'We' Are the Champions: Examining the Effects of Same-League Rival Clubs in the European Football Industry

Kerbek, Mohamed
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University of Guelph

In business, rivalry is associated with exchanging blows with a competitor in order to win customers. Rarely does a rival profit from the presence of another, and in such instances the benefits are based on a production side benefit, rather than increased marketability. In the sporting industry, the business between rivals seems to defy that logic. Rivals seem to profit from the presence of another without any locational antecedent. This paper aims to examine the impact of sports rivalry on club financial performance from a spatial and general rivalry perspective. It utilizes multi-linear regressions to determine the impact of having a rival on a team’s year-end finances. The results found significant support for rivalry in general and competitive balance. No support was found for geographic rivalries. Important implications for competitive strategy theories in the sporting industry, and decision-making criteria for practitioners.

soccer, sports, marketing, business, competition