Chapter 1 - History of Sport Management

Foundations of
Chapter 1
• Management structures: “building blocks”
– Clubs
– Leagues
– Professional tournaments
• Primary theme
– Structures grow in response to broad social
changes and/or to address specific social issues
• Secondary themes
– Honest play
– Inclusion: “who gets to play?”
Who Gets to Play?
• Defined by who has the “power” in society
• Eugenics movement
• Legal racial segregation
• Ideology of white racial superiority
The Club System
• England
– Birthplace of modern sport and sport management
• Eighteenth century
– English aristocracy developed exclusive sport
clubs with limited membership
• Nineteenth century
– Continued club evolution with standardizing of
rules, settling disputes, and organizing schedules
Thoroughbred Racing
• Races drew broad and diverse audience
– No admission charged
• Initially local club system
– Racing existed for entertainment only, not
financial gain; prestige more important
• Need for more complex club system because:
– Desire of owners to breed and train fast horses
– The increasing complexity of gambling
• 1830s: Rail system allowed national competition
• Gambling provided entertainment, tangible evidence
of ability of horses, and ensured honest competition
The Jockey Club
• Established around 1750
• Settled disputes, established rules, determined
eligibility, designated officials, regulated breeding,
and punished unscrupulous participants
• Organized, sponsored, and promoted local events
• Met need for a strong national governing body to
establish rules, standards, mechanisms for resolving
disputes, and innovations to the sport
• Served as model for wider sport management
practices in England with rugby, cricket, and boxing
The Modern Olympic Games
• International club event with little resemblance to
ancient Olympic Games
• First Modern Olympics held in 1896 in Athens, but
the revival can be traced back to at least 1850 with
club-based Olympic festivals in England
• Founder Pierre de Coubertin was inspired by
English revivals and Victorian notions of character
building and peace movements through sport
• Introduced concept of amateur Olympic Games
competition hosted every 4 years
Present-Day Club Structure
• Commitment to serve broad membership and
manage elite sport enterprise
– No longer just local; international expansion
• Clubs organize youth teams and academies, adult
recreational leagues, and social events for members
• Large built-in memberships and loyal fan bases
• Characterized by nonprofit status and exclusive
– Ex: Augusta National and male-only membership
• European club system resembling U.S. league
system: owners, business, entertainment, and profit
American Structures
• European club system did not suit the United States
– Lack of aristocratic tradition, gambling prohibited
– League structure arose out of harness racing
• Better spectator sport than thoroughbred racing
– Sprint vs. 4-mile race; horses could compete
daily, large field of competitors
• Managed by track owners and race promoters
– Willing to create spectator interest for sport
• Issues emerged such as race fixing and management
lacking credibility = loss of fan trust and popularity
• Baseball was first to adopt league system
• First pro team: Cincinnati Red Stockings
• Some teams in the league paid players and
some did not, creating controversy and
eventually pro league
• 1871: Creation of National Association of
Professional Baseball Players (pro league)
• Initially lacked leadership and financially
William Hulbert
• Provided leadership and stability to new league;
became “Czar of baseball”
• 1876: Took over management of National League of
Professional Baseball Players
• Believed stability achieved only if teams were run
like businesses
• Teams should compete against each other and
owners could not collude
• Hulbert understood that without strict rules forcing
honest competition, collusion would occur
William Hulbert (cont.)
• Hulbert also believed that owners must take some
financial risk
– Abandoning seasons early to prevent losses in
short term eroded long-term faith of public
• Owners must field competitive teams to be
• Integrity of baseball was suspect as long as the
players’ honesty was questionable
– Gambling prohibited and ticket prices raised
Early Success of National League
Excitement of pennant race
Honoring of contracts (reserve system)
Favorable media attention
Appealed to fans’ loyalty and pride in their cities
Early form of revenue sharing
Rules that distributed talent
Leagues Today
• Successful contemporary commercial sport leagues
depend on consolidated league play with strong
centralized control and regulation
• Audience has changed
– Public’s perception of locus of honest effort
resides more with the players than with ownership
• Single-entity structures: MLS
Professional Sport Tournaments
Professional Golf
Early golf professionals were instructors and caddies
Professional leagues failed to capture public interest
or attract golf professionals
Attempts to generate gate revenues at tournaments
Stability of tournaments was achieved when prize
money was put up by companies and corporate
Corcoran’s Tournaments
• Fred Corcoran: Architect of golf tournament
• Created the financially “self-sufficient” golf event
• Tournament was medium through which celebrity,
politician, manufacturer, charity, town, or product
gained exposure
• Used athletes and golf tournaments to sell
advertising space to the public
• Bing Crosby and Bob Hope created charity golf
tournaments in pro-am format for WWII fundraising
Corcoran’s Tournaments Continue After
World War II Ends
• Good business = Tax deductions
• Charities encourage volunteers and good publicity
for tournaments
• Golf equipment manufacturers paid Corcoran to
create golfer association and arrange tournaments
using prize money as player payments to reduce cost
of hiring player representatives
• 1950s press changes policy and begins naming
tournament sponsor not location = free publicity
Tournaments Today
• Golf tournaments have evolved into corporate
celebrations of golf and products
• The medium through which a person, community, or
corporation can buy exposure
• PGA Tour viewed as private group; set eligibility
• Associations not as exclusive as private clubs (e.g.,
the Casey Martin case)
• Trend of event management moving away from
nonprofit private associations and toward marketing
agencies and/or broadcast media (e.g., ESPN X
Importance of Women
in Sport Management
• Female sport managers have contributed to industry
• Contributions in ancient times
– Heraea Games: Competition for unmarried girls,
administered by women
• Contributions in modern times
– Effa Manley of Newark Eagles (Negro League)
– Billie Jean King (WTT, WSF)
– Judy Sweet and Christine Grant (NCAA)
Importance of Women in
Sport Management (cont.)
• Women making impact in current sport industry:
– Kim Ng (Major League Baseball)
– Heidi Ueberroth (NBA International)
– Lesa France Kennedy (NASCAR)
– Stephanie Tolleson (IMG)
– Buffy Filipell (TeamWork Online)
– Annette Akins (NIRSA)
– Many others both currently and previously
Academic Field: First Programs
• Continuing growth of sport industry and its importance to
numerous sponsors and institutions created demand for the
systematic study of sport management practices
– 1957: Walter O’Malley (Brooklyn Dodgers) and James
Mason discuss the idea
– 1966: Ohio University created first master’s degree
program in sport management
– Late 1960s: Biscayne College (now St. Thomas
University) and St. John’s University founded
undergraduate sport management programs
– 1971: The University of Massachusetts–Amherst started
the second master’s program in 1971
Academic Field: First Programs (cont.)
• By 1985:
– 40 undergraduate sport management programs
– 32 graduate sport management programs
• Today:
– More than 350 programs internationally
– North American Society for Sport Management
(NASSM) established to create curricular
standards to promote quality academic programs
– Commission on Sport Management Accreditation
(COSMA) created to promote and recognize
excellence in sport management education
• The sport industry demands managers who
understand the historical complexity of the
• Clubs, leagues, and tournaments are three
cornerstone sport structures that evolved in response
to changes in broader social structures
• COSMA has been established to maintain
excellence in this fast-emerging discipline known as
sport management