Call for Papers | “Organizing and Ownership in Professional Sport – Nordic Focus” – Track 6.5 at the 26th Nordic Academy of Management Conference | Örebro University School of Business, Sweden, August 25–27, 2021. Call ends January 30, 2021

The 20th century paved the way for the growth, development and professionalization of a number of professional sports as part of societies and humanity in this planet. Tied to this there has been increasing number of stakeholders like sporting clubs/bodies, players/athletes, championship associations, sponsors, organizations, governments, media and communities and their significance and influences in the sports industry. Considering the world being more interconnected and thereby knowledge flows between individuals/communities in the context of technologically interdependent and increasingly the role of digitalization in societies, there is vast creation, expansion and mobility of resources available for different stakeholders in contemporary sport. Perhaps in this interconnected and interdependent global context, there is a new uncertainty created by the global pandemic Covid-19 and its impact on resource allocation and generation and thereby aftermaths in ownership and organization requires a richer understanding of professional sport in general. 

Due to the burgeoning of audiences’ interests, improved professionalism and continuing demands of high-performance/standards in different aspects of managing and playing sport, there is a need for deeper contextual knowledge of how individual sport/s, leagues and clubs are organized and owned/managed from local to national to international settings. While there is literature on the role of sport professionals (i.e. players, athletes, managers, club owners, sport engineers, sport scientists and psychologists, coaching staff, operations staff etc.) in today’s sports industry, there seem to be less evidence in the existing literature on the significance and role of organizing/organization and professional ownership in sport, particularly in the Nordic region. This track invites theoretical and empirical studies, with several sub-topics in the field of sport management organization and ownership.

We invite you to submit your research to explore the general theme of “Bringing Research Together” for the 26th biennial NFF Conference in Örebro within the Track 6.5 theme “Organizing and Ownership in Professional Sport – Nordic Focus”. We are looking forward to receiving your submissions. 

Examples of specific themes

      • How are different sports and associated leagues organized and owned in the professional sports industry? Do they organize better and/or learn from other league exemplars (e.g. football, ice hockey, motor racing etc.) in Europe and rest of the world? 
      • What is the relationship between club performance outcomes (i.e. winning trophies) and managerial power to make player decisions and trading? 
      • How do clubs (e.g. football context) in the Nordics compare/similar with English premier league clubs regarding club ownership and commercialization strategies? 
      • Are there tensions between organizational logics such as voluntary logic vs business logic in the context of commercialization of sporting clubs? 
      • Comparative studies regarding different sports’ club leagues in terms of foreign ownership and organization structures in contemporary sports industry. 
      • Why are there distinctions in the organization and ownership structures and competitiveness among many sporting leagues in Europe? For example, in English premier league contexts, standards (in terms of football clubs’ performances and structures) seems comparatively higher than most other professional football leagues (i.e. Italy, Spain or Germany where three to four clubs is in the top at the European Continent level and the rest is less competitive). 
      • Sports entrepreneurship related to sport organizations’ innovation processes in a globalized sports industry, but also professional athletes turning into entrepreneurs and their own businesses in the context of increasing commercialization of athletes and how this is organized. 

Keywords: Sport Management, Strategy, Sport Organization, Sport Entrepreneurship


Bennike, S. Storm, R. Wikman, J. and Ottesen, L. (2020). The organization of club football in Denmark – a contemporary profile, Soccer & Society, 21(5): 551-571. 
Clausen J, Bayle E, Giauque D, Ruoranen K, Lang G, Schlesinger T, Klenk C and Nagel S (2018). International sport federations’ commercialisation: a qualitative comparative analysis. European Sport Management Quarterly. 18(3): 373-392. 
Doloriert C and Whitworth K (2011). A case study of knowledge management in the “back office” of two English football clubs. The Learning Organization. 18(6): 422-437. 
Gammelsæter H. (2020). Sport is not industry: bringing sport back to sport management, European Sport Management Quarterly, Doi:10.1080/1618472.2020.17 41013. 
Naidenova I, Parshakov P and Chmykhov A (2016). Does football sponsorship improve company performance?. European Sport Management Quarterly. 16(2): 129-147. 
Ratten V (2012). Sports entrepreneurship: challenges and directions for future research. Entrepreneurial Venturing. 4(2): 65-76. 
Rohde M and Breuer C (2017). The market for football club investors: a review of theory and empirical evidence from professional European football. European Sport Management Quarterly. 17(3): 265-289. 
Smith E (2009). The Sport of Governance—a Study Comparing Swedish Riding Schools. European Sport Management Quarterly. 9(2): 163-186. 
Sotiriadou P and De Bosscher V (2018). Managing high-performance sport: introduction to past, present and future considerations. European Sport Management Quarterly. 18(2): 1-7. 
Storm, R. and Solberg, H. (2018). European club capitalism and FIFA redistribution models: an analysis of development patterns in globalized football, Sport in Society, 21(11): 1850-1865. 
Wagner, U. Storm, R. and Nielsen, K. (2017). When Sport Meets Business – Capabilities, Challenges, Critiques. Sage Publications, NY, 256 pgs. 
Walters G and Chadwick S (2009). Corporate citizenship in football: delivering strategic benefits through stakeholder engagement. Management Decision. 47(1): 51-66. 

Author guidelines 

Go to for more information about how to submit a paper. The deadline for abstract submission is 30 January 2021. Full paper due: 21 June 2021. 

Corresponding Chair

Birgitta Schwartz, Stockholm University, Sweden ( 


Krishna Venkitachalam, Estonian Business School, Estonia
Sten Söderman, Stockholm University, Sweden 

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