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From the Guest Editors: Strategy in Sport Management
João J. Ferreira, University of Beira Interior & NECE – Research Unit in Business Science, Portugal
Dina Miragaia, University of Beira Interior & NECE – Research Unit in Business Science, Portugal
Vanessa Ratten, La Trobe University, Australia
This special issue includes six papers specific to Strategy in Sport Management (SSM) research. It offers an opportunity to advance our understanding of the specific themes of SSM. It also addresses subjects particularly critical to the SSM field, including its multidisciplinary, new theoretical perspectives, emerging methodologies and novel strategies in sport management approaches and encourages scrutinising their impact on organisational context. In this editorial we attempt to identify the main SSM research areas and outline a short description of the authors’ contributions.
Keywords: sport, sport management, sport marketing, strategy, strategic management
Theoretical Background
Research in strategy is at a critical crossroads due to the global marketplace and there is an increased emphasis on new theoretical concepts and on testing empirical relationships based on such concepts. But what do we know about strategy in sport management?
The history of sport is debatably richer than any other form of human activity. Sport has generally developed across the world as a ceremony, a celebration, a physical pursuit, a leisure activity and now, increasingly, a business (CHADWICK, 2009).
A business looking for stable revenues, new product development, or international expansion engages in business strategy by determining how to position itself in appropriate markets and in relation to competitors. Strategy relates to sports because a non-sport firm may use sport strategically by advertising, sponsoring (O'REILLY and HORNING, 2013), image and reputation (PARENT and FOREMAN, 2007), corporate social responsibility (HEINZE et al., 2014), partnership (BABIAK, 2007) or female (FINK, 2015) or/and a sport-related business may be associated with a variety of industries, each of which have different economic features and market forces (RATTEN, 2011; RATTEN and BABIAK, 2010).
Sport has inherently competitive values in nature and is entrepreneurial as it continues to adapt based on global marketplace changes (RATTEN, 2011). In addition, stakeholders in the strategic decision making of a sport organization (MIRAGAIA et al., 2014) are other crucial elements in all processes. To be successful over a period of time organizations need to determine the nature of the environments within which the competition is taking place, ensuring that they have resources and capabilities to move successfully through those environments in order to create a sustainable strategy (BEECH and CHADWICK, 2004).
In a fast moving environment, governance remains central to the effective and efficient management of sport organizations (FINK, 2013; HOYE and AULD, 2007). The strategic role and performance of the board, while central to the practice of governance, has been showed to be a weakness in many sport organizations (FERKINS et al., 2005). Changes in sport management have presented major strategic issues to those responsible for governing sport organizations (FINK, 2013; LERA-LOPEZ and RAPUN-GARATE, 2007; MILLER, 2002).
The contribution of the strategic activities in sport management is a topic superficially explored by sport management scholars (RATTEN and BABIAK, 2010). Understanding the factors that both constrain and enable sport organisations to think and act strategically may provide an empirical basis for sports to build their strategic capabilities (FERKINS and SHILBURY, 2010) and efficiency (BABIAK, 2007; MIRAGAIA et al., 2016)
With the worldwide downturn of the economy, there is a need to effectively measure strategy and competitiveness in sport management context (RATTEN and FERREIRA, 2016). The outcomes of this research will critically depend on the conceptualization and measurement of these concepts and their derivative constructs. Thus, in spite of numerous discussions on alternate approaches to measuring strategy, the relationship between theoretical definitions and their consequent dimensions has been generally weak in the sport management context and there is an opportunity for interdisciplinary research about sport business.  Furthermore, businesses are facing many challenges, many of which are propelled by increasing competitiveness and for lack of identification of what accurately creates a sport organization’s competitive advantage.
The specific focus of this special issue was on the emerging perspectives in strategy by exploring the strategy foundations in a Sport Management context. To generate new theoretical and empirical advances in strategy, it is essential to develop an integrated, empirically-tractable account of how such phenomena influence strategy formation, resource allocation, strategy implementation, market efficiency, and sustained competitive advantage.
In order to provide research themes depicted in SSM as a theoretical background, we identified the journal, authors and research topics through an intellectual structure of research on SSM.
Citation data was collected from the “Current Contents Connect” included on the online databases of Thomson/Reuters-ISI. A survey was conducted by the expression: Strateg*AND “Sport Management”. As inclusion criteria’s only the references in English language were used within in “Business and Economics” research areas, and only the typologies of articles and review were selected. As a result, a total of 58 references were found highlighting the number of research published on this topic in the last ten years (Figure 1).
How to Cite
Felix, B. (2018). Editorial. Brazilian Business Review, 13(Special Ed). Retrieved from
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