Identifying Critical Issues in the Sports Industry


The first topic we talked about in MKT 311 was the "Five Question Framework". This was presented as a way to breakdown and describe any discussion in the sports industry. These five questions are: 1. Where is the money? 2. Is there an honest effort? 3. Who is encouraged to play? 4. Who is discouraged from playing? 5. Who is encouraged to watch?

A useful way to think about these questions is the answers are descriptions of the world in which sports occur. Whenever a decision is made, or legislation is passed, the answer to one of these questions changes. Every problem (challenge, issue, topic, or whatever else you want to call it) in sports can be thought of as a disagreement between two or more stakeholders on the answer to one or more of these questions.

Each question is explained below using this thought process. An example is provided with each to try and better illustrate how to use these questions to frame your understanding of a problem. It is important to point out that the identification of the stakeholders helps better understand where the disagreement is occurring. Proper definition of stakeholders is critical for the best understanding of the problem.
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Breaking Down the Sports Industry


Sports is a broad industry encompassing a vast number of people and products. The breadth of the sports industry makes it inherently difficult to effectively analyze different issues. We discussed two ways to break down the industry into meaningful parts. First, you can use the level of competition divide the industry into three parts: Professional, Intercollegiate, and Amateur. Second, you can divide the industry by the type of product being sold based on the methods of consumption and the delivery.

At the heart of any issue in sports is a disagreement between two or more stakeholders. For the best understanding and analysis of any issue, it is necessary to categorize. Categorization helps us understand current issues by identifying similar situations. Categorization also helps us understand if an issue is unique to this particular situation or if the problem transcends multiple areas of the sports industry. By identifying similarities and differences, you will gain a deeper understanding of the problem and how to formulate a solution. You might be able to borrow a solution from a highly similar situation or use the information to create the optimal solution for the unique characteristics of your problem.

Below is a brief explanation and summary of the key points we discussed for categorizing the sports product. Please revisit your notes and slides for a deeper review of each topic.
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Stakeholders in the Sports Industry


To properly analyze any issue in the sports industry, it is important to understand who each of the stakeholders is. Inevitably, any story you hear about is a result of a disagreement between two stakeholders on one of the major issues in sports. Being able to effectively identify the issue as well as which stakeholders are at odds will allow you to get a more complete perspective on the challenges you will face as a sports administrator.

Ultimately, there are only two people that are necessary to have a sporting event, an athlete and a spectator. Unfortunately, the sports industry is much more complex than just an athlete and a fan. Hosting successful sporting events takes a great number of people. Each individual and/or group who has a direct or indirect interest in a sporting event is a stakeholder. This section is a brief refresher on the many different types of stakeholders involved in the sports industry.
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