Sport Organization: Management Techniques

Subject: Sports
Pages: 13
Words: 4148
Reading time:
15 min
Study level: PhD


At the onset of 21st century, sports management has embraced techniques, strategies, and principles used by modern businesses and organizations. This has been attributed to the rampant growth, professionalization, and development in sports. This has changed the production, consumption, as well as management of the sporting activities, personalities, and organizations. The majority of people today probably millions are involved in sports in one way or the other (Yow, 2000). This has changed sports from an amateur pastime thing to an important profession. A sports manager is involved in the strategic planning and management of the crucial sporting events and personalities. They also manage largest human resources, huge contracts worth billions of money, and welfare of sportsmen/women just to mention a few (Baker, and Esherick, 2013). This has led to a major concern about understanding the special sports features; environment under which sports operate; and forms of sports organization both in the public and private sectors of the sports industry.

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This research will use a deductive approach where both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used. It will be based on primary, as well as secondary data. Primary data will be collected from various selected sports managers through the semi-structured interview and quantitative self-completion surveys. The semi-structured interviews will target the management personnel of the selected sports. On the other hand, quantitative self-completed surveys will target the sportsmen/women.

This research will aim to assess the reasons why sports organizations need to be revitalized with specific/unique management techniques. The study will display a comprehensive stand about the connection management techniques has on improving sport organizations. This research will assess the former management techniques in sport organizations. In addition, the research will uncover the significance of applying specific management techniques. The result of this research will offer a clear understanding about sports management.


This research will aim to explore reasons why sports organizations need to embrace unique/specific management techniques. The following question will underpin the research about this subject:

Why are specific management techniques required in sport organizations?

Therefore, the main objectives of this research will be:

  1. To examine the existing literature concerning sport organization/management in a comprehensive manner.
  2. To define the research key terms “sport organizations” and “management techniques.”
  3. To establish the connection between the sport organizations and management techniques.
  4. To establish reasons why unique/specific management techniques are needed in sport organizations.
  5. To establish the research methodology and plan for this proposed research.
  6. To draw a conclusion and recommendations about the need for unique management techniques in sport organizations.


This research will try to assess the reasons why sports organizations need to be revitalized with specific/unique management techniques.

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Thesis or Question

This research study will address the question, ‘Why are specific management techniques required in sport organizations?’By addressing this particular question, this research study aims at exploring reasons as to why sport organizations need to welcome specific management techniques.

Definition of Terms

Sport organization

Sport organizations refer to associations whose main goal is to promote and develop sports (Slack & Parent, 2006). Sport organization consists of fan club associations, national federations, and International federations among others. Sport events are one of the main roles these organizations have. Sporting events have been in existences since time immemorial, they can be traced in the Roman and Medieval times. Sport organizations were established with the aim of bringing order in the world of sports, for instance, handling and controlling finances as well as organizing sport events for the teams involved (Smith, 2008).

These organizations are managed by sport managers. Sport managers are defined by Mullin as ‘A person whose job entails planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling to be performed within the context of an organization whose primary or predominant product or service is sport or sport-related in that it is play-like in nature, is based on physical prowess, involves physical skill, strategy or chance, is uncertain of outcome, is governed by rules and is dependent on specialized facilities and equipment’ (as cited in Shilbury and Kellet , 2010).

Management Techniques

Management techniques can be defined as analytical and systematic methods that are implemented by managers, as a way of assisting them in decision making, planning and control, and the improvement of efficiency and effectiveness in management activities (Jarvie, 2006). Management techniques are considered important in any given organization as they tend to solve problems, as well as enable things to be done in a more effective manner (Hoye, Smith, Stewart, Nicholson, and Westerbeek, 2012). Management techniques can be systematic or analytical. Management techniques considered systematic provide frameworks that enable managers to put into practice their abilities in a more purposeful and orderly manner (Baker & Esherick, 2013). On the other hand, management techniques considered analytical tend to take a closer look at complex situations where they are systematically examined, then resolved into main elements (Slack & Parent, 2006).

Audience or Significance of Study

The intended audience of this particular research is managers of sport organizations and those involved or participate in sporting activities. The main significance of this study is to provide relevant information regarding reasons as to why sport organizations need to embrace the application of specific management techniques. Once the audience has been made aware of this, they will then be in a better position to accept organizational changes that come with implementation of unique management techniques (Smith, 2008). Sponsors of sport organizations will also benefit from this particular research as they will be moved to invest in sportsmen and sportswomen more, upon the realization that the organizations can actually change management to something better and workable in future.

Review of Literature

There are many studies conducted about sports management. However, the majority of the studies consider the strategic planning of sport organizations. Little has been done about the reasons why sport organizations need to apply specific management techniques. Hoye, et al. (2012) identified different unique sports features that influence the need for specific management techniques in sports organizations.

To begin with, they viewed sports as a phenomenon in the way which sports fans develop the irrational passion for the teams and competitions. Sports differ significantly with other fields in the manner in which the performance results, success, and achievements are perceived, presented, and celebrated. Therefore, sports managers are required to be knowledgeable on how to harness the fans’ passion for the benefit of the sport. These include appealing to fans to buy tickets and other sports merchandise, become club members, and volunteer in sports activities. The sport manager should come up with clear business logic and management techniques to the maintenance of traditions and connections to the nostalgic aspects of sport consumption and engagement (Butenko, Gil-Lafuente, Pardalos, & Gil, 2010). The achievement of this requires sports managers to have specific management techniques (Hoye, et al., 2012).

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Sports organizations bear great differences with other organizations in terms of performance evaluation. While other Public or privately listed organizations are profit oriented to increase the wealth of their shareholders/owners; sport organizations, base on other imperatives like winning titles, services provision to stakeholders, members and the larger community over the financial ambitions. Nonetheless, sports managers must balance between these imperatives and financial issues. They can be compared to non-profit making organizations, whose core values and services are to serve its people.

The competitive balance is another factor to consider in sports management. Sport organizations both on-field and off-field aim to maintain the viability of the teams and the leagues in the long run. Therefore, sport organizations cooperate with each other in sharing of revenues and players. Additionally, they regulate themselves to avoid certainty of the game results amongst them in order to maintain the fans’ interest. On the contrary, most business organizations target to eliminate all competition in order to gain monopoly and the largest shares in the market (Hoye, et al. 2012). Teams compete fiercely on-field, but off-field they cooperate, build strong relationships with the ultimate goal of growing the sport.

The varying quality of sports products is of key concern. In general, the outcomes of games are quite uncertain. For instance, one team can dominate thus reducing the game’s attractiveness. This is damaging as it creates a perception of diminishing game’s quality especially to the losers. In turn, guarantee of quality becomes difficult. A lot of competitiveness and quality if uphold will increase the fans interest, increase the fans in the stadiums, and resultantly increasing the sponsorships of teams and organizations.

Sports products/brands attract a high degree of loyalty and optimism from the fans that are less influenced by the results or standards of officiating. Clubs will find it hard to attract new fans and as well lose old fans, this works for and against the clubs. Such loyalty stimulates certain behaviors in sports fans like buying or wearing a uniform of their teams or favorite player or imitating sports heroes (Hoye, et al., 2012). With such loyalty and following from fans, team merchandise are assured a stable demand as they no change of choice as its in consumer goods. Fans are buoyed with confidence; they always believe their team will win even if it’s not doing so well at the moment.

Hoye, et al. (2012) argued that sport organizations are reluctant and limited to adopting new technologies connected to sports. This portrays sport organizations as conservative and based on traditions.

Lastly, sports organizations are also limited in terms of availability. In this case, clubs are to achieve their set goals within a definite season that is never added if the team does not perform as expected. Unlike sports, other organizations are flexible to changes in order to meet their demand such increasing production (Hoye et al., 2012). The above mentioned reasons can influence sport organizations to apply specific management techniques.

Sport Management Environment


Globalization has greatly impacted on the sport industry as much as it has on others. Apart from fans thronging the stadiums, millions of them can now “follow” their best team’s all season long, by watching television, listening on radio and internet. Fans can read about game analysis, their favorite players, and teams through the newspapers and magazines, receive live scores via mobile phones, and subscribe online for special deals and information using their email address.

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Sport encourages patriotism, economic spur, and builds strong relationship among the citizens of the country. It is because of such vital national benefits that governments are working hand in hand with sport organizations and create a good working environment for them. The government provides guidelines, through creating laws that regulate the field of sport. Worldwide, governments directly or indirectly fund the sport, bid for events jointly with sport organizations, build new stadia among others. Governments give tax waivers for sport equipment, sport events, and money earned by individual athletes. The sport organizations are encouraged by the state to increase its membership, do social-corporate activities, and provide guidance on use of alcohol and drugs.


Professionalism has grown in the past three decades due to increased corporate sponsorship, the sport is an employment opportunity for example sport managers, players among others. There is an increase in the number of sports management courses in universities; this is evidence of an increase in the demand of sport managers. Sport managers should be equipped to work with different professionals like lawyers, physicians, and match officials among others.


Technology is shaping all fields in the 21st century, and the sport department has not been left behind either. Technology is noticeable in the following areas: detecting performance enhancing drugs, information technology, coaching and high performance techniques, sports venues, goal technology, and video refers in hockey and cricket, and sporting equipment. Sport organizations and managers have come up with policies. This policies guide the sport about the incorporation and use of the technology in the sport, intellectual protection and how to adopt their operations to incorporate their use to help the organization achieve its objectives.

Sport Management Stakeholders

They are three stakeholders in the sport management; of whose roles are multifaceted and work jointly with the sport managers to achieve the goals of sport organizations. They consist of the public sector, non-profit/ voluntary sector, and professional or commercial sport organizations.

Public sector

The public sector comprises of the national, state, regional, and local governments, government agents. The manager should abide and work within the set rules by this sector. The major role of this sector is to create conducive working environment for the sport to grow.

Non profit or voluntary sector

Non profit or voluntary sector consists but not limited to community based clubs, governing associations, national and international sports organizations. National and International sport organization create the opportunities to compete and participate, they also set rules and regulations within which the sport is managed and organize events.

Volunteers sacrifice their time and service to the sport organization at their own will, and their roles are diverse. A sport manager can involve volunteers in the following areas:

  1. Administration: Volunteers serve as members of committees in sport organization. Most of the volunteers are players, former players, and sport enthusiasts. At the administration level, we have volunteers with various specialization fields employing their skills. For instance, people with accounting skills serve as treasurers of the clubs and associations. This is referred to as serious leisure type of volunteering. Such roles are obligatory and require a lot of dedication and time, preferably a whole season.
  2. Training services: Volunteer can serve as coaches, team instructors, or teachers of the various sporting activities. Most of the less established or starting sport organization use volunteers for most of these services. Most successful sport organization started purely on a voluntary basis, with the coach, team instructor, gym instructor and the sport manager being volunteers.
  3. Event organization: This where, volunteerism is employed most globally. Sport managers engage volunteers to offer their service from the planning stages to the particular day of the event. Some of the services include but not limited to; publicity, transportation, venue preparations, ushering teams and fans, and hospitality services among others.

Professional/ commercial sport organizations

Professional/ commercial sport organizations include professional leagues and their member teams, equipment manufacturers, media companies, stadia operators and event managers among others. It’s at this stage that the manager, can negotiate lucrative contracts for the organization like selling coverage rights to media companies, sub contracting event organizers to organize their activities among others.

Sports Management Techniques

Sport managers use techniques and theories that are similar to managers of other business organizations. The management of sport organizations involves the use of multifaceted aspects that are unique unlike other organizations. The management techniques should be adopted by the sport manager for the organization to realize its goals. The various techniques are as discussed below:

Strategic Management

Strategic management involves the identification of the company’s core operation, vision, role, and the organizations set goals. The achievements of any sport organization mainly rely on the value of their strategic decisions. It has taken ages before the sports organization embraced the ideas related to strategic management, due to the manager’s preference of on-field performance and tactics boardroom choices. Sport managers need to make clear cut market analyses, and come up with strategies that mach their set goals and opportunities in the organization.

Organizational structure

An organization structure clearly defines the roles, decision-making procedures, need for collaboration, levels of responsibility and reporting mechanisms. A right structure in a sport organization should not kill creativity; the manager should have adequate control over the employee and volunteer activity with no interference on their morale and attitude. Communication channels should be clear in the organization, while avoiding redundancy in highly complex organizations. The manager should have a balance between salaried staff and volunteers.

Human resource management

Baker and Esherick (2013) say that the ultimate goal of managing a human resource is to ensure an effective and satisfied workforce. The human resource in a sport organization consists of the players, technical bench, other salaried staff, and volunteers. The sport managers need a good balance between managing staff and volunteer, there should also be a clear and good human resource both on and off field. The manager should have clear channels of hiring and firing the staff. The human resource should have a good working environment and conditions.


Sports managers should be able to have influence over others. This eases their work as their visions, decisions are followed. They should also strike a balance and make people own the organization decisions and visions, reduce negative conflict; build strong alliances for the benefit of the organization. The sport managers should also forge strong working relationship with other organizations; collaborate with government agencies, national and international sport organizations.

A good sport manager should have set channels through which conflict is resolved and avoided. Groups and individuals should be involved in the decision making process for the decisions to be owned. A strong working alliance will always achieve the organizations best interests. Therefore, a good manger should work for the better interests of the organization.

Organizational culture

An organizational affects the performance of the staff, provides clear cut channels of how things are done in that place. It affects the attitude of staff members, their commitment to the organizations among others. Each organization has its own culture that is unique to it. The sports manager should be able to know, internalize, and influence the culture of a sport organization. A culture of a place is mostly an indicator of how the organization performs employee commitment, cooperation, and decision making. The sport manager should influence a positive culture in the organization.

A negative culture is a source of the organizational failure, increased conflict and backstabbing among workers and groups, and increased rebellion among others.


Governance revolves around the exercise of decision making. Sports organizations are run by elected officials who are the policy makers for the enhancement of organizational performance. They are not involved in the day-to-day operation management decision making. Good governance systems ensure the elected officials and staff meets the organization set goals. Sports managers who report to these governing councils must understand the core values of better governance and how it needs to be applied in an organization.

The governing structures should be made strong and supported by the manager and the elected officials. They should be a mutual understanding between the manager and the governing council about the organizations core goals and how to achieve them.

Performance Management

In the past three decades, sport organizations have become more professional. They have adopted new tactics that aggressively advertise their products, with well set up strategies that focus on the. A sport manager should be able to analytically examine the tactic and come up with a best line of action or option. This will enable them have a balance of both an on-field and off –field performance.

Research Methodology

This research will follow a deductive and an explanatory approach where qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used. An explanatory design approach will ensure the variables involved in the research, sport organizations, and management techniques will be related. This research will rely on both primary and secondary data. Primary data will be available from questionnaires, whereas secondary data will be obtained from textbooks, journal articles, newspaper articles, international and government sources, internet sources and websites.

The qualitative method will be used to overlook the outcomes of the research hypothesis and develop further study to test and support the research. In regard to the quantitative approach, customer questionnaires will be the primary tool of research. Questionnaires are preferred due to their validity and reliability. An online questionnaire will be used in order to save time and reach many sports managers in different countries. The questionnaires will be simple and closed-ended to enhance high response rate.

Qualitative interviews will be used to verify and clarify the data collected. This will be carried on by managers of respective online questionnaire services. Data analysis will be conducted using statistical tools, which enable input and coding of data. In regard to ethical issues, the proposed research will uphold accuracy and privacy of the data collected, especially in the collection of primary data (Bryman, and Bell, 2011).

This research will seek approval from the respective authority and abide to research rules and regulations particularly in the collection of data.

Research Plan

This proposed research will be assembled as follows: Chapter 1-introduction and background information regarding the variables of this study, sport organizations, and management techniques. Definition of the variables and objectives of the research will be explained in this section. The research questions and research rationale will also be provided. In addition, the hypothesis of the research will be developed in this chapter.


This research will purpose to assess the reasons why sports organizations need to be revitalized with specific/unique management techniques.

Target Population

The target populations of this research are sport managers, management personnel of various sports, sport men, and sport women. The target population will be people above 18 years.

The next chapter is Chapter 2-literature review. The literature review will explore various concepts and ideas developed by various authors. The literature will be linked and differentiated to identify the main ideas of the research. In addition, a theoretical model will be developed which will contain the variables used in the research. The model will be used to identify the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Therefore, theoretical model will be a summary of the concepts and ideas in the research paper.

The next chapter is Chapter 3-research methodology. This chapter will explore the various methodological tools applied during the research. As such, the population sample and data collection process will be explained. The various aspects and characteristics of the sample will be explored.

Variables used in collecting Data

They are two kinds of variables namely independent and dependent variables. Dependant variables are those that usually depend on the outcomes of one or more independent variables (Smith, 2008). They include technology, increasing competition, professional coaching, advanced training equipment, and professionalism in sport management.

Data collection processes

Primary source of information will be questionnaires, whereas secondary data will be obtained from textbooks, journal articles, newspaper articles, international and government sources, internet sources and websites.

Lastly, Chapter 4 will provide the outcome coverage, estimation, analysis, discussion and formulate the required recommendations. Statistical knowledge will be applied in explaining the chapter. The findings obtained in the research will be examined, and appropriate conclusions derived from the findings.

Research Limitation

Although this research was carefully crafters, limitations, and shortcomings are invertible. To start with the research used closed end questionnaires improve the quality of the research; however, it makes the research an unattractive option. While investigating a new phenomenon and want to use probing questions based on a respondent’s previous response to an item.

The minimal literacy proficiency of some managers is wanting; this was a hindrance to complete the online questionnaires. Reduction or absence of interaction with participants during an Internet experiment creates problems if instructions are misunderstood. The research suffers from the quality of the composition of the sample, as it’s homogenous. There is also the difficulty of timely availability and limited information of published data from various sport organizations and other agencies. Researcher also faces the problem on account of the fact that the published data vary quite significantly because of differences in coverage by the concerning agencies.

Summary and Conclusion

Sports has turned out to be one of the main sources of employment across the world, and is watched and followed by millions regardless of their social status. It has also turned out to be professional.

Stewart and Smith (1999) observes the unique features in sports that include; fanatical support from people, the varying points of view in the analysis of sports’ results, the cooperation among competing organization off the field, among others.

The sport world has a completely changed environment from the past three decades. Globalization has affected the way sport is fashioned and viewed; governments are directly and indirectly support the sport. Professionalism has been introduced, transforming sport from an amateur pastime to a significant industry. The effect of technology has been felt in the sport niche; technology though being slowly embraced is living a mark in the field.

Sport managers apply same administration methods as other organizations; however they are some unique feature about a particular sport. The techniques have been discussed in the main report.

The sport industry is made up of the public division, voluntary zone, and commercial sector. These three sectors do not work in unison; they often collaborate before something is achieved. A government can bid a major event with a sport organization that will use volunteers to provide services during the event that will be covered by the media.

The sport managers and sport organizations should adopt the new management techniques; they should however be careful not to wash away the initial goals of a sport.


Baker, R. E., & Esherick, C. (2013). Fundamentals of sport management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Bryman, A., and Bell, E. (2011). Business Research Methods. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Butenko, S., Gil-Lafuente, J., Pardalos, P.M., & Gil, A. J. (2010). Optimal strategies in sports economics and management. Heidelberg: Springer.

Hoye, R., Smith, A., Stewart, B., Nicholson, M., and Westerbeek, H. (2012). Sport Management: Principles and Applications. New York: Routledge.

Jarvie, G. (2006). Sport Culture and Society. London: Routledge.

Slack, T., & Parent, M. (2006). Understanding Sport Organizations: The Application of Organization Theory. 2nd Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Smith, A. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. London: Routledge.

Yow, D. A. (2000). Strategic Planning for Collegiate Athletics. Binghamton, NY: Haworth.