Call for Papers | “Sport, fitness and lifestyle entrepreneurship” | Special Issue of International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. Call ends March 30, 2019

Guest Editors

  • Professor Paul Jones, Swansea University, United Kingdom
  • Associate Professor Vanessa Ratten, La Trobe University, Australia
  • Professor Matthew Walker, Texas A&M, United States
  • Professor Ted Hayduk, San Jose University, United States

Sport entrepreneurship is rapidly gaining ascendancy as a legitimate sub-area of entrepreneurship that combines health, wellness and fitness aspects that are increasingly important in today’s global society (Hayduk and Walker, 2017). Despite the popularity of sports-related business ventures, there is still much to discover about this in terms of how sport entrepreneurship differs to other types of entrepreneurship (Ratten, 2011). The aim of this special journal issue is to focus on how sport entrepreneurship is related to the fitness and lifestyle entrepreneurship. Thereby contributing to the development of the field but also emphasising the way sport fits into individuals lifestyles based on cultural and social trends (Jones et al, 2017). Thus, this special journal issue will be the first to explicitly focus on how sport, fitness and lifestyle entrepreneurship need to be integrated in order to advance the entrepreneurship literature.

Globally the sport industry contributes significantly to the economic growth and productivity of regions (Ratten, 2011). Increasingly more people, businesses and governments are interested in the ways sport can be entrepreneurial. This can occur via the creation of new businesses, public/private partnerships, and innovation financing agreements. Due to the complex nature of the sport industry, it is often linked to the fitness and lifestyle sector (Ratten, 2012). The fitness industry has been transformed with the advent of changing work hours and increased interest in work/life balance. This has meant new opportunities have arisen for the fitness industry that take into account societal change (Ratten, 2017). There are 24 hour gyms, and different types of exercise classes that suit people from a variety of socio-economic groups (Ratten and Ferreira, 2016). This is evident in new sports such as barre, kitesurfing and mixed martial arts becoming increasingly popular. Despite the popularity of the fitness industry in the media minimal attention has been placed on it from an entrepreneurship perspective (Ratten, 2018). Thus, further research work is required on the intersection of the sport, fitness and lifestyle industries. The internationalization of the sport industry has also meant changing lifestyle habits that have been linked to more interest in activewear and recreational sports (Ratten and Ferreira, 2017).

Slow sports such as yoga and high impact sports such as extreme marathons have become increasingly popular. This coincides with increased availability of media to disseminate information regarding competitions and contests (Ratten and Jones, 2018). In this special journal issue, both conceptual and empirical articles are welcome. Potential topics include:

    • Community entrepreneurship and sport
    • Emerging sport technology ventures
    • Entrepreneurial sport policy
    • How is the fitness industry changing based on society trends?
    • Public/private sport partnerships
    • Sport and social entrepreneurship
    • Sport entrepreneurship: what the future holds?
    • Sports innovation
    • The role of entrepreneurship in lifestyle sports

Important dates

The deadline for submission of full paper is March 30 2019. Please send your papers directly to the guest editors and comply with the submission guidelines available herePapers should be a maximum of 10,000 words in length.

For informal enquiries related to the special issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the special issue objectives, please send a voluntary abstract (250 words) by February 1 2019 to Vanessa Ratten.

Guest editors contact details

Paul Jones, Swansea University
Vanessa Ratten, La Trobe University
Matthew Walker, Texas A&M University
Ted Hayduk, San Jose University



Hayduk III, T.M. and Walker, M. (2017) ‘Mapping the strategic factor market for sport entrepreneurship’, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 1-20.
Jones, P., Jones, A., Williams-Burnett, N. and Ratten, V. (2017) ‘Let’s get physical: Stories of entrepreneurial activity from sports coaches/instructors’; The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 18(4): 219-230.
Ratten, V. (2010)’The future of sports management: A social responsibility, philanthropy and entrepreneurship perspective’, Journal of Management and Organization, 16(4): 488-494.
Ratten, V. (2011) ‘Sport-based entrepreneurship: Towards a new theory of entrepreneurship and sport management’, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 7(1): 57-69.
Ratten, V. (2012) ‘Sport entrepreneurship: Challenges and directions for future research’, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 4(1): 65-76.
Ratten, V. (2017) Sports Innovation Management, Routledge, United Kingdom. Ratten, V. (2018) Sport Entrepreneurship, Springer, United Kingdom.
Ratten, V. and Ferreira, J. (2016) Sport Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Routledge, United Kingdom.
Ratten, V. and Ferreira, J. (2017) ‘Entrepreneurship, innovation and sport policy: Implications for future research’, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9(4): 575-577.
Ratten, V. and Jones, P. (2018) ‘Future research directions for sport education: Toward an entrepreneurial learning approach’, Education + Training, 60(5): 490-499.
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