The purpose of this paper is to investigate a competitive evolutionary process we call “innovation overshooting” that has been observed in equipment-based sports, using windsurfing as a case study.
The case-study approach is based upon primary data gathered through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with pioneers of the case-study sport and through analysis of international and domestic industry publications and grey literature.
New sports, in particular equipment-based “lifestyle” sports, can experience a rapid rise in popularity but eventually technology-driven competition leads to equipment overshooting the capabilities and financial budgets of most users. This Schumpeterian market process leads to a rapid decline in participation and the eventual collapse of the market for the sport’s equipment.
Models of endogenous overshooting are established in the study of finance and business cycles, and have recently been extended to the music and design industry. The authors extend this to the sports equipment sector finding clear evidence of evolutionary competitive technological and market overshooting.
The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the RMIT College of Business Seed Grants programme for financial support. The authors would also like to thank the representatives of the boardsports industry who have given generously of their time and knowledge in support of this research. Also ARC Grant No. FT120100509.
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