Introduction: A Different Animal

  • James Skinner
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
  • Steve Swanson


This chapter contextualises the sport business marketplace. It begins by noting the radical expansion of the industry over the past few decades, from a modest amateur sector to an immense commercial powerhouse. Next, the chapter outlines sport’s remarkable and unique features from both an economic as well as a sociocultural perspective. In this respect, sport can inspire passion and people, it involves merchandise and money, supports ideology and identity, fosters community, enhances profile and professionalism, and generates sponsorship and symbolism. As a result—and as the motivation for this book—the right leadership, culture and innovative practices can create the foundation for social, cultural and commercial progress. The chapter also introduces several key concepts that permeate throughout all the chapters. In order to create a culture that enables innovation, attention has to be given to all aspects of innovation’s deployment. In particular, the book proposes that innovation must be considered within the context of a sport enterprise’s cultural perspective. Other themes address the necessity of bounded risk-taking, entrepreneurship, leadership, and the benefits that arise from an innovative culture. Finally, the chapter highlights the book’s culminating ‘Innovative Culture Framework’, which comprises the dimensions of (1) Leadership, (2) Aligning Business and Innovation Strategy, (3) Fostering Collaboration, (4) Reducing Fear of Failure and (5) Driving Openness to New Ideas. These dimensions provide the catalyst to foster a culture of innovation within sport enterprises to create new sport business trends and capture the resulting market opportunities.


Industry Commercial Innovation Culture Framework 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Skinner
    • 1
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
    • 1
  • Steve Swanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Sport BusinessLoughborough University LondonLondonUK

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