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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2018

Kenneth M. York and Cynthia E. Miree

The purpose of this paper is to measure the effect of the National Hockey League (NHL) collective bargaining agreement (CBA) of 2005 between the NHL owners and the NHL…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the effect of the National Hockey League (NHL) collective bargaining agreement (CBA) of 2005 between the NHL owners and the NHL Players Association, to determine whether competitive balance in the NHL increased after the CBA.

Design/methodology/approach

Competitive balance in the NHL was compared between 11 seasons before the NHL Lockout Season in 2004-2005 and 11 seasons after, with a new CBA and a new revenue sharing plan. Competitive balance was measured in multiple ways, within seasons, across multiple seasons, by the margin of victory in individual games, by the concentration of teams winning and playing in the NHL championship, in the correlation of winning percentage of a season with subsequent seasons, and the number of consecutive winning or losing seasons.

Findings

There was greater competitive balance after the Lockout Season and the new CBA than before on all of the measures of competitive balance. The NHL has found a management solution to the effective management of a common pool resource and avoided a tragedy of the commons.

Practical implications

While this research builds on previous work which examines the presence of competitive balance in the NHL, it encourages those engaged in labor policy to consider not only the merit of design when negotiating labor policy, but also to explore the impact of policy on organizational outcomes over time.

Originality/value

This paper combines perspectives and insights from multiple disciplines including economists’ ideas about competitive balance in a sports league, ecologists’ ideas about effective management of a common pool resource, and strategic management ideas about management solutions to a sustainability problem.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Ayushi Dutta, Sarthak Mondal and Shiny Raizada

This paper analyses competitive balance in the “big five” women's football leagues in Asia longitudinally between 2010 and 2019.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses competitive balance in the “big five” women's football leagues in Asia longitudinally between 2010 and 2019.

Design/methodology/approach

Competitive balance has been measured using recognised measures of concentration, HICB and NHICB, alongside recognised measures of dominance, i.e., identification of top teams. A time-trend analysis has been employed to identify trends of CB in the respective leagues followed by ANOVA and relevant post-hoc tests to identify difference in concentration measures. A multiple linear regression analysis has been conducted to identify the impact of external economic factors on CB.

Findings

Some significant differences were detected in the levels of concentration between leagues. There was also some variation in terms of some leagues being dominated by a fewer number of teams. However, these two measures of competitive balance (concentration and dominance) were not necessarily correlated with each other. The paper also tries to find the optimum number of teams to maintain CB in the women's football leagues in Asia, but an exact figure could not be found.

Research limitations/implications

Some significant differences were detected in the levels of concentration between leagues. There was also some variation in terms of some leagues being dominated by a fewer number of teams. However, these two measures of competitive balance (concentration and dominance) were not necessarily correlated with each other. External economic factors were found to have negative impact on CB.

Originality/value

The paper is an original research and aims to add to the growing body of CB research in world through analysis of competitive balance (ACB).

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2018

Daniel Plumley, Girish Mohan Ramchandani and Robert Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to examine competitive balance in European football leagues before and after the inception of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations by Union…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine competitive balance in European football leagues before and after the inception of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations by Union of European Football Associations in 2011, designed to bring about financial stability and improve competitive balance in the European game.

Design/methodology/approach

The research focuses on the top division football leagues in England (English Premier League), Germany (Bundesliga), France (Ligue 1), Italy (Serie A) and Spain (La Liga). The paper is organised into two distinct time periods: pre-FFP, comprising the six seasons between 2005/2006 and 2010/2011; and post-FFP, comprising the six seasons between 2011/2012 and 2016/2017. The paper uses recognised measures of concentration and dominance to measure competitive balance.

Findings

The results show a statistically significant decline in competitive balance post-FFP for leagues in Spain, Germany and France but not for England and Italy. Furthermore, the results report significantly higher levels of concentration and dominance by a select number of clubs in Germany.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first to analyse competitive balance in this way both pre- and post-FFP. Whilst the paper cannot demonstrate a causal link between FFP and competitive balance, there are strong indications that competitive balance has been adversely affected (for some leagues) since the regulations have been imposed. To that end, the paper argues that FFP has had “unintended consequences” in respect of competitive balance.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2018

Girish Ramchandani, Daniel Plumley, Sophie Boyes and Rob Wilson

This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on competitive balance in the “big five” European football leagues, namely, the English Premier League, French Ligue 1…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on competitive balance in the “big five” European football leagues, namely, the English Premier League, French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses recognised measures of competitive balance to measure levels of concentration (within-season competitive balance) and dominance (between-season competitive balance) in the selected leagues over 22 seasons between 1995/96 and 2016/17.

Findings

French Ligue 1 emerged as the most balanced league in terms of both concentration and dominance measures. The analysis also points to a statistically significant decline in competitive balance in all leagues apart from Serie A (Italy).

Originality/value

The findings of this study are of concern for the league organisers. Competition intensity is a key component of a sport league, and a league that is dominated by one or a select few clubs is less attractive within the marketplace. This paper presents challenges at the league governance level for the five leagues examined.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Girish Ramchandani, Daniel Plumley, Harry Preston and Rob Wilson

This paper aims to explore at what league size competitive balance reaches its best level through a longitudinal study and by using the English Premier League (EPL) as an example.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore at what league size competitive balance reaches its best level through a longitudinal study and by using the English Premier League (EPL) as an example.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the influence of league size on competitive balance in the EPL, the authors first calculated competitive balance scores for 22 seasons between 1995/96 and 2016/17 under the existing 20 team system. They then calculated a further ten normalised competitive balance scores for each EPL season by adjusting the league size to examine the league size threshold at which competitive balance in each season of the EPL was at its best level.

Findings

The analysis indicates that the current league structure of 20 teams compromises the overall level of competitive balance in the EPL in comparison with a league comprising between 10 and 19 teams. However, the authors cannot pinpoint the precise league size at which the EPL is most competitively balanced, as no significant differences were observed between the competitive balance indices for these league sizes.

Originality/value

The findings of this study have practical relevance for league organisers and the Union of European Football Associations given that they themselves have stated that competitive balance will be a big challenge for the European football industry in the coming years.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Mohamed F.A. Ebrahim, N. David Pifer, Saad Ahmed Saad Shalaby, Karim Mohamed Mahmoud El Hakim, Hosam El Dien El Sayed Mubarak and James J. Zhang

The Egyptian Premier League (EPL) holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. However…

Abstract

Purpose

The Egyptian Premier League (EPL) holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. However, the actual competitive balance in this league has come under scrutiny in recent years as the two historically dominant Cairo clubs, Ahly and Zamalek, continue to retain the EPL championship. A major concern is that the competitive imbalance of the EPL may actually be hampering the league’s progress and the progress of soccer in Egypt. In order to more closely assess this situation, the purpose of this paper is to use historical EPL performance data to conduct a series of competitive balance analyses on league results from 1948 to 2014. The findings revealed that competition in the league is almost nonexistent as Ahly and Zamalek continue to enjoy a number of direct and indirect financial benefits that are unrealized by their competitors. The dominance of these clubs has compromised the elements of match uncertainty and drama that are traditionally viewed as being important to the prestige and financial achievements of leagues and teams. Discussion is therefore offered for how the EPL could go about resolving some of its organizational and competitive balance issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted four basic measures of competitive balance to conduct descriptive analyses on EPL data that were collected from egyptianfootball.net and the Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. These analyses began with the EPL’s inaugural season (1948-1949) and extended to the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season. During this timeframe, seven seasons were canceled due to global and political tensions and four more went unfinished. Because these seasons were excluded, the total sample size consisted of 56 seasons, each of which contained between 10 and 24 EPL teams. The data were analyzed using variations of the following competitive balance measures: the range and standard deviation of winning percentages, the ratio of the standard deviation/Noll-Scully approach, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, and five-club concentration ratio.

Findings

The results confirmed that the league is largely imbalanced, leading the authors to recommend systemic and structural changes that could help promote competitive balance in the league. The call for competitive balance in the EPL was bolstered by a literature review of studies that advocated for parity in professional sports leagues. In the end, the researchers recommend the EPL to improve its organizational policies and consider a revised revenue-sharing system that would allow the small-market teams to survive and thrive.

Originality/value

The EPL holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. The primary purpose of this study was to perform a series of competitive balance analyses on EPL results from 1948 to 2015 in an effort to better understand the various degrees of competitiveness in the league during this time.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Christopher John Freestone and Argyro Elisavet Manoli

The introduction of financial fair play (FFP) regulations in 2011 was accompanied by criticism that they would have an adverse effect on competitive balance in European…

Abstract

Purpose

The introduction of financial fair play (FFP) regulations in 2011 was accompanied by criticism that they would have an adverse effect on competitive balance in European football. Counter-points were also expressed, suggesting that the opposite would occur; that they would actually increase competitive balance through reducing the importance of financial power. The lack of clarity and cohesion on this issue prompted this paper. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect FFP has had on competitive balance in the English Premier League.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis conducted uses the Herfindahl Index of Competitive Balance as the primary method, and is supported by standard deviation of points analysis and a Scully-Noll ratio analysis, which together provide an indication of the level of competitive balance for each of the past 21 seasons, from 1995/1996 to 2015/2016. This examination allows for the trends in competitive balance to be identified, with emphasis drawn on the seasons after the introduction of the regulations.

Findings

The results provide no indication that FFP regulations have resulted in a decline in competitive balance in the EPL, instead hinting that a positive effect may have been caused. This positive effect exceeds the primary aim of the regulations and underlines their importance in the future stability of club football.

Originality/value

While underlining the need for further research on the topic, this study provides the first insights into the effects of FFP regulations on competitive balance in the EPL. These insights would support the view that FFP initiatives have begun to shift the focus of sporting competition away from financial strength towards more natural means of competition such as efficiency, innovation and good management.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Thomas R. Sadler and Shane Sanders

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the 2011 National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout and collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the 2011 National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout and collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Design/methodology/approach

Using a bargaining game model, the authors show that asymmetric information via owner revenue shifting and financial non-disclosure caused the conflict between owners and players (growth of player salaries) to result in a lockout.

Findings

The bargaining game also demonstrates the lockout to be a rational response to asymmetric information: by restricting the growth of player salaries, owners improved their competitive position. Other factors motivating the lockout include the indirect benefit to the median owner of repressing player salaries (i.e. greater expected competitive balance) and a principal agency problem within the players’ union. The lockout concluded with a ten-year CBA, a mutual opt-out in 2017, and revenue sharing between 49 and 51 percent of basketball-related income. The league salvaged a shortened 2011-2012 season, but created an economic framework more favorable to owners.

Originality/value

This paper is novel in its analysis of the bargaining aspects of the current NBA collective bargaining agreement.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 42 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2020

Fabio Wagner, Holger Preuss and Thomas Könecke

For managers of sports leagues, it is crucial to produce an attractive competition. For that to happen, it is vital to consider that leagues frequently have more…

Abstract

Purpose

For managers of sports leagues, it is crucial to produce an attractive competition. For that to happen, it is vital to consider that leagues frequently have more sub-competitions than “just” the championship. In European top football leagues, for instance, four sub-competitions are common (championship, qualification for Champions- or Europa League, avoiding relegation). This paper introduces a new method for measuring competitive intensity (CI) in round-robin sports leagues considering all relevant sub-competitions and applies it to Germany's Bundesliga.

Design/methodology/approach

The newly developed model calculates a CI-Index for each sub-competition and the league as a whole. The application to the Bundesliga analyzes its viability and the development of the league's CI over the past 22 seasons.

Findings

The newly introduced CI-Indices prove to be a viable tool for evaluating a league's competitive intensity. The application to the Bundesliga shows that the seasonal CI dropped after 2009/10, which can mainly be attributed to a decline in the championship's CI.

Practical implications

The results show that it is important to facilitate a high CI in each of Bundesliga's four sub-competitions. Efforts have to be made to ensure that especially the Europa League remains as attractive as possible for the participating teams and their fans because this sub-competition constantly makes the greatest contribution to the seasonal CI.

Originality/value

The new method measures competitive intensity by quantifying the different sub-competitions and their contribution to the seasonal CI. This allows the organizers of sports leagues to assess the intensity of the individual sub-competitions as well as the league as a whole.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2018

Yan Feng, Jia Lu and Yeujun Yoon

Experiences of high quality games between top-class sports teams could influence sports fans’ decision to attend the domestic sports games. For example, soccer fans who…

Abstract

Purpose

Experiences of high quality games between top-class sports teams could influence sports fans’ decision to attend the domestic sports games. For example, soccer fans who watched the World Cup games between the best national teams are likely to be disappointed with the performance of their domestic league teams after the World Cup event, while more people might be attracted to watch a soccer game because of their increased interest in soccer games. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the international sports event (i.e. the World Cup) influences the demand of the domestic sports league games in the non-hosting country.

Design/methodology/approach

To test these antithetical hypotheses, the authors collect the Chinese Super League game-level data from 2004 to 2011. For analysis, the authors propose two empirical models rigorously developed based on previous sports marketing theories.

Findings

The findings are surprising compared to previous studies for the hosting countries or countries that performed spectacularly during the World Cup tournaments. The authors find that the international event negatively influences the attendance of domestic games. Specifically, it gives salience to the competitive quality of a match and helps enhance the impact of star players. Furthermore, the authors find evidence of dynamic effects of the international event.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the previous sports literatures by expanding our understanding of the effect of international sports events. Particularly, the results shed light on international events’ impact on the domestic sports league demand in more general conditions based on its influence on people’s behavior, rather than focusing on the effect caused by facility development or dramatic performance during the international event.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

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