nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒01
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Football spectator no-show behavior in Switzerland: Empirical evidence from season ticket holder behavior By Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgler
  2. Who Profits from Amateurism? Rent-Sharing in Modern College Sports By Craig Garthwaite; Jordan Keener; Matthew Notowidigdo; Nicole Ozminkowski
  3. Special Ones? The Effect of Head Coaches on Football Team Performance By Alex Bryson; Babatunde Buraimo; Alex Farnell; Rob Simmons
  4. Ce pourquoi les clubs de football paient : Talent ou date de naissance ? Une étude sur la France de 1970 à 2019 By Jérôme Ballet; Damien Bazin

  1. By: Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: For football executives, understanding the determinants of spectator no-show behavior better is of utmost importance. Recent research efforts, however, have primarily focused on exploring the potential effects of determinants that the club management can hardly influence (e.g., potential scheduling effects, the visiting team's quality, and the weather). In contrast, our understanding of factors relating to both accommodation (e.g., the ticket price), socio-demographics (e.g., age), and also emerging no-show habits, in predicting no-show behavior is still limited. Here, departing from more traditional survey-approaches, we address this shortcoming by exploring disaggregated behavioral season ticket holder data provided by an established Swiss Super League club. Analyzing a rich data set containing roughly 2.09 million attendance decisions made by ticket holders in Switzerland between 2013 and 2016, we observe that both a season ticket holder’s accommodation and his (or her) socio-demographic information can help predict subsequent no-show behavior. In particular, we notice an important role of a season ticket holders’ age, his (or her) domicile, and emerging no-show habits, as well as the season ticket price. Although our results suggest that the management of clubs with a strong demand for tickets might be well-advised to begin experimenting with strategies to exploit emerging no-show habits among their season ticket holders, most executives, i.e., those operating at clubs that sell-out their stadium only occasionally, might want to prioritize efforts to increase the inherent ticket value (e.g., by reducing the ticket supply).
    Keywords: attendance; decision-making; demand; football/soccer; no-shows; season tickets; spectator sports; stadiums
    JEL: D12 L83 R22 Z20
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Craig Garthwaite (Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management); Jordan Keener (Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management); Matthew Notowidigdo (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; NBER); Nicole Ozminkowski (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Intercollegiate amateur athletics in the US largely bars student-athletes from sharing in any of the profits generated by their participation, which creates substantial economic rents for universities. These rents are primarily generated by men’s football and men’s basketball programs. We characterize these economic rents using comprehensive revenue and expenses data for college athletic departments between 2006 and 2019, and we estimate rent-sharing elasticities to measure how rents flow to women’s sports and other men’s sports and lead to increased spending on facilities, coaches’ salaries, and other athletic department personnel. Using complete roster data for every student-athlete playing sports at these schools in 2018, we find that the rent-sharing effectively transfers resources away from students who are more likely to be black and more likely to come from poor neighborhoods towards students who are more likely to be white and come from higher-income neighborhoods. To understand the magnitude of the available rents, we calculate a wage structure for college athletes using the collective bargaining agreements in professional sports leagues as a benchmark. We also discuss how our results help understand how universities have responded to recent threats to these rents arising from litigation, legislation, and the global coronavirus pandemic.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Alex Bryson (UCL, IZA and NIESR); Babatunde Buraimo (University of Liverpool); Alex Farnell (Lancaster University); Rob Simmons (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: One expects those who lead organisations to affect their performance. If not why would organisations spend so much time and money appointing and incentivising their leaders? Yet there is little evidence establishing a causal link between leaders and organisational performance. Using game-by-game linked employer-employee data for professional football in four countries over fifteen seasons we compare the performance of teams after they have sacked their Head Coach with spells where the Head Coach remains in post. We undertake a similar exercise comparing performance after a Head Coach quits with that of teams where the Head Coach remains in post. We deal with the endogeneity of Coach departures using entropy balancing to reweight teams’ performance prior to the departure of a Coach so that trends in team performance prior to the departure match spells which ended with a Coach remaining in post. Consistent with theory, Head Coach quits have little or no impact on team performance whereas teams who fire their Head Coach experience small but statistically significant improvements in team performance, although this positive impact is confined to circumstances in which a team holds onto the new Coach having sacked the previous Coach. Our results lend support to the proposition that teams can benefit from Head Coach turnover, firing them when it is optimal to do so, and replacing a Head Coach during the offseason.
    Keywords: managerial performance; team performance; football; entropy balancing
    JEL: J63 Z22
    Date: 2021–02–01
  4. By: Jérôme Ballet (Université de Bordeaux; GREThA, CNRS); Damien Bazin (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG CNRS)
    Keywords: biais de sélection, date de naissance, football, talent
    JEL: J13 J24 Z13 Z20 Z23
    Date: 2021–02

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