ULMS Electronic Module Catalogue

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Global Context of Sports Business
Code MGTK701
Coordinator Professor S Bridgewater
Marketing (ULMS)
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 2


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 124


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Individual essay Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL penalty applies Anonymous Assessment: No    60       
Discussion board contribution Reassessment Opportunity: Yes, via a 800 word report Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL penalty applies Anonymous Assessment: No    20       
Discussion board contribution Reassessment Opportunity: Yes, via a 800 word report Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL penalty applies Anonymous Assessment: No    20       


The module aims to:

Provide students with a detailed understanding of the context of the 'global' sports business environment, its determinants, challenges, and future trajectory;

Help students develop critical thinking skills in the global sports business context from perspectives of governance, ethics and sustainability;

Help students develop as independent learners, comfortable with taking responsibility and being accountable for their actions, choices and outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to think critically about contemporary challenges in sports business.

(LO2) Students will be able to critically apply broader concerns of ethics and sustainability in a global sports business context.

(LO3) Students will be able to evaluate the future challenges and developments of the sports business and comment on implications for management practice.

(LO4) Students will be able to appreciate wider conceptualisations of stakeholder theory and critically evaluate implications for sports and sports businesses.

(LO5) Students will be able to appraise the global/local challenges and debates inherent in the sports business environment, in such a way as to inform management decision-making.

(S1) International awareness.
International cases in the business of sport will be used to support and illustrate theory. Guest speakers invited to deliver video podcasts will also give talks on internationally orientated roles in the business of sport, their experiences, and recommendations. Students will also be encouraged to keep up-to-date with current affairs in both developed and developing sports markets.

(S2) Ethical awareness.
A specific lecture block will be delivered on ethics. Further, a substantial part of the module reading list will be related to ethics and governance in the business of sport and will also feature as a critical juncture in the essay assignment. During online activities, students will also be encouraged to reflect ethically on examples and cases, and present arguments to peers.

(S3) Think sustainably.
Sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) considerations form the main conceptual undercurrent to this module. Students will be asked, for all topics, to reflect critically from the point of sustainability. Reflection on live cases, developments in sustainable practice, and industry insight delivered through guest lecture videos will reinforce and develop this position.

(S4) Lifelong learning skills.
At level 7, it is a requirement that students move beyond the recommended reading list and are constantly engaged in their subject. The module demands students to evidence engagement in the wider literature and to showcase skills that evidence ‘life-long-learning’. Students will also be encouraged to support arguments and online discussions with readings and theoretical positions gained from readings conducted outside of class.

(S5) Critical problem-solving skills.
A core feature of the assignments is critical analysis. Further, during online activities students will be asked to consider various cases in the international business of sport through critical lens – such as sustainability, ethics and governance.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module will primarily be delivered through eight e-lectures/seminars. These will consist of podcasts covering key topics. Individual online tasks and discussion boards will be used to develop and apply learning with regard to the sport industry in general and the students’ own work contexts. These will be moderated by the module tutor. Students will also be directed to key academic and practitioner readings to further develop their learning.

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: 24 hours

Description: The e-Lectures/seminars will equate to 3 hours/week over 8 weeks undertaken asynchronously.

Attendance Recorded: Yes – tracked via the learning platform.

Additionally, one scheduled synchronous seminar will be delivered (if there are issues with time zones another seminar will be provided).
Scheduled Directed Student Hours: 2 hours

Description: The scheduled seminar will equate to 2 hours undertaken synchronously. The date and time of t he seminar will be confirmed at the start of the module.
Attendance Recorded: Yes – tracked via the learning platform.

Self-Directed Learning Hours: 124 hours

Description: This will involve directed and independent reading, independent research into sports organisations and assessment preparation.



Globalisation of sport: The core aim of this topic is to introduce students to the perceived global nature of sports business, and to engage them in critical discussion about whether sport is actually global, or a more ‘multidomestic’ industry than transcends traditional geographical boundaries. Here we introduce the nature and scope of sports brands, different organisational structures and the managerial challenges associated with balancing the local/global tensions of sports business. This insight also provides a backdrop for the core issues and business themes that will come later in their programme, as well as providing students with ‘touch-points’ to develop their own interests in sport outside of the classroom.

Sport and politics: This topic introduces students to the role which sport plays in creating “soft power” for countries, regions and cities. The topic will introduce the role of sports’ Mega Events, such as the Olym pics, FIFA World Cup and the way in which these, and other Major Events in Sport can bring prestige and a global audience to those who bid and host them.

Commercialisation of sport: This topic is designed to give students historical insight into some of the key trigger points from around the world that have led to the commercialisation and formation of sports markets. The aim here is to better understand how, why, and in what circumstances various professional sports have commercialised. An important part of this is to establish the consequences of this development (positive and negative), but also to pose questions as to how ‘new’ or ‘developing’ markets can successfully commercialise in a socially positive way.

Sport and society: This topic looks at the social role of sport. The topic will consider the role of sport for health and well-being, initiatives and trends in sports participation and the role of sport for social good, using examples of sports initiatives for inclusion, charitable causes and the broader power of sport to overcome different societal problems in countries around the world.

Technology and the future of Sport: This topic considers the future trajectory of sports business with a focus on changes in technology and the opportunities and challenges which these bring. The main focus here is on ‘digital sport’. There is a growing connection between the digital world and the sports world. ‘Digital’ is changing the way business content is developed, who creates it, how it is distributed, and how communities are shaped and engaged. This does not just mean social media, but also e-sports gaming and fantasy, big data, wearable technology, and digital marketing. At the same time, digital has brought with it increased problems with piracy of content, and changes to the market for broadcast rights.

Governance and ethics: The commercialisation and marketisation of professional sp ort has brought many challenges in terms of the organisation and governance of various sports at regional, national, and supranational level. This topic is designed to expose students to the complex political nature of sport governance and encourage them to develop skills in ethics and moral awareness as to assist with management decision making and governance.

Sustainability: Having established the political, economic, social, technological, legal/governance dimensions of sport, attention is drawn to the need to balance social and commercial activities with environmental concerns. Legislative developments, the concept of ‘legacy’ from mega sporting-events, amongst others, will be introduced and debated. An important feature of this topic is to reflect on historical practices and debate these developments from a sustainability perspective. Many of our students will come from developing/emerging sports markets and an integral part of their development through this co urse should be to learn from developed economies – both in terms of what has been positive, and in terms of how future developments can be more sustainable. This topic can also be used to reflect on commercialisation agendas, consumption practices covered earlier in the module.

Stakeholders in Sport: This topic introduces students to the complex web of inter-relationships which make up a sports, from players, match officials, governing bodies, governments, agents, tournament organisers, leagues, clubs, fans and other stakeholders who have power and influence in different sports. Using concepts from stakeholder theory, this topic will consider the interplay of the different actors and differences in the stakeholders who play a part in sports in different nationally, regionally and globally.

Emerging markets: By this stage in the module students should have a good understanding of what sport is, how the sport arena has formed and changed over time, and what the commerc ialisation of sport means to society, organisations, and the people involved in sport. The next stage is to introduce students to the idea of ‘emerging markets’ and ‘multiplicity of markets’ – for example, some economies are developing infant sport industries i.e. football in China – emerging market, nations that already have established sports markets i.e. football in the UK are starting to create new versions of existing markets i.e. women’s football; Futsal in the UK – market multiplicity. This provides the theoretical base for discussions on how different social, cultural, political, and technological developments (from topic 1) influence the development of sport and sports business in different market contexts.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.