nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒06‒12
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Broadcasting revenue sharing after cancelling sports competitions By Gustavo Bergantiños; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero
  2. The allocation of additional slots for the FIFA World Cup By Alex Krumer; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero
  3. The hedgehog or the fox: Versatility and performance in professional soccer By Tomás Rodríguez; Jorge Tovar

  1. By: Gustavo Bergantiños (ECOSOT, Universidade de Vigo); Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic forced the partial or total cancellation of most sports competitions worldwide. Sports organizations crucially rely on revenues raised from broadcasting. How should the allocation of these revenues be modified when sports leagues are cancelled? We aim to answer that question in this paper by means of the axiomatic approach. Two extension operators (dubbed zero and leg operators, respectively) will play a major role in our analysis. We show that several combinations of axioms (formalizing ethical or strategic principles) characterize the image via those operators of two focal rules: the equal-split rule and concede-and-divide.
    Keywords: Game theory, resource allocation, broadcasting, cancelled seasons.
    JEL: D63 C71 Z20
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Alex Krumer (Molde University); Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: How to select participants to a sports tournament when there are more applicants than the tournament can handle? We propose to address this question resorting to standard tools from the fair allocation literature. To frame our discussion, we focus on the increase in the number of participating teams in the FIFA World Cup. We explore the allocation of additional slots among continental confederations. We consider ten different allocations. Based on our analysis, we can argue that the European soccer confederation (UEFA) has a solid basis to claim for additional slots.
    Keywords: claims problems, fair allocation, FIFA World Cup, slots, soccer.
    JEL: C71 Z20
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Tomás Rodríguez; Jorge Tovar
    Abstract: Being versatile -having the ability to perform different functions- can be a desirable trait for firms that must compete in different environments. However, attaining versatility may come at the high cost of sacrificing the kind of excellence that can only be achieved through specialization. Furthermore, when strategic interaction involves any opportunities for cooperation, then being more versatile might lead to lower equilibrium payoffs, even if such greater versatility were costless. It follows that whether versatility tends to pay off or not is an empirical question, which needs to be asked in each specific setting. We use detailed match-level data on players' interaction from the Spanish La Liga 2018-2019 soccer season and the Colombian 2018-1, 2018-2 and 2019-1 seasons to define a measure of observable versatility. Namely, for each team, we count the number of distinct sub-teams of all possible sizes (2-11) that are ever observed to interact during the season and thus build a team's 10-dimensional observable versatility profile. We observe that teams displaying a greater number of distinct sub-teams of large size (4 and above in the case of the Spanish league) tend to perform better. We compute 1- dimensional observable versatility indices by applying PCA to the 10-dimensional observable versatility profiles and show that these simple indices are strong predictors of teams' performances.
    Keywords: team-performance, versatility
    JEL: D23 L25 Z20
    Date: 2023–04–19

This nep-spo issue is ©2023 by Humberto Barreto. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.