The Business of Sport

In today’s world, sport management is a multibillion-dollar industry because of society’s growing public interest in health, fitness and spectators’ sport. It also provides job opportunities for qualified and experienced professionals. The Caribbean, within recent times, can boast of being home to some of the most prestigious sporting events. For example, Football: 2001 FIFA Under-17 Men’s World Cup & 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup; Cricket: 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Cricket Tournament; and Car Racing: Barbados Festival of Speed. These examples are used to show diversity and continuous hosting within the past decade. Yet still, sports in the Caribbean is defined as leisure and recreation, rather, than a business which developing countries can use to diversify their economies. But according to Parkhouse (2005), “the most recent research on the economic impact of sport identifies it as a US3 billion-a-year industry, making it the sixth largest industry in the United States.” (“The answer is,” Sports Business Journal, p23, December 1999).
Let’s examine the terms Sport Management, Sport Event Management and Total Quality Management. Sport management is a broad industrious field which incorporates skills from corporate companies, such as business, marketing and accounting, whilst developing strategies pertaining to sport. Sports Events Management on the other hand, focuses on the delivery and execution of events via the use of sports. Whereas, Total Quality Management (TQM), is defined as a vague framework, which focuses on mutual co-operation with both internal and external stakeholders, to satisfy or exceed customers’ expectations by providing quality products and/or services.
Sporting and event organisations, whether in developed or developing countries, are faced with many unprecedented changes. These unprecedented or rapid changes, such as globalisation, increased competition, high technological cost and open international markets have created many challenges for sporting organisations. Due to high competition and the globalisation ‘age’, Total Quality Management (TQM) has rapidly become a top priority for many organisations to improve products and services and, therefore, the need for standards, such as event quality, customers’ experience and delivery, have become critical to the success of these events. TQM and it principles have potential to become the standards, setting framework for bench-marking performances against industry standards, in order to satisfy both internal and external stakeholders.
Total quality management can either be implemented or steps should be taken towards its implementation for all organisations, private and public, in the manufacturing and service sectors. The success TQM was having in the manufacturing sector encouraged many service organisations, including sporting organisations and the hotel industry to adopt TQM in order to achieve competitive advantage whilst improving output through quality and setting standards.
When its principles are applied to sport management, they encompass performance, reliability, availability and durability of service all for customer satisfaction and the implementation of TQM is critical to improving organisational performance and efficiency. There are many challenges, such as funding, legacy and workforce which are associated with the delivery of a major event.
Having taken it all into consideration, if serious then the business of sport may be the way to a healthy, happy and lucrative future.