Doctoral Dissertation

11.1.2019 MSc David Kotthaus (Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, Social Sciences of Sport)


11.1.2019 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , L304
Release: 11.1.2019 New revenue streams in sport facilities (Kotthaus)
MSc David Kotthaus defends his doctoral dissertation in Social Sciences of Sport "Economic, social and stakeholder-related analysis in sport facility management".

Opponent Professor Thierry Zintz (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and Custos Professor Kimmo Suomi (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

The research idea of this dissertation was to find out whether universities can use their sport facilities as a potential asset for business intentions; these may serve a ‘vehicle’ to generate needed monies. The selection of the University of Jyväskylä (JYU) The University of Umeå (UU) and the German Sport University Cologne (GSU) was based on geographical circumstances, the role of the universities within their communities, previous research in this scientific field as well as the local, regional and national business potential within the respective cities, regions and countries.

The results showed that the available knowledge of the selected universities is needed to be increased for profitability requires that the managers of these sport facilities do utilise the available resources in the best way possible. This may need an additional hiring of experts by the universities, specific individuals, to gain competence and strategic market advantage over other scientific institutions as their competitors. Especially universities located as regional, but not national centres such as JYU and UU need to acknowledge the importance of renewing the expertise of the personnel through professional development, but also bringing in “fresh” outside knowledge and skills as some tasks might not be solved adequately by the existing personnel, also in terms of structural planning for infrastructure such as sport facilities. Otherwise, a drawback in national and international competition might be inevitable.

The sport facility managers of the universities need to focus on marketing concepts designed by the experts of the universities which concentrate on research, teaching, socialisation and services to the local community as well the major stakeholders. Other potential revenue streams for the selected universities are specialisation on specific research areas, joint venture strategies for sporrt facilties, tuition fees and sponsoring of the universities.

The background and fundament of this research can be found in business administration, marketing strategies, stakeholder management, and entrepreneurial market approach which then were tried to be meshed with theories in sport facility management, sport planning and resource management.

The research was conducted based on semi-structured interviews that were then analysed using a narrative approach. Whilst the narrative approach allowed the interviewees an enhanced freedom of telling their perceived reality, it was still attempted to use a loose guideline of questions within the idea of semi-structured interviews to achieve answers to the asked questions. The 24 interviews were made between 2010 – 2012 in an biannual rhythm as it was attempted to analyse potential micro- and macro cycles within the business structure of the universities regarding their sport facilities (e.g. summer and winter time). The interviewees were selected carefully based on their expertise within the three selected universities, making it a comparative cross-cultural case study.

The dissertation is published in JYU dissertations, no 49, ISSN 2489-9003, ISBN 978-951-39-7631-6. Link to thesis: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7631-6

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David Kotthaus