America's Cup 2007: sailing, glitter and power

Frederic Lassalle (Équipe d’Accueil du CREGO, IAE DIJON, University of Burgundi, Dijon, France)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Publication date: 4 March 2014



The purpose of this paper is to present a tool with which to understand the power existing in relations between sports organisations. This research proposes a tool will draw from the work of Machiavel (1513/2000), Galbraith (1985) and Baechler (1978). This tool is composed by three dimensions which guarantee the possessor an absolute power, so avoiding the threat of overthrow by discontented individuals.


A case study of the America's Cup 2007, held in Valencia, Spain, will seek to shed light on the theoretical conceptions of various authors. The America's Cup is one of the world's oldest competitive sporting events. A semantic analysis of the resulting data via Alceste and Wordmapper software, will highlight the particular power present in relations.


The importance of this research, in addition to finding a type of power in a precise case, is essentially to verify the functioning of the model of three dimensions, given its triangular form.

Practical implications

Organisations could acquire a better understanding of power present in their relations that they maintain and hence adapt their behaviour according to the strategy they seek to employ. International sporting events constitute a field where stakes are high, and each entity must work hard to put in place a set of strategies to ensure profit.


Sport as an area of research, sport is justified by recent developments in the world of sporting special events management, where weighty power struggles have considerably increased.



Lassalle, F. (2014), "America's Cup 2007: sailing, glitter and power", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 38-51.

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