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The special features of sport: A critical revisit

  • Smith, Aaron C.T.
  • Stewart, Bob
Registered author(s):

    In the world of contemporary sport it is commonly claimed that at its elite end at least, sport's management is complex because the product it delivers to participants and fans is so idiosyncratic. This claim is accompanied by the view that while professional sport is in large part just another form of business, it has a range of special features that demand a customised set of practices to ensure its effective operation. This article aims to re-examine this view in the light of sport's commercial and socio-cultural developments over the last decade. It initially proposes that while both business and sport are concerned with widening market share, building profits, and strengthening brands, the presumption that sport has a monopoly over the delivery of intense emotional experiences, tribal belonging, and strong interpersonal relationships, is difficult to defend. The article concludes that while sport's economic and social progress has created an industry that is built around complex bureaucracies that turn over many thousands of millions of dollars every year, it has also created a more diverse and heterogeneous system of structures and experiences that are difficult to conflate to a handful of neat special features.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1441352309000692
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Sport Management Review.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 1-13

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:13:y:2010:i:1:p:1-13
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