The Janus-faced relationship value of professional sports clubs: A study of Molde Football Club, Norway

Harald Dolles, Hallgeir Gammelsæter, Oskar Solenes & Solveig Straume
Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences,
Molde University College, Norway


Professional sport clubs can be analyzed according to the extent their offers affect the community and the individual. The “use value” takes into account the individual benefits of watching a sporting competition, whereas the “non-use” reflects the externalities of a sports club and its sports events towards people not particular interested in the sport in question. Both values are commonly investigated within the local context, however in an explorative study of the Norwegian football club Molde FK, a sample of 29 young people that had taken up residence in a different part of the country from where they grew up was analyzed in order to find out what “relationship” value a sports club from their home town still has in their lives. Despite the fact that the sample turned out to contain very few passionate football fans, it also revealed that Molde FK still is present in the lives of non-football fans. We conclude that the football club functions as a frequent reminder of the hometown for people that have migrated, and thus, the non-use value might extend beyond the individual’s (lack of) interest for football. Further, the football club and its activities serve at the same time as a foundation for conversations that might support migrators to extend and to build up social capital at their new location.

Click here to read this peer reviewed article in Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, Vol. 7 2016

About the Authors

HARALD DOLLES IS Professor in Sport Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. He also is part-time affiliated with the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), where he holds a Professorship in International Business at the School of Business, Economics and Law. Harald frequently contributes to scientific development in the fields of international business, Asian studies and sports management. Among others he serves as European Editor for Sport, Business and Management and acts as Chair of the European Academy of Management (EURAM) strategic interest group (SIG) on ‘Managing Sport’.

HALLGEIR GAMMELSÆTER is Professor in Social Change, Organization and Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. His current research focus is sport and event management, and he has engaged heavily in European Sport Management Association, in the board, as Scientific Chair and currently as associate editor in European Sport Management Quarterly. He has published several articles on sport management in international journals and edited ‘The Organisation of Top Football Across Europe’ (Routledge, 2011).

OSKAR SOLENES is Associated Professor in Sport Management and Dean at the Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics, Norway. He holds a PhD in sport history, studying the development of organized sport for children during the 20th century. His research interest are especially connected to the social cultural values of sport in general, as well as voluntarism and the organizing of children’s and youth sport in special.

SOLVEIG STRAUME is Associate Professor in Sport Management at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics. Her research focus is Sport for Development and Peace, where she has particularly examined sport policy and development in Africa. Her work have been published in a variety of journals such as International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, Sport in Society and The International Journal of the History of Sport.

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