Sample Paper on Factors that Influence Sports Management

Factors that Influence Sports Management
The importance of sports in the social, health, and economic status of a country is invaluable. Socially, sports and recreational programs reduce the risk of youth involvement in crimes and drug abuse. Sporting activities in schools can also boost educational performance through reduced absenteeism and increased learner’s alertness in class. Studies have also shown that routine involvement in sport reduces one’s risk of certain health complications. For instance, a study by Buttar and Ravi (2005) indicated that physical activities, including sports can significantly reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular complications. In addition, sports have been proven to contribute to the growth of the economy of countries. In England, for example, sports and sport-related activities contributed to over 1.9% of the English total income in the year 2010 (Sport England, 2013). Despite the socioeconomic benefits of sporting, athletic departments may not perform to their maximum owing to the challenges associated with managing and running successful sporting programs. Among the challenges includes the internal and external factors that impacts sport organizations and academic institution. The following is a review of some of the factors that influences sports management at collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels.
There are various factors that impact the management of sports at different levels. While some are unique to a given level, for instance, collegiate sports, others are common in all levels. That is, they affect collegiate, professional, and Olympic management in a similar manner. Although the management of the three levels of sports is independent of each other, they all are important, and aims at taking sports to a higher level. For example, collegiate sport is an important level in the sporting hierarchy of a country since it provides a platform where talented athletes are identified and nurtured. Professional athletes, on the other hand, provide an opportunity for the talented sports people to pursue careers in sports, while Olympic sports serve as the symbol of national and international unity. However, the management of these levels of sports is not independent of influence from the politicians and other sports stakeholders.
To begin with collegiate level, organization’s culture and bureaucracy have been cited as one of the leading factors that influences the management of sports in schools and colleges. According to Pitney (2006), external pressure that is endured by the sports trainers may obstruct their service delivery, leading to unfavorable performance. While evaluating the impact of organization-related influence on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) professional performance, Pitney found that athletic trainers would be doing better if they were not subjected to the organizational control (2006). Management of sports activities has been hampered by the bureaucratic influence in various institutions. As Pitney’s report illustrates, officers in the department of sports lacks autonomy as they discharge their duties. Although junior officers need to be accountable to the senior officers, Pitney notes that sports departments are often coaxed to achieve positive results that are unattainable under ordinary circumstances. Despite the fact that mounting undue pressures on sports officials may sometimes lead to improved sports performance, it may not be advocated as it creates unfavorable working conditions. It may lead to work-life imbalance among the workers, that is, officers devote their time to official duties at the expense of their families.
The cultures and traditions of particular institutions have also undermined the success of collegiate sports. In a school setting, for example, the Institution’s culture influences the motivation of students to participate in sports. For instance, the schools that often performs well in sports attaches more value to sports-related activities. Such schools appreciate sports achievements, and are likely to reward the achievers. Over time, sports values are implanted in students’ minds motivating them to work harder. Highly motivated participants make it easier for sports managers’ to run successful sporting programs. Similarly, institutions culture influences the level of motivation of spectators to show up in sporting events. Conversely, institutions that rank poorly in sports create an environment that demotivates prospective sports students.
Aside from organizational factors, the economic and financial constraints issues have had a strong impact on collegiate sports. Although the question on whether collegiate sports are part of school’s expense or economic earner is debatable, the truth is institutions spend huge amount of their budget to sustain the sports department and their activities (Baade et al., 2007). During economic downturns, schools receive reduced funding and hence they also cut their budget on sports. Consequently, sports departments are forced to restructure their activities to fit in the economized budget. This constraint derails the normal functionality of the sporting departments. For instance, schools may not provide adequate rehearsal competitions or hire professional trainers. Even though certain sports activities may earn income to the organizers, it needs substantial funds to organize. For example, the greatness of the proposed award in any sporting events determines the extent to which it attracts participants and spectators. Therefore, sports organizers need to spend a sufficient amount of money in organizing successful events.
In the modern world, the media is known to influence most aspects of human life, but does it affect the management of collegiate sports? As Brown (2013) illustrates, the media plays a greater role in the running of collegiate sports. Firstly, both print and electronic media are responsible for the popularity that the collegiate sports have gained in recent times. Today, events of collegiate sports are given priority in sports round-up, making it part and parcel of world sports. Collegiate sports are given similar significance to other levels of sports, such as professional and Olympic Games.
Other than raising awareness, modern mediums of communication also have given the fans a platform to influence the management of collegiate games. For instance, college sports fans are now expressing their views via the social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. Through such medium, sports supporters are able to express their dissatisfaction with particular decisions, such as the team line-up, mischievous coach, and so on. According to Brown (2013), the NCAA, for example, has been under pressure to factor-in the views of athlete supporters in their decision making. Such views are expressed via the social medium, such as via Twitter hashtags.
Similar to the management of collegiate sports, administrators of professional sports are also working under the influence of different factors. Professional sports include any sport in which contestants receive payment for their participation. The payment extends from the general awards that are given to the winners to the annual pre-determined basic salaries. The managers of professional sports are, thus, required to ensure that players perform to a standard that is worth their salary. Athletes, on the other hand, are under constant pressure to give their best to satisfy their enthusiastic fans their bosses.
One of the major factors that impact the management of professional sports is the stakeholders’ anticipation for a better performance. Stakeholders of a given professional sports club expects the club to record certain degree of performance. This is dependent on the trend that the club has been maintained over time. Sometimes, the bar is set so high that managers end up losing their job for not so good performance. Professional sports managers are assessed based on their team’s performance, making it one of the most unstable career. For instance, several soccer managers are instantly fired following a poor team score.
The management of professional athletes is also influenced by the financial that controls the club’s activities indirectly. For example, the club’s sponsors may dictate certain decision, such as contract signing with players. According to Brown (2013), professional sports managers are obliged to comply with their sponsor’s demands, failure to which the sponsorship can be withdrawn. Withdrawal or reduction of financial support from the sponsors can impede the activities of the professional sports club. While sponsors reserve a right to control the club activities owing to the fact that they fund such activities, Brown notes that it may lead to the adoption of policies that are not necessarily beneficial to the club (2013).
Professional sports management has also been shaped by the modern medium of communication. Social media, for example, has taken its toll on the decision makings in professional athletes. According to a study by Brown (2013), several professional athletes have often been punished for making inappropriate comments on social media. For example, an Atlanta Braves closer, John Rocker, were once put under taught disciplinary measures following his hateful comment on social media. In addition, particular professional sports managements have incorporated social media as an official surveying method to assess player’s performance.
Some of the factors that influence collegiate and professional sports have been found to impact on the management of Olympic sports. However, the Olympic Games are an enormous game whose management is more complex. The first factor that impacts Olympic Games organization is the financial implication. According to Rishe (2012), an editor in Forbes Magazine, a single Olympic event may require up to $ 50 billion. Although the fund is sourced from different sources, financial analysts acknowledge that running such a budget is not a smooth affair. The Olympic Games are also associated with cost overruns that are shouldered by the host country. A study that was commissioned by London Business School indicates that Olympics add a hidden cost in terms of infrastructure, and security to the host country’s budget.
The political impact on management of Olympic Games cannot be underestimated. According to an analysis by Malfas et al. (2004), Olympics are symbols of political ideologies of different countries. Malfas et al. (2004) argues that the raising of national flags, and the singing of the respective national anthems is a show of the political aspect in Olympic athletes (2004). Countries use their participation to represent their political stability. In addition, the political governance of the host country can also impact on the management of the Olympics. Political leaders determine whether their country will bid to host the Olympics event. They also allocate budget for the necessary projects to be undertaken ahead of the event.
The factors that influence sports management at collegiate and professional are all similar. They range from supporters and sponsor’s influence and institution or the Organization’s culture. On the other hand, the Olympic Games are not greatly affected by the followers, but rather by the international politics. Although there are several factors that impacts the management of sports activities at collegiate, professional, and Olympics level, organizers at any level encounters the constraints of resources. Sports events attract huge population and thus require more infrastructures.
Based on the current trends in collegiate, professional and Olympics sports managements, one can conclude that sports is becoming a complex affair. Firstly, the amount of money used to organize a given event has been rising. This is partly because of inflations and the fact that sports are attracting enormous multitude. The future organizers may also face the risk of providing security during a sports event. For instance, Olympic gatherings are becoming targets of terrorism attack. Aside from the Olympics, any gathering that involves people from different backgrounds can be a target of terrorism. It is, therefore, paramount for sports mangers to assess the security issue during event preparation.
In conclusion, sports activities are an integral part of a country’s economy. Sports events may be used to foster peace among nations since they unite people from different backgrounds. Managing sports activities are, however, a challenging task that is influenced by various external and internal factors. Athletes’ stakeholders, including fans, players, and financials can all impact the management of a sport event at whatever level. Further, the emergence of the media of communication has made it possible for the viewers, the fans, and other interested parties to be incorporated in the management of sports.

References
Baade, R., Baumann, R., & Matheson, V. (2007). Big men on campus: Estimating the economic impact of college sports on local economies. http://academics.holycross.edu/files/econ_accounting/Matheson-Baumann_CollegeSports.pdf
Buttar, H. S., Li, T., & Ravi, N. (2005). Prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Role of exercise, dietary interventions, obesity and smoking cessation. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, 10(4), 229. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716237/
Brown, J. (2013). The Impact of Social Media Use on Sports Fans’ Relationships with Professional Athletes: An Analysis of Parasocial Relationships (Doctoral dissertation, ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY). http://www.jamaalbrown10.com/files/73465761.pdf
Malfas, M., Houlihan, B., & Theodoraki, E. (2004). Impacts of the Olympic Games as mega-events. ICE. http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/research/bitstream/handle/10453/19761/muen.157.3.209.49461.pdf
Patrick, R., (8/05/2011). “How Does London’s Olympics Bill Compare to Previous Games?” Forbes. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/sportsmoney/2011/08/05/how-does-londons-olympics-bill-compare-to-previous-games/>.
Pitney, W. A. (2006). Organizational influences and quality-of-life issues during the professional socialization of certified athletic trainers working in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I setting. Journal of athletic training, 41(2), 189. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472645/
Sport England. (2013). Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2013. http://www.sportengland.org/media/187740/2012-13-sport-england-annual-report-and-accounts.pdf

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