Transatlantic Sport
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Transatlantic Sport

The Comparative Economics of North American and European Sports

Edited by Carlos Pestana Barros and Muradali Ibrahímo

This book offers a comparative perspective on the economics of sport and highlights both the similarities and differences in the North American and European models of sport. It tackles policy issues, such as the organising, financing and regulation of team sports alongside theoretical issues regarding income redistribution and competitive balance. It also evaluates the impact of sport and sports events on local communities and the wider economy providing a useful contrast of methods and results on the two continents.
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Chapter 1: European and US sports business models

Wladimir Andreff and Paul D. Staudohar


Wladimir Andreff and Paul D. Staudohar The sports business in Europe continues to evolve in interesting and important ways, not always to the satisfaction of interested parties. In some cases European paradigms closely resemble those in the United States, while in other ways the European situation is unique. This chapter examines three models of European sports: (1) amateur sports model, (2) traditional professional sports model, and (3) contemporary professional sports model. Key aspects of the sports business are reviewed in the models, including operation of club finances, access to capital markets, role of the media and influence of the labour market. We find that the contemporary professional sports model is prominent at the highest levels of competition in Europe, and is expected to play an even greater role in the future. We then compare key features of this model with the contemporary professional sports model in the US. There is a somewhat different mix of sports in the two areas. Football (soccer) dominates in Europe, with basketball, rugby, and ice hockey occupying crucial market niches. In the US the top four team sports are baseball, football (American style), basketball, and ice hockey. Thus, the primacy of certain sports and their potential appeal to spectator audiences are different. Nonetheless, at the top or major league level there are numerous similarities in the nature of leagues, labour relations, finance, marketing and government regulation. Indeed, at least at the top level, there appears to be a convergence on several characteristics...

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