Introducing a model of business sustainability in English professional rugby union

GOLDING, Andy, PLUMLEY, Dan and WILSON, Robert (2023). Introducing a model of business sustainability in English professional rugby union. Managing Sport and Leisure.

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Research question The transition of rugby union as the last major team sport to go professional in 1995, has remained problematic. With ongoing challenges with financial health, the impact of COVID-19 and the need for more effective governance, the game has reached a pivotal moment in its history, if it is to become a sustainable sports business. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a model that identifies key characteristics of business sustainability in English professional rugby. Research methods This paper is designed to position a case for change, by examining a range of issues that can deliver a theoretical method to support the achievement of sustainability of professional rugby union, and specifically the Gallagher Premiership. The development of the model is considered a starting point for further research based on the theoretical application of the economics of team sports and sports business modelling. Research findings The development of a sustainable business model in professional rugby union has led to the identification of four key characteristics related to cost control, profit maximisation, business model innovation and governance. Practical implications The authors argue that unless the custodians of the game take note of the need for reform relating to the extant models of business practice being operated in the Gallagher Premiership, there is the acute possibility that the growth of the game may be stifled or even cease to exist when the game is at its most popular.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3504 Commercial services
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 14:14
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 17:31

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