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James E. Johnson, Chrysostomos Giannoulakis and Beau F. Scott

( Wong, 1994 ). Among the most important functions of state associations is to ensure that participants are provided with fair and equal opportunities during competition ( Blackburn, Forsyth, Olson, & Whitehead, 2013 ). This concept, known as competitive balance, constitutes a complex and controversial

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Tim Berrett and Trevor Slack

Sport sponsorship is frequently described as a strategic activity, and thus, it is influenced by both competitive and institutional forces. Using a sample of 28 Canadian companies, this study explores the influence of competitive and institutional pressures on those individuals who make decisions about their company's sport sponsorship initiatives. The results show that the sponsorship activities of rival companies were influential in a company's sponsorship choices. This was particularly the case in highly concentrated industries. We also show some evidence of a first-mover advantage in sponsorship decision-making but found preemptive strategies to yield little competitive advantage. In addition to these pressures from the competitive environment, institutional pressures from companies in the same geographic area, in the form of mimetic activity, in the form of involvement in social networks, and through the occupational training of the decision makers—all played a role in the choices made about what activities to sponsor.

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Stefan Kesenne

This article uses economic theory to examine the variables that affect the competitive balance in a professional sports league and the impact of revenue sharing. The generally accepted proposition that revenue sharing does not affect the competitive balance in a profi t-maximizing league has been challenged by many. It is shown that the competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing not only depend on the relative size of the market of the clubs, but that they are also affected by the objectives of the club owners and the importance to spectators of absolute team quality and uncertainty of outcome. Furthermore, the clubs’ hiring strategies, including the talent supply conditions, turn out to be important elements affecting competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing.

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Joel Maxcy and Michael Mondello

Free agency was reintroduced to professional team sport leagues in the 1970s. Sport enthusiasts expressed concern that competitive balance would diminish as star players congregated to large market cities. However, the economic invariance principle rejects this notion, indicating that balance should remain unchanged. This article empirically examines the effects of changes in free agent rules on competitive balance over time in the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Regression analysis using within-season and between-season measures of competitive balance as dependent variables provides mixed results. The NFL and NHL provide evidence that an aspect of competitive balance has improved, but results from the NBA indicate that balance has worsened since the introduction of free agency. We conclude that the ambiguous results suggest that the effects are not independent, but instead depend on the interaction of free agent rights with other labor market and league rules.

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Dennis L. Smart and Richard A. Wolfe

This paper addresses the determinants of intercollegiate athletic program success. We built our arguments on a recent development in the strategic management literature, the Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm. Our purpose was to investigate the source of sustainable intercollegiate athletic program success. In making our arguments, we briefly reviewed the RBV literature and addressed appropriate success criteria for intercollegiate athletics programs. An exploratory investigation of Pennsylvania State University's football program led to the conclusion that the resources responsible for its enduring competitive advantage are the history, relationships, trust, and organizational culture that have developed within the program's coaching staff. An organization that possesses such organizational resources may sustain a competitive advantage by exploiting its human and physical resources more completely than other organizations. The paper concludes with discussions of the potential generalizability of our findings, their implications for theory and practice, and suggested future research directions.

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John Amis, Narayan Pant and Trevor Slack

This study demonstrates that a recent development in the strategic management literature, the resource-based view of the firm, has great utility for furthering our understanding of sport sponsorship. The paper provides a theoretical framework to explain the application of the approach to sponsorship. Illustration and greater insight are then provided through the presentation of two case studies. These are used to identify the salient characteristics of agreements made by two international companies, each of which has been extensively involved in sport sponsorship but with varying degrees of success. The resource-based approach is used to demonstrate that the disparate returns of the companies' sponsorship investments could have been anticipated. As such, as well as providing a conceptual extension to the sponsorship literature, the paper also offers a route for more empirical analyses of potential sponsorship opportunities.

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Matthew Juravich and Brian M. Mills

-and-done” rule associated with drafting amateur basketball players in the NBA as an exogenous policy shock impacting team composition and competitive balance outcomes in the NCAA. As noted in previous work, recruiting spending and strategy can have important implications with respect to team-level performance

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Stephen Frawley, Daniel Favaloro and Nico Schulenkorf

leadership talent is much more complicated than it appears. The topic continues to be of significant interest in management studies because strong and effective leadership provides a source of competitive advantage for organizations ( Day, 2001 ). Similarly, the idea of succession management in the context

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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

& Christen, 2008 ; MacMillan, 1983 ), which is related to, but distinct from, the competitive positioning ( Hooley & Saunders, 1993 ) and strategic marketing ( Cravens & Piercy, 2006 ) literatures. In addition, the unique sample studied analyzes kit sponsorship deals of 184 professional football clubs