Sport used to be quite independent from business but now the two are integral and completely dependent on each other. This has resulted in more sponsorship, advertising, TV and commercial interests that have developed over time. Some sports like football now have a real blur between the interconnect between management and the non sports people in the background, yet some sports are still quite traditional and have yet to encounter this issue. We look into that plus a focus on how organisations have entered the arena of sports. There are now the players and participants, the shareholders/directors and the commercial business that feed off the popularity – it’s a triangular power struggle!
The most mixed up sport is football. Jose Mourinho’s sacking as Chelsea manager was the second time he has been given the silver bullet by the owner even though the PR behind it stated it was by mutual consent. It is clear that in this situation the sports person (Mourinho) lost out in the battle between his opinion and the direction that the board and directors make. Golf has also become more complex over the last few years and golf has become quite a marketable pursuit. Take a look at Rory McIlroy – he now has a management team behind him who looks after his commercial and sponsorship work; this allows him to concentrate on his game. Recently he changed his team so this demonstrates that ‘player power’ in individual sports can still out muscle the management and director tier that may be behind a star.
Regarding more individual sports, the boxer Tyson Fury is a good example where the power struggle between the individual and a management team can lead to conflict. Tyson Fury obviously has incredible dedication to his pursuits in the game, but he has courted controversy with some of his outspoken language so it’s now a constant case of his personality versus his public relations. Organisations that feed off a sports popularity include brands like Nike and Adidas as well as sports betting firms. For football, boxing and golf you can bet on most things now with Betway. Many aspects of a sport can be considered for the casual sports fan and this demonstrates how there is a requirement within business to be marketable and current in the market.
Management especially in sport is a complex beast now and the three core areas of the business must be thought about. This is to keep the shareholders, customers and commercial partners interested in your product, service or sport. This can be achieved through shared goals and a determination to rise above your competitors, this determination is required in sport and in business.