Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Developing a Theory of Sport-Based Entrepreneurship

Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Developing a Theory of Sport-Based Entrepreneurship

Article excerpt


Entrepreneurship is an integral part of sport but less is known about how different types of entrepreneurship facilitate innovation. The aim of this paper is to develop a theory of sports-based entrepreneurship that incorporates different sub-categories of entrepreneurship such as social, technological and international. Specifically, the article connects the entrepreneurship and sport management literatures by proposing a theory of sport-based entrepreneurship, which can be used as a theoretical framework for future research. In addition, the paper provides a unique insight for sports practitioners and public policy planners wanting to focus on entrepreneurial ways to manage sport-based organizations.

Keywords: sport, entrepreneurship, management, innovation, business ventures


Both entrepreneurship and sport management have become important areas of business management study in the past decade. Sport has been studied from a variety of different disciplines including economics, philosophy, marketing, psychology, and sociology (Olivier, 2006). However, less is known about sport from an entrepreneurship perspective and the aim of this paper is to connect the entrepreneurship and sports management disciplines together. In this paper, I develop the concept of sport-based entrepreneurship and argue that it is a promising strategy for business ventures. Entrepreneurship is important to the sport sector as constant innovation by business is required to meet changing consumer demands and expectations (Ball, 2005). Consumer changes have been influenced by recent economic conditions that have affected consumer confi- dence in the sports industry (Futterman, 2008). Entrepreneurship in sport can help to redevelop organizations and to increase the number of new products and services being invented (Hardy, 1996). Entrepreneurial characteristics like finding new market niches are necessities for many small businesses involved in the sport sector (Berrett, Burton, & Slack, 1993), and this paper focuses how organizations can take a sport-based entrepreneurship perspective in order to succeed.

Sport-based entrepreneurship allows academics, practitioners, and public policy makers to understand the drivers of entrepreneurial activity. There is a need to see the drivers of entrepreneurial activity from other discipline lens such as sport management. As entrepreneurship acts as a vehicle for personal and organizational development or to solve social problems (Ball, 2005), it is important to see how it is developed in the sport context. Entrepreneurship often occurs as a result of people having a willingness to expand their organizational efforts in the sports field (Terjesen, 2008). The most important element of entrepreneurial activity identified in most entrepreneurship literature is innovation (Hitt, Ireland, Camp, & Sexton, 2001). The role of innovation is highlighted in recent defi- nitions of entrepreneurship focusing on the formation and development of new ventures (Wiggins & Ruefli, 2005), or as the creation of new organizations (Gartner, 1988). There are a number of different types of entrepreneurship including corporate, community-based, technological, institutional, immigrant, ethnic, international, rural, small business, woman, and environmental. This paper will contribute to the existing entrepreneurship literature by identifying another category: sports-based entrepreneurship, which also includes some elements of the other types of entrepreneurship.

In entrepreneurship theory it is generally assumed that ventures are created by an entrepreneur acting individually or as a member of a team (Peredo & Chrisman, 2006). A new venture is a networked temporary coalition of individuals and organizations within a local economy (Taylor, 1999). A venture becomes entrepreneurship when there is a single independent operation linked to other similar operations through contractual exchange relationships (Taylor, 1999). …

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