Stakeholder analysis in sports event management



Event Management in sports is an amalgamation of several stakeholders working in tandem for a common aim effectively and efficiently facilitating the event right from the planning, strategizing to the successful execution and delivery of the event. Each of them working hand in hand and it wont be wrong to say that they are interdependent on each other for their return on investments either in cash or kind, sale of their product (during or post event), for acknowledgement, exposure to public, recognition or branding etc. The role of stakeholders in the event management process might start right from the pre-event preparation to the post-event stages as well, depending upon their preferences and roles in the said event.

The impact made by the combined efforts of the stakeholders determines the extent of success or failure of the event and is irreversible. In a sports event, stakeholders might broadly include shareholders, organisers of the event, employees (Permanent or outsourced), volunteers, service providers, sponsors (cash and kind), participants/players, spectators, government bodies, sports federations and association etc. The stakeholders in event management might vary from event to event depending upon the nature of engagement, theme and scale of the event and the impact to be made post event from social, economical and political point of view and based on the same stakeholders can be divided into two types.

  • Primary Stakeholders

Primary Stakeholders are the one without whom, the event might not be possible at all since they form the base of the event and their contribution is imperative for the event. These may include sponsors, vendors, participants, organisers, broadcasters etc and they might vary from event to event.

  • Secondary Stakeholder

These stakeholders add value to the event, but the event may still be carried out and delivered without their presence and contribution. It is very rare that secondary stakeholders are not visible in any event, since an additional value added service, product or good is always welcomed by the organisers. It may include kind sponsorships, media (to an extent), collaborating federations and associations, spectators (depending upon the genre, scale and nature of event), emergency services etc.

For any organisation, stakeholder identification and analysis is the key for optimal utilization of available resources including time, human resource, funds etc. Such analysis and identification is the key to define the success of the event and organisation in the long term.

Taking reference of the Mendelows Power and Interest matrix (2004), it is possible to identify potential stakeholders, their importance to the performance of the organisation and to decide the level and nature of engagement with them, holding to the interest of both parties. It has 4 realms mainly:

  • Stakeholders : High Power and High Interest

Such stakeholders are important for the success and sustainability of the event and brand as a whole. There must be a mechanism to involve such stakeholders in important decision making processes and effective communication in order to satisfy their interests. Such stakeholders may include top tier sponsors, broadcasters, celebrities etc.

  • Stakeholders : High Power and Low Interest

Such stakeholders must be kept in ample amount of engagement owning to the muscle power it holds, and even though their interest is minimal, their extended support is always welcomed and beneficial. Police, government officials, local politicians (Indian context), local Municipal Corporation etc.

  • Stakeholders : Low Power and High Interest

Such stakeholders include upcoming entities, new entrants into the market, start ups who are looking for possible synergies for a win-win situation, spectators, fans, host community etc. Such stakeholders must be made involved in the event as they may supplement to the purpose and aim of the event bringing about additional strength to the event.

  • Stakeholders : Low Power and Low Interest

Here, the level of engagement must be bare minimum since it does not affect the outcome of the event colossally. Such stakeholders include individuals and certain groups always showing dissent with operations and procedures of the organisation and event.

In all the above categories, it is important to identify and place the stakeholders in the apt category. Another important prospect of sports event management is to define the roles, duties and responsibilities of the involved stakeholders through a transparent mechanism which enhances trust among them and propels better performances.

In addition, developing a line of communication before, during and after the event for the stakeholders is important for the event and more importantly the event as a brand to grow steadily. Event touches several social, economical and political aspects in a given region and holistically has a major impact on the community.

Like for example, the birth of the lucrative Indian Premier League in 2007 saw an unprecedented revenue generation for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and never seen before passion by fans for their respective city/state teams. Such an impact can effectively be orchestrated by meticulous approach towards stakeholder analysis and management, making the event a grand success and enhancing its recall value and rendering a mesmerising experience for all the stakeholders involved.

Author – Udit Sharma – MBA Sports Management – Symbiosis School of Sports Science (Pune)

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