Applying Sport Management Concepts

The Middletown College Case Study

1st edition, 184 pages $26.95
ISBN 978-0-89641-538-6

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Sport management is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic career fields available to students today. Applying Sport Management Concepts is directed toward third and fourth year undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in professional, intercollegiate, and interscholastic athletics, as well as recreation and fitness management. To best prepare students for the myriad issues they will encounter in a sport management career it is important that educators provide quality resources to meet professional preparation needs.

The book was written keeping in mind the core competencies identified by the North American Society of Sport Management and the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. The design is not to present individual issues in their entirety but to introduce key concepts and skills that students must have in order to navigate sport management issues. It draws on the experiences of the author gained from three decades of involvement with athletic programs as coach and athletic director. In addition, a recognized professional in their field has contributed chapters on human resources and decision making/strategic planning. The objectives of the book are:

  1. to have students acquire a working knowledge of essential skill areas in sport management;
  2. for students to develop an understanding of the interdependent nature of sport, business and economics, and management;
  3. to provide students the opportunity to apply this knowledge using the case study method; and
  4. to have students complete the case study navigating the intricacies of working within a cooperative group environment.

Applying Sport Management Concepts is a direct result of a decade-long evolution of a graduate course in sport management. As this course progressed it became apparent that students needed to be challenged in a manner that would provide them multiple opportunities to use and apply the knowledge being presented. The primary goal therefore is the application of knowledge to simulated-challenge provided by a semester long case study. The case study is focused management issues in a college athletic program. While not all students will pursue careers in college athletics, most readers will readily and easily connect with the case study in this area.

The ten chapters are organized covering three specific topics. The first topic area (Chapter 1) provides an overview of the book itself and specifics of how the case study will be used during the course. The second topic (Chapters 2 through 4) presents the reader with information on the case study method, and data related to the focus of the case study, the fictional Middletown College, the location of the college, and the Central Valley Conference. The reader is then introduced to the specifics of the seven Strategic Initiatives that make up the semester-long case study. Finally an overview is provided of sport management organizations, publications, and blogs that will aid students in their research efforts as the work through the case study.

The final topic area (Chapters 5 through 10) provides information related to the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the field of sport management. These chapters are presented in the order required to meet the issues presented in the Strategic Initiatives. Each chapter provides a comprehensive reference list as well as a list of suggested readings and resources.

Unlike many texts where assignments or a case study are specific to a chapter or topic area, this book presents a seven-part interconnected case study. The case study is focused around Middletown College, formerly a two-year community college that is in the process of evolving into a four-year college with the goal of establishing an intercollegiate athletic program. Data and demographics about Middletown College, the town of Middletown, and the Central Valley Conference are provided.

Readers are presented with seven Strategic Initiatives and are asked to apply problem-solving strategies using a cooperative group approach as the athletic department is constructed from the ground up. What is recommended and adopted in each of the seven parts of the case study adds further information for use in succeeding sections. For example, the sports adopted in Strategic Initiative 2 will play a later role when considering athletic facilities, marketing and promotional plans, and fundraising.

Another unique aspect of the case study is the ability to modify various aspects of the case to meet the needs of a particular course or course objective. For the purposes of the case study the Central Valley Conference is a NCAA Division II conference, bringing into consideration all the information relevant to Division II. This fact can be modified and NCAA Division I or III, as well as the NAIA can be substituted, changing the dynamics of athletic association at the national level. While the case study is designed as a semester-long comprehensive case study, many of the individual Strategic Initiatives can be used or modified to become a stand-alone assignment. The end result is a text that provides students the opportunity to not only study sport management, but to apply the knowledge in a simulated real-life scenario.


  • Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Chapter 2: The Case Study Strategy
    Developing Problem Solving Teams
    Thinking Skills
    Communication Skills
    Relationship Skills
    Decision Making Skills
    Meeting Skills
    The Middletown College Case Study
    Facts and Demographics
    The Chronology and History of Middletown
    Institutional Profile of Middletown College
    Middletown College Board of Trustees
    Middletown College Campus Map
    Middletown, Indiana
    Central Valley Conference

  • Chapter 3: Strategic Initiatives
    Strategic Initiative 1—Strategic Planning, Mission, and Program Identity
    SWOT Analysis
    Athletic Department Mission Statement
    Program Identity
    Strategic Initiative 2—Athletic Program Development
    Selection of Sports and Allocation of Scholarships
    Athletic Personnel and Determination of Salaries
    Athletic Department Organizational Chart
    Strategic Initiative 3—Human Resource Issues
    Job Descriptions: Middletown Athletic Department Personnel
    The Position Announcement: Middletown College Athletic Director
    Strategic Initiative 4—Performance Evaluation system for Head Coaches
    A Rationale for the Evaluation Process of Head Coaches
    Standards for Evaluation
    Creation of Head Coach Evaluation Form
    Strategic Initiative 5—Athletic Facility Master Plan: Design and Analysis
    Facility List
    Facility Description
    Projected Construction Costs
    Master Plan Site
    Facilities Guidelines
    Facility Construction Cost Estimates
    Strategic Initiative 6—Marketing and Athletic Program
    SWOT Analysis
    Determining the Product Market
    Communication Channels
    Marketing and Promotional Event
    Middletown College Athletic Web Site
    Rubric for the Evaluation of the Marketing Plan
    Strategic Initiative 7—Fundraising Program and Revenue Projection
    A Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Fundraising
    Revenue Projections

  • Chapter 4: Organizations, Publications, and Blogs for the Sports Management Professional
    Professional Organizations
    Selected Periodicals Related to Sport Management
    Related Scholarly Journals
    Sport Blogs

  • Chapter 5: Ethics and Sport Management
    Models for Ethical Decision Making
    Mission Statements
    Dallas Baptist University
    Southwestern University
    University of Oklahoma
    Midwestern State University
    Code of Ethics
    Code of Ethics, North American Society for Sport Management
    National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Code of Ethics

  • Chapter 6: Managing and Leading
    Managerial Functions
    Managerial Skills

  • Chapter 7: Decision Making—Solving Organizational Problems
    Strategic Planning
    Ten-Step Process for Decision Making and Planning
    Assignment: Middletown College Strategic Initiatives 1 and 2
    Appendix 7-A1—Wilburn and Wilburn’s
    Seven-Step Process for Problem Solving
    Appendix 7-A2—Ten-Step Model for Decision Making
    Appendix 7-A3—Six-Step Model for Decision Making
    Appendix 7-B1—Fishbone Diagram—Middletown College
    Appendix 7-C—Gantt Charts

  • Chapter 8: Human Resources
    Staff Selection
    Staff Orientation
    Staff Development
    Staff Evaluation
    Legal Aspects of Human Resource Management
    Equal Pay Act of 1963
    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Amended 1972
    Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 Amended 1978 1986
    Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
    Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, 1990, 1996
    Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    Civil Rights Act of 1991
    Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994
    Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (WBPA) of 1990
    Assignment—Middletown College Strategic Initiatives 3 and 4
    Assignment—Middletown College Strategic Initiative 5
    Appendix 8-A1: Sample Job Description

  • Chapter 9: Sport Marketing and Promotions
    Unique Characteristics of Sport Marketing
    The Marketing Mix
    Public Relations
    The Sports Information Director (SID)
    10-Step Process of Developing a Marketing Plan
    Identify the Purpose
    Analyze the Sport Product
    Project the Market Climate
    Position the Sport Product
    Analyze and Target Consumers
    Package the Sport Product
    Price the Sport Product
    Promote the Sport Product
    Place the Sport Product
    Evaluate the Sport Marketing Plan
    Assignment—Middletown College Strategic Initiative 6

  • Chapter 10: Revenue Sources and Fundraising
    Event Revenues
    Ticket Sales
    Student Fees
    Corporate Sponsorship
    Booster Clubs
    Merchandising and Licensing
    Construction Related Fundraising
    Summer Camps
    Facility Rental
    Miscellaneous Fundraising Activities
    Assignment: Middletown College Strategic Initiative 7

    About the Author

    Dr. John Knorr, professor of Kinesiology at St. Edward’s University teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the areas of sport management and sport law. He has 28 years of experience in college athletics as athletic director and baseball coach and has served on a variety of NCAA II and NAIA committees at the district and regional levels. In honor of his contributions to the athletic department he was inducted into the St. Edward’s University Athletic Hall of Fame. He holds a doctorate from the University of North Texas.

    Dr. Kathleen M. Wilburn and Dr. H. Ralph Wilburn are contributing authors to this text. Both are professors of Management at St. Edward's University.