors in an emerging market context by taking the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing as a case. It provides insights into the strategic goals related to sponsorship. The longitudinal approach taken opens the possibility to explore the dynamics of the strategies of Chinese as well as foreign firms in China. A means-objective framework of sponsoring consists of six factors, which were applied to analyse 739 advertisements, articles and press releases collected from Chinese newspapers and Chinese official web pages covering a period of nine years (2001-2008). Based on a qualitative content analysis and nine means-objectives combinations in sponsorship patterns the authors discovered six dominant advertising strategies. In conclusion sponsorship activation by means of advertising seems to be dependent on the lead-time to the main event and the level of internationalisation of the sponsoring firm.
The focus of the fifth and last paper in this volume by Stig Arve Sæther and Harry Arne Solberg demonstrates some of the difficulties of implementing regulations that encourage talent development in European football. Although talent development is emphasised, the clubs are not always willing to take the necessary steps to put it into practice. This study has confirmed Norwegian elite clubs reluctance to give U20 players playing opportunities. Giving playing time to U20 players had a negative effect on the clubs’ sporting results. Surprisingly, the clubs with the highest budget had more U20 players in their squad and also gave these players more playing time than other clubs. The import of foreign players reduced the playing time of U20 players, but not the recruitment of such players. The import of foreign players did not have any effect on sporting performance of the clubs. This indicates that clubs in football nations such as Norway may benefit from giving U20 players more playing time instead of importing players.
Dr Mathieu Winand
School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK, and
Professor Harald Dolles
Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, Molde University College, Molde, Norway and School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden