Course Syllabus

Sports Economics 

DIS Logo

Sports Economics, Semester Course

Semester & Location:

Fall 2018 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Business, Economics, Management

Faculty Member:

Frederik Munk & Kenneth Cortsen

Program Director:

Susanne Goul Hovmand -

Program Coordinator: 

Adeline Reiser -
Program Assistant:

Ali Cohen -

Time & Place:

Fridays 10.05 - 13.00, F24-503

2-3 guest lecturers from the sports industry to be announced.


One course each in macro- and microeconomics at university level.

Course Description:

The sports industry has grown to one of the largest industries in the modern society. The sports industry together with the leisure and cultural industry has become a fast growing sector, with sports being by far the largest. And experience economy is constantly fast growing.

The course has its focus on where the sports industry differs from traditional industries; in theory, methodology and practice. The aim is to give the students a brief understanding, a toolbox and knowledge so as to create a basis for their possible further work in the sports- and experience economy industries. 

Content of the course 

Welcome to Sports Economics at DIS. This course will take you through the economic challenges of sports and especially professional sports. The course will provide you with economic and other relevant models necessary to analyze and manage in the sports industry.  The course “Sports Economics” is focusing on the main topics as listed below.    

1.     Sport business in context - 3 lectures in common for all students + 1 workshop. This part provides an insight into the peculiarities of sports as a product and as a network industry. League design and governance of sport. Current economic challenges in the sports industry facing the global stakeholders. Game theory, Competitive Balance, Networks et al. This part is focusing on professional team sports and soccer. E-sport will be part of the discussions. Sports finance will be part of these 3 lectures with insight into ownership and governance of sports and leagues, value of franchises and leagues et al and discussion of different forms of ownership.

2.     Sports marketing and sales - 2 lectures in common for all students + 1 workshop. This part provides an insight into sports marketing theory. Topics include sponsorships, endorsement, sport consumer behavior, branding and pricing. The value and usability of sport and culture as a total product and company communicator. The products, enthusiasm and entertainment in sports.

3.     Sports Events 2 lectures in common for all students + 1 workshop. This part provides an insight into the strategies of and benefits for cities and nations hosting an event, a team, branding of cities and nations, value of tourism, cost benefit analyses of an event et al. This part also provides insights into the field of bidding for sports events which will be compared to traditional political campaigning.  

4.     3 workshops  - each of 2 x 80 minutes. 

5.    2 site visits at major sports games or events. Normally these visits are at top teams/games or activities. Traditionally, the visits are highly appreciated by the students.  The visits will be organized and announced in due time respecting the DIS time tables. 

Required texts:  (provided)

"The business of SPORT MANAGEMENT" (SM) by John Beech & Simon Chadwick, 2nd edition, 2013.

All Slideshows from the lectures, the workshops and the primary readings mentioned in the detailed class schedule are curriculum as well.

Expectations of the students: 

The students are expected to have done reading for each class and for each lecture. For the workshop groups the students are expected to have prepared questions related to the lecture and to raise these by “cold call”. Active and engaged participation in the discussions in class will be expected and will be part of the evaluation and grading of the students. When responding to questions in class, the students should make references to our readings to support the points they are making.

Field studies: 

Sport site visits. Date: TBD. Field studies of 3-4 hours will be arranged with the purpose of meeting managers or owners of teams, commissioners or events. The lecturers have got an extended network of sports team owners, league commissioners, team managers, directors and presidents in Denmark. Field studies might be: CEO of Danish League Ice Hockey Team, the marketing director of a leading Danish Soccer Club including attending a match or the event director of an international sports event hosted in Denmark including experiencing the event.  

The 2 field studies will be 4 hours, most likely on a Tuesday evening or in the weekend. Specific dates and transport arrangements will be discussed in class. Date for each field study will be emailed in due time prior to each field study.

Teaching arrangements:

7 x lectures (L1-L7) all students 

The course consists of 7 lectures (L1- L7) each scheduled for 2 x 80 minutes (13.15-16.10). The lectures will explore the core areas of the theory but they do not give a thorough coverage of the curriculum. Consequently a considerable amount of self-study is required in order to optimize the outcome of the lectures. Guest lecturers from the sports industry will appear to connect theory to practice.

3 x workshops (W1- W3)

Each of the 3 workshops is scheduled for 2x 80 minutes. For date and place see the schedule plan.  
The students are subdivided into 6 groups and 2 groups will present at each workshop. (The group format is depending on the number of students)   

These Workshops are active learning sessions and very important for the learning process

  • At each workshop 2 groups present each 80 min incl. a Q&A session.
    And it is important to prepare and formulate MANY Q´s so as to invite and open for discussions and to be able to engage the class into discussion. That’s an important part of the workshops to initiate for active participation from the “audience. And all activity will be graded.
  • Each member of a presenting group is to be present at the ONE workshop the group is scheduled for. The workshop questions will be uploaded so as to ensure at least 10 days to prepare the presentation.
  • At each workshop the students in the presenting groups have to produce an individual, thorough, and well-formulated individual in-class presentation on the questions they are assigned to present at the workshop. Ideally the students of the presenting group will divide the workshop evenly. Which group you are assigned to and which group to present at which Workshop is informed on the workshop and uploaded and decided at the start of the class. The presentation is supposed to be a PowerPoint show.
  • Each and every student has to present one time during the course and the assigned questions for the group is supposed to be ideally divided between the students, including a class discussion – and all students in a group have to have been on the floor presenting (individual and "all by yourself"). The studying and preparation efforts for presentations are supposed to last 9-15 hours for each group member. 
  • All presenting groups have to email the presented slide show to the lecturer at (Workshop 1) and (Workshops 2+3)
  • All other students in groups not presenting at a given workshop must at the start of the Workshop hand in or preferably before the workshop have emailed the written answers for all the questions in the workshop. MAX. 5 pages in total, with font size 12, 1 or 1½ line space, 2,5 cm margins. So at each and every workshop each and every student (except the ones presenting at the workshop, see below) has to hand in answers in written form.  
  • The presenting groups must at the start of the Workshop hand in a printout of the Powerpoint slideshow to the lecturer of the presentation show of the question presented (up to 3 slides per page is OK). The presenting groups do not have to answer the other questions at the workshop. 2 groups will present at each workshop.
  • Student attendance at the group presentation is mandatory to pass the course and will be part of the final evaluation.
  • All students must answer and hand in in addition to the presentation 2 workshop-papers + the PowerPoint Show from the group presentation. If not present due to illness or not in a group, please send your answers for the workshop to for workshop 2 and for workshops 1 and 3.   
    Your attendance, presentation, PowerPoint, and individual hand-ins of the workshops are graded. Please see below on grading.

Assignments and grading:

The lecturer in charge of each particular lecture/workshop will grade each student individually. The final overall grading of each student will be based on the following criteria:

a) 20% of the grading will be on active class participation and recorded individually.
b) 20% of the grading will be on evaluating the entire group for the presentation and the slideshow at the workshop.
c) 20% of the grading will be on the individual presentation at the workshop.
d) 40% of the grading will be on the strictly individual hand in of workshops in the 2 workshops, where the group is NOT presenting. So you have to prepare and hand in all 3 workshops - either as a presenting group or individually for the 2 workshops where you are not presenting.

To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete the assigned work.

All assignments are handed in at the beginning of the workshop. Late hand in might be evaluated – but with the likely risk of being downgraded by the lecturer.

Academic Regulations:  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Use of laptops in class is accepted  - as long as it is related to the lecturing, searching for info, reading slideshows et al. Social media activity is not accepted during class.  

Detailed reading plan (all the below listed materials will be uploaded):

L1, L2, L3: The sports industry and sports as a product: Curriculum

  1. “The Peculiar Economics of professional Sports A contribution to the Theory of the Firm in Sporting Competition and Market Competition”, Walter C. Neale, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 78, February 1964, no. 1
  2. “Sports League Design”, Troels Troelsen May 2008.
  3. “A stakeholder approach of football clubs governance”, Benoit Senaux, Sports Business.
  4. “The need of Competitive Balance in European professional soccer”, by Troels Troelsen, EASM 2006 and ATNIER 2006.
  5. “Deloitte Football Money League”, Deloitte, latest report ,,
  6. “Configuring Value for Competitive Advantage: On Chains, Shops and Networks”, by C.B. Stabell and Øystein D. Fjeldstad, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, 413–437 (1998).
  7. “PWC Global Sports Outlook 2011”, Price Waterhouse Coopers 2012 
  8. The Economic Design of Sporting Contests”, Stefan Szymanski. Published in Journal of economic literature, Volume 41, Number 4 (December 01, 2003), page 1137 – 1187 
  9. “Is European Football too big to fail?”, A.T Kearney 2010 

L 4, L5: Events. Curriculum

  1. “A model of Sporting Event Tourism”, Sarah Roche et al, Sports Business and Management, Vol.3, No.2, 2013
  2. “Attracting Major Sporting Events”, Holger Preuss and H.A.Solberg, European Sport Management Quarterly, Vol. 6, 2006
  3. “Economic impact report IAAF World Championship 2017”, The Sports Consultancy, 2017
  4. “Strategic Sports Event Management – Olympic Edition”, Guy Masterman, 2009, Elsevier, Chapters 3 & 7.

L6, L7: Sports Marketing and Sales. Curriculum:

1. “Dream Society”, Rolf Jensen, he Futurist, Washington, May/June 1996. To be uploaded at Learn. The Sponsorship Roundtable”, Sports Business 144, 04.09.
2. "Marketspendingeffecktiveness, McKinsey" 2015 
3. “Welcome to next generation Sponsorships,” Brand and Marketing, May 2006 “Following the Fans”, Sports Business International, no.128, July 2007. 
4. “Following the Fans”, Andy Fry, Sportel Conference 2007.
5. “Evaluate this”, Sports Business International, no.129, November 2007.
6. “Sharing Brand Values”, Sports Business International, no. 126, July 2007. 

Course Summary:

Date Details