Call for Papers | “Sport Management, Marketing, and Innovation”. Special Issue of International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship. Call ends February 15, 2021

Guest Editors

      • Professor Manuel Alonso-Dos-Santos, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Chile (
      • Professor Ferran Calabuig Moreno, Universidad de Valencia, Spain (
      • Professor María Huertas González-Serrano, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir (

Motivation and Aim of the Special Issue

The sports industry has grown exponentially over the last 20 years when compared to other generic industries, representing the sixth largest global growth at the industrial level (Eurostat, 2019; Southall, Nagel, LeGrande & Han, 2003). Sports managers need to be innovative in managing their businesses (whether it public institutions, private clubs, or leagues or federations) if they want to remain competitive in the sport sector. Some authors have highlighted the importance of adopting an entrepreneurial and innovative approach to sports management (González-Serrano, Crespo, Pérez-Campos & Calabuig, 2017; Ratten, 2011). This is because sport managers have to meet and at best exceed the ever-changing demands of their clients, as well as compete with other leisure industries (Ball, 2005). However, although sport management as a discipline has experimented a great growth in scholarship and significance due to the sports’ integral role in society, it is still in its infancy (Peachey, Borland, Lobpries, & Cohen, 2015); thus, more research is still needed to develop and better understand how innovation could be introduced in this field of research.

Innovation has been considered as a key element in the long-term development and growth of countries’ and regions’ economies for improving competitiveness (Carayannis et al., 2018; Kuhlman et al. 2017). It allows to discover opportunities that exist or are likely to emerge at a given time, focus on existing business processes and practices that improve efficiency, find potential customers, minimize waste and increase profits (Ribeiro-Soriano and Peris-Ortiz 2011). Within the academic field of sport management, sport marketing is an important feature of international sport ventures as it is a fundamental process for the survival and growth of sport businesses (Ratten & Ratten, 2011). In fact, sport organizations are constantly employing new methods to promote their brand or communicate with fans; in this process, innovations, especially technological ones, are often at the heart of such strategies (Mahan, 2011).

Due to the strong competition in the sport industry, brands are very dynamic in order to seek better positioning and explore new ways of gaining market shares by putting more and more emphasis on innovation (Hillairet, 2005). As a result, new research on marketing in sports has been developed from increasingly more innovative perspectives, such as engagement in virtual brand communities (BVCs) (Alonso-Dos-Santos et al., 2018) and conducting research by using new technological tools such as electroencephalograms (Alonso Dos Santos, & Calabuig-Moreno, 2018) and eye trackers (Alonso-Dos-Santos, Calabuig-Moreno & Sánchez-Franco, 2019) to better understand the effects of sport sponsorship on consumers. However, although innovation is considered as a key factor in the sport industry and it is an emerging topic, to date limited research has been performed in this area (González-Serrano, Jones & Llanos-Contreras, 2019; Ferreira, Fernandes, Ratten & Miragaia, 2020). There has been little research from an innovation management perspective (Ratten, 2016) in general, and specifically in sport marketing.

The general aim of this special issue is to discover the role of innovation, and how to use it within the sport management discipline in general and specially, within the sport marketing field. Specific aims for this special issue include: (a) to discover how sport managers can use innovation (specially through marketing strategies) as a management procedure to improve sport organizations or event operations, (b) to analyse various educational methods that can help sport management educators prepare future sport professionals to be innovative, (c) to explore ways to maintain competitiveness in the sport industry through the use of sport marketing strategies, and (d) to discover new innovative methodologies and even measurement instruments that can be used by researchers practitioners.

Topics of Interest

The guest editors are looking for high-quality papers using an original perspective to introduce innovation into sport management field in general and sport marketing in particular. Mainly empirical but also theoretical papers are welcome to this special issue. Topics of interest of the special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

      • Innovative management style in public sport organizations, clubs, federations…
      • Innovation in the organization of sport events
      • Innovation in the creation of sport products of services
      • Innovation in the management of the fitness industry
      • New techniques to analyse how innovation could affect the performance of sport organizations
      • Innovative strategies to promote sport events
      • Innovation as a way of increasing the loyalty of the sport clients
      • Innovation in sport marketing procedures
      • New technique or instruments (electroencephalogram, eye tracker…) to better understand sport sponsorship
      • Sport management education through an innovative approach
      • Sport marketing education through and innovative perspective
      • Sport management education through an innovative approach
      • Sport marketing education through and innovative perspective

Submission information

The submission system opens on November 15, 2020 and closes on February 15, 2021. To submit please review the journal author guidelines.

Once the submission window is open, please submit online as directed in the author guidelines. Please ensure you submit to this Special Issue by using the drop down menu during submission.


Alonso-Dos-Santos, M., & Calabuig-Moreno, F. (2018). Assessing the effectiveness of sponsorship messaging: Measuring the impact of congruence through electroencephalogram. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 19(1), 25-40.
Alonso-Dos-Santos, M., Rejón-Guardia, F., Campos, C. P., Calabuig-Moreno, F., & Ko, Y. J. (2018). Engagement in sports virtual brand communities. Journal of Business Research, 89, 273-279.
Alonso-Dos-Santos, M., Calabuig-Moreno, F., & Sánchez-Franco, M. (2019). Congruence and placement in sponsorship: An eye-tracking application. Physiology & Behavior, 200, 159-165.
Ball, S. (2005). The Importance of Entrepreneurship to Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism. Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, 1(1), 1–14.
Carayannis, E. G., Grigoroudis, E., Campbell, D. F., Meissner, D., & Stamati, D. (2018). The ecosystem as helix: an exploratory theory‐building study of regional cooperative entrepreneurial ecosystems as Quadruple/Quintuple Helix Innovation Models. R&D Management, 48(1), 148-162.
Eurostat (2019). Employment in sport. Retrieved from:
Ferreira, J. J., Fernandes, C., Ratten, V., & Miragaia, D. (2020). Sports innovation: A bibliometric study. In Sport Entrepreneurship and Public Policy (pp. 153-170). Springer, Cham.
González-Serrano, M. H., Crespo, J., Pérez-Campos, C., & Calabuig, F. (2017). The importance of developing the entrepreneurial capacities in sport sciences university students. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9(4), 625-640.
González-Serrano, M. H., Jones, P., & Llanos-Contrera, O. (2019). An overview of sport entrepreneurship field: a bibliometric analysis of the articles published in the Web of Science. Sport in Society, 1-18.
Hillairet, D. (2005), Sport et innovation – stratégies, techniques et produits, Paris/Londres, Hermès Science, Lavoisier.
Kuhlman, C., Ramamurthy, K. N., Sattigeri, P., Lozano, A. C., Cao, L., Reddy, C., & Varshney, K. R. (2017). How to foster innovation: A data-driven approach to measuring economic competitiveness. IBM Journal of Research and Development, 61(6), 11-1
Mahan, J. E. (2011). Examining the predictors of consumer response to sport marketing via digital social media. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 9(3-4), 254-267.
Peachey, J. W., Borland, J., Lobpries, J., & Cohen, A. (2015). Managing impact: Leveragingsacred spaces and community celebration to maximize social capital at a sport for development event. Sport Management Review, 18, 86–98.
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. (2016). Sport innovation management: towards a research agenda. Innovation, 18(3), 238-250.
Ratten, V., & Ratten, H. (2011). International sport marketing: practical and future research implications. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 26(8), 614-620.
Ribeiro-Soriano, D. & Peris-Ortiz, M. (2011). Subsidizing technology: How to succeed. Journal of Business Research, 64(11), 1224-1228.
Southall, R. M., Nagel, M. S., LeGrande, D., & Han, P. (2003). Sport management practica: A metadiscrete experiential learning model. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 12(1), 27-35.
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