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The Organization of Professional Sports Leagues: A Comparison of European and North-American Leagues from the Perspective of Platform Organization

Author

Listed:
  • Helmut Dietl

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Tobias Duschl

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

In this paper we compare European and North American sports leagues from the perspective of platform organization. We find that European leagues can be characterized as open, not only in the sense of promotion and relegation, but also in the sense of attenuated/dispersed property rights and free access to all market sides. North American leagues, on the other hand, are organized as closed platforms with exclusive/concentrated property rights and high entry barriers on all market sides. This difference explains why European clubs outperform their North American counterparts in terms of revenue generation, i.e. value creation, and why North American clubs are much more profitable than most European clubs. European leagues are organized as open platforms, which invite and facilitate participation from all relevant market sides. The absence of concentrated property rights and the possibility of free market entry, two aspects existent in North American leagues, limit the opportunities of value appropriation for European clubs.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Dietl & Tobias Duschl, 2009. "The Organization of Professional Sports Leagues: A Comparison of European and North-American Leagues from the Perspective of Platform Organization," Working Papers 0119, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stefan Szymanski & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2010. "Promotion and Relegation in Sporting Contests," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: The Comparative Economics of Sport, chapter 6, pages 198-228, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
    3. Roger G. Noll, 2003. "The Organization of Sports Leagues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 19(4), pages 530-551, Winter.
    4. Helmut Dietl & Egon FrancK & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2008. "Welfare Effects of Salary Caps in Sports Leagues with Win-Maximizing Clubs," Working Papers 0825, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    5. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch, 2005. "Are Voluntary Salary Cap Agreements Self-Enforcing?," Working Papers 0003, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    6. Roger G. Noll, 2002. "The Economics of Promotion and Relegation in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 169-203, May.
    7. DeSerpa, Allan C & Faith, Roger L, 1996. ""Bru-u-u-uce": The Simple Economics of Mob Goods," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 77-91, October.
    8. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 990-1029, June.
    9. Dietl Helmut M & Lang Markus & Rathke Alexander, 2009. "The Effect of Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports on Social Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, April.
    10. Kesenne, Stefan, 2000. "The Impact of Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 422-430, September.
    11. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Open platforms versus cartels in professional sports leagues
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-08 21:30:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Budzinski & Janina Satzer, 2011. "Sports Business and Multisided Markets: Towards a New Analytical Framework? (Long Version)," Working Papers 1104, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    2. Pamela Wicker & Christian Weingärtner & Christoph Breuer & Helmut Dietl, 2012. "The Effect of a Sports Institution’s Legal Structure on Sponsorship Income: The Case of Amateur Equestrian Sports in Germany," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 7(4), pages 340-357, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sports leagues; organization; platform; network effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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