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Cutting-edge research –

Exploring the interaction between sport, business and society.

According to Darwin, nothing is more permanent than change! To help sporting associations, clubs, and leagues better prepare for an uncertain future, we explore the potential impact of economic, social, and, most importantly, technological developments on the future of sports – empirically and interdisciplinary.

Balancing academic rigor and practical relevance, we continuously publish our research in highly regarded, economic or management journals, as well as in well-respected field journals. Accordingly, our team members have previously published in Applied Psychology, European Sport Management Quarterly, Games and Economic Behavior, Journal of Business Research, and Technological Forecasting & Social Change, among others.

In particular, we focus on, but are not limited to, three different research areas:

Future-making practices in today's uncertain environment are getting more and more important. We take a holistic view on strategic foresight and its role for future preparedness of sports organizations. To this end, we rely on the Delphi method, a well-established survey technique that helps to aggregate expert opinions and combines quantitative and qualitative research. For instance, we have explored the future of professional football and evaluated the potential impact of COVID-19 on the European football ecosystem. In addition, we have also successfully forecasted the Olympic medal distribution, consistently outperforming traditional naïve forecasts. Finally, we shared our methodological knowledge on how to efficiently prepare, conduct, and analyze Delphi surveys.

Traditionally limited to only a few revenue streams, professional sporting clubs have constantly advanced their business models over the last years. Contextualizing these increasing diversification efforts, at CSM, we are interested in the economic effects of both business as well as international diversification efforts. For instance, we investigate the antecedents that enable business diversification in football clubs and whether more diversified football clubs are more resistant to crises. In addition, we look at multi-club-ownership models of professional football clubs and investigate their strategic potential for their future preparedness. Finally, we look beyond football to see how businesses in sports, music, film and fashion are merging into an entertainment sector and what opportunities and risks this presents for the sports organizations.

Understanding the behavior of spectators and their effects on a sporting club and its environment better lies at the heart of sports economics research. In this research stream, we are primarily interested in analyzing the determinants of spectator no-show behavior and home advantage in European professional football. At the same time, we increasingly explore stadium attendance demand for niche sports and minor leagues and attempt to contextualize recent developments in the literature on stadium economics.

Interested in writing your thesis at the CSM?

Research Cooperations

The Center for Sports and Management works closely with Harvard Business School on research

Chairholder Professor Sascha L. Schmidt cooperates closely with various professors at Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston and is part of the Digital Initiative, which studies the digital transformation of the economy, and seeks to shape it by equipping leaders and engaging our community with cutting-edge research. As a think/do start-up at Harvard Business School, D/I brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore the re-invention of business in a digital, networked, and media-rich environment. Together with his colleagues at HBS Prof. Schmidt published numerous Harvard Case Studies.

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