Sport Marketing (MKTU9SP)

MODULE CODE:         




Credit Value:             


Module Coordinator:  

Dr Dimitrios Kolyperas

Contact Hours:         

22 Lecture, 8 Seminar


50% coursework, 50% examination

Module Overview:

Sport is a business. As with most businesses, marketing has grown in significance in recent decades. One has only to think about the issues of tobacco advertising and Formula One motor racing, image rights, celebrity endorsement (and celebrity behaviour – think Tiger Woods), ambush marketing, the switch of rugby league to a summer sport or the ending of terrestrial TV coverage of test cricket in the UK to recognise the centrality of marketing in sport. From the FFA World Cup or the Olympics to the smallest local club, from elite athletes to community participation for health benefits, marketing has a major role to play. The current economic climate exacerbates this situation with a variety of concerns over costs, revenue, sponsorship etc.

The issues of sport marketing are of interest academically. Sport is a very different sector of the economy with very different interests and issues. Sport marketing is about playing, watching and consuming in a variety of ways. There is the live experience, the activity itself, but there is also an industry that promotes and writes about, as well as broadcasts, sport. Of all sectors of the economy, sport probably has the lowest percentage of costs paid for by actual first hand live consumers of the service/product. We are bombarded by sponsorship and advertising, but how much actually works? Whether you are an active athlete or a couch potato zapper, whether of mainstream sport or of alternative sports, marketing has an impact on you. How much of this impact do you understand? How much do you welcome? How should sport marketing be organised and controlled?


This module investigates the application of modern marketing techniques to sport. The objectives of this module are to develop the capabilities of students to:

  • extend knowledge of marketing approaches and applications into a lesser known sector, sport
  • utilise marketing concepts in understanding business approaches to sport marketing
  • consider if sport marketing is 'different' to other sectors
  • underline the opportunities for graduates in sport marketing

Learning Outcomes:

This is an Application Module in the Marketing Degree Scheme. As such, the Marketing Value Cycle is at the heart of this module, providing the core structure and major themes. Recognising that sport marketing will be new to students, the initial part of the module introduces the marketing of sport as a subject. This is followed by the four major themes from the value cycle.

Five main themes are thus followed in the module:

    * What is sport marketing?

    * Understanding the sport marketing consumer

    * Creating the sport marketing activity

    * Communicating sport marketing messages

    * Delivering the sport marketing experience

A broad view of sport marketing will be developed. It will encompass all forms of sport consumers (participants and viewers) and take a multi-disciplinary approach to the topic. Issues of consumption and loyalty will be debated. The sport setting (real and virtual) will be considered. Branding and sponsorship in sport will be discussed. The nature of event planning and stadia environments will also be a focus. The intention is to draw on events across the globe, with particular focus on the UK. Whilst professional sport will be core to the module, local sport needs and community and participation dimensions will not be ignored.

After completion of the module students will be able to develop:

  1. an ability to understand the development of appropriate marketing strategies within a changing environment, to meet various business, marketing and stakeholder demands in sports
  2. an in-depth knowledge of the processes and applications in the production, distribution, and marketing of sport goods and/or services
  3. a deep appreciation of sport consumers including customer expectations, motivations, service and orientation
  4. an ability to interact and study with others and to constructively practice multiple management skills including communication, problem-solving, data analysis, and teamwork

What I cannot do however is please everyone by always mentioning “their” sport or “their” club. I have my own sporting preferences (which may become obvious during the module) and though I try to draw examples from many sports and situations, I will only scratch the surface. This is where you come in. You need to apply the themes, issues, examples etc that we draw upon to your sport or club, whether professional or local. Use your engagement and knowledge as a source for the module, take the thematic structure I adopt and put onto it your “favourites”. BUT, don’t do this unthinkingly or blindly – be critical, questioning and thoughtful. 

Suggested Reading: 

The core text book for this module is:

Beech J and S Chadwick (eds) (2007) The Marketing of Sport. FT/Prentice Hall


This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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