Best Research Paper Nominations for 2018
The Career Transition in Top Sport - Discussing the career transition experience of professional field hockey women in the Netherlands based on the aspects of Capital
RP supervisor: Jennifer Smith-Maguire
Abstract: Every athlete that starts their professional career knows that one day their sports career will come to an end. The reason of this career termination is different for every athlete. The career transition of athletes can be based on capital, which is seen as an investment with expected returns in career paths (Lin, 2002). The objective of this research is to see how cultural, social and online capital could have an influence on the post-career paths of retired professional field hockey women in the Netherlands. Qualitative research is performed in order to understand how capital can be of value to the career transition of professional athletes. The different forms of capital present multiple themes and quotes from the respondents, which have led to interesting outcomes regarding different types of career transitions. The findings of this research show that cultural and social capital support athletes the most during their career transition as online capital is still in a developing stage. It is recommended that athletes should look at the different options they have before their career transition as all three forms of capital can be used as supportive tools for top sport athletes.
Governance and strategy for 3x3 Basketball and Beach volleyball: Would a spin-off make strategic sense?
RP supervisor: Dawn Aquilina
Abstract: The increasing commercialisation of sports and changing consumer demands are some of the challenges for non–profit sport organisations in contemporary society. New disciplines become part of the Olympic program, thus creating a new market. In order to grow within a competitive environment and to meet stakeholders' expectations, it is important that managers innovate. The present study aims to explore what sport federations do when introducing a new discipline, with a focus on FIBA and FIVB. Two different cases from sports are examined; 3x3 basketball and beach volleyball. The study then enters the world of business to explore how successful companies deal with launching a new product. Qualitative data collection method has been used to gather valuable insights; directors of both respective world federations as well as experts from the wider field have been interviewed mainly in a semi-structured way. Which manner shall such an organisation govern its two disciplines? Should they be managed by a common structure? Could this new product be independent since it addresses to a different kind of audience? What findings show is that each case is different and many variables define success. However, separating but not totally isolating the new product leaves much space for innovation and growth in the long term.
Game Changers: The digitalization of sports venues Exploratory research on the state of play and influential variables
RP supervisor: Antonio Dàvila
Abstract: Upgrade your seat for the second half of the game, be ushered to the shortest queue for the lavatories, order in-seat delivery of your beer and hot-dog, etc. All these new services to improve the fan experience are becoming a significant trend in the industry while sport venues show no signs of slowing down as they continue to innovate and revolutionize with smart technologies. However, one could wonder if this is a global and standardized phenomenon or if is there is a more local way of caring out. The hypothesis of this research is that the 'digitalization' of arenas is following a 'glocal' pattern. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to gain knew knowledge regarding the digital transformation of sport venues as well as to describe if (and if so why) there are similarities and differences between the sample of arenas studied. Thanks to exploratory methods, it was identified that there are potential success factors and pitfalls which would be interesting to investigate. Among them, there was a strong importance of the personalization of the fans' experience as their behaviors differs not only from one stadium to another but also from one situation to another. Moreover, the main characteristics such as the localization, nature of concessions or the sport(s) and team(s) hosted were potential predictors of the 'digitalization' level. Finally, the major stakeholders of a venue also played a role for the adoption of technological innovations.
Good Governance in International Sport Federations: Developing an Effective Implementation System
RP supervisor: Jean-Loup Chappelet
Abstract: Governance reforms in sports federations have, over the past decade been more on paper than implemented in practice. The outcome of the recent integrity crisis in sport and the consequential loss of trust in sport governing bodies is that the implementation of governance reforms cannot no longer remain a choice but must be made mandatory to all IFs. The aim of this paper is to understand how governance is understood in the context of sports and to propose the most effective mechanism that can be developed to reduce this gap between acceptance and implementation of governance reforms. This research concludes that given the linear, not-for-profit structure of IFs, and the proven resistance to change, the implementation of reforms must be delegated to an external, independent organisation and consequences and sanctions must be attached to the non-implementation of reforms.
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