28th EASM European Sport Management Conference

Loughborough University London (UK), 

16-19 September 2020

Call for Workshop Proposals

Deadline for submissions: 16th December 2019

The Scientific Committee of The European Sport Management Conference invites sport management scholars and practitioners to organise Workshops on various sub-themes of sport management at our annual conference. 

The conference is organised in cooperation with the Loughborough University London. Please visit for information about this leading international conference, yet again held in a wonderful location. 

Activate, Engage, Discuss and Produce Shifts Through Workshops

Workshops aim to share knowledge, encourage stimulating discussion and intellectual engagement between participants on a particular subtheme (i.e. a specific focus within a more general topic). Workshops can also be outcome focussed, for example to integrate theory and practice; to build and foster networks; to channel work into special issues in ESMQ or other journals or edited books; to shift existing fields; or map out new sport management research territory. 

Workshop organisers have to provide a design/format for their Workshops that enables a significantly different appeal and ‘feel’ than traditional conference track topic sessions (for track topics see past/current conference websites). 

The Scientific Committee will select Workshop proposals that capture a defined sub-theme; have a clear aim; and have wide appeal to both presenters and conference attendees. Accepted Workshops will be included in the official Call for Contributions for the conference, which will be launched in January 2020. 

Examples of Workshops organised at past conferences are available on the former conference websites (;

Submitting Your Workshop Proposal

Parties interested in organising a Workshop should produce a document covering the following information and email it to the EASM Scientific Chair Guillaume Bodet and the EASM 2020 Scientific Committee, , inserting ‘Call for Workshop Proposals’ in the email subject, by the stated deadline. 

  1. The sub-theme/suggested title of the proposed Workshop. 
  2. A short description of the relevance and aim of the proposed Workshop (max. 500 words). Please remember that the title, the aim and the description should be used to arouse interest in the Workshop when announced in the conference Call for Contributions and when you promote the Workshop within your own network.
  3. Expected submissions to the Workshop:
    Names of likely contributors (at least 7)
    B) Communicational efforts how you intend to attract contributors to your conference Workshop besides the general conference Call for Contributions.
  4. The desired format and ‘flow’ of the Workshop
    A) Please outline the point of difference from standardised track presentations (e.g. one or a mix of the following: small symposium, panels, debates; presentation of short/full papers and/or impact cases, focus on or mix of practitioner/policy/academic contributors, technology-enhanced delivery, etc.). Typically, yet dependent on the number of submissions, we allow for 2 sessions (about 160 minutes overall) in the conference programme.
    B) Conveners could invite high-profile guest presenters on a complimentary day-ticket (on their own travel expenses and after discussion with the Scientific Committee) in order to increase the appeal of the Workshop or to facilitate theory-practice integration shall this be of benefit to the Workshop outcome and participants’ conference experience.
  5. Please mention if you are aware of any journal special issues on the topic of the proposed Workshop with a submission date later than September 2020 or any other output/impact Workshop participants might be able to contribute towards. Details about the Conveners:
    A) The names, institutions, email addresses, phone numbers, research fields, and short bio (about 100 words) of all Conveners (min. 2/max. 4, representing more than one country).
    B) Indicate the name of the Lead Convener as this person will be responsible for all communication with the Scientific Committee; be involved in the review process of submissions to the Workshop; the coordination of contributors (once submissions or other speakers are accepted); and the running of the Workshop in Seville. All Conveners need to register for the conference.
    C) A brief outline of the Conveners’ contribution to the topic (max. 300 words, plus references of recent publications/outputs on the topic and/or of practical work/impact). In addition, please refer to the history of the Workshop or similar events if it has been hosted by you at previous conferences. 

Conveners agree to prepare a brief written review of the Workshop within three weeks after the conference (about 400 words). Reports might be published on the conference/EASM website or used as reference for future activities. 

The deadline for submitting a Workshop proposal is 16 December 2019

Proposals will be judged against the stated criteria, taking into account quality and relevance. Only a certain number of Workshops can be considered and facilitated at the conference. 

Click here to download the printable PDF file.


For further clarification about topics and envisioned content of individual Workshops, please direct your questions torespective Workshop lead convenors in the first places.

Workshop 2: The Incredible Growth of Esport: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of this Dynamic, Global Industry

Rationale and Aim

Esports, otherwise known as competitive online gaming is now a mainstream activity which is now the leading content among millennial and Gen Z consumers. It’s commercialisation, globalisation and popularity, involving both playing and streaming has exponentially grown, and has evolved to become both a leisure and professional activity and is being considered by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic sport.

The rise of esports has vast implications for the nature of sport, sports consumption and activity (Krzanich, 2016). Rapid commercialisation of esports has seen partnering by harmful product categories, including alcohol, junk food and gambling, targeting often youth audiences. The largely unregulated esports landscape presents potential engagement and wellbeing risks for participants and spectators. The power of the esports platform, and influencers within it, present an opportunity to counteract any potential issues through relevant CSR strategies, but there has been limited research attention directed toward these issues such as: wellbeing, governance and positive/ethical branding strategy.

Potential Sub-themes:

  • health impacts of esports
  • esport as a platform for social impact and CSR
  • esports commercialisation and harmful product partnering
  • the role of influencers in esports
  • wellbeing in esport
  • sports diversification into esports
  • esports governance and regulation.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together a global network of expert researchers and practitioners in esports, to discuss opportunities and challenges within the esport industry, and latest research and innovation in this field. It is envisaged that the workshop will motivate new collaboration and knowledge networks and set a research agenda for wellbeing issues associated with the esports industry, including impacts upon the athletes, audience and society. It is anticipated that the unique format of the workshop, and the attendance of a mix of academic and industry experts will be attractive to participants. We are hoping to propose a special issue for a leading sports management journal in early 2020, which will position the workshop well in terms of possible research impact.

Envisioned Format and Flow

The final desired format depends on the amount of accepted papers. However, the desired format will be to have short presentations from authors followed by moderated discussions involving the presenters and the audience. As well as developing a relevant and robust research agenda is envisaged as a key outcome of the workshop, in addition to development of a global research network in the burgeoning field, with the aim of ongoing collaboration.

Submission Requirements

Abstract required.


Associate Professor Sarah Kelly (Lead convenor)- UQ Business School  

Dr Emily Hayday- Loughborough University London-

Dr Holly Collison- Loughborough University London-

Workshop 3: Impact and Public Value of Elite Sport – Benefits and Harms

Rationale and Aim

When measuring impacts assumed to be triggered by elite athletes, sporting success, or the organisation of major sporting events, academics have traditionally aimed to identify ‘if’ elite sport has societal impact.  We propose a shift of focus from ‘if’ impacts of elite sport occur towards ‘how’ investments can be allocated (more) successfully for social purposes to generate public value. Intrinsically, elite sport is neither beneficial nor harmful (Coalter, 2007). If we believe that elite sport can and should enable impacts and value, then we need to ask how elite sport should be envisioned and implemented to enable and, ideally, optimise its assumed public value.

We contend that what is required to develop in the field is innovative research that pushes the discipline forward with (inter- and transdisciplinary) research designs, informed by recognised conceptual frameworks that can assist in providing a more comprehensive understanding of the public value of elite sport to guide the decision-makers, practitioners and policymakers.

At European Association Sport Management Conference in 2019, Seville, a first workshop about the societal impact of elite sport was hosted by the conveners. After this valuable workshop, a proposal for an ESMQ special issue on the topic was written and approved for 2021 entitled: Societal Impacts of Elite Sport: Benefits and Harms. Key insights and messages of this workshop were:

  • Elite sport is seen by governments as an almost irresistible political priority. In some scenario’s investments are obliged and grounded in national legislation.
  • A shift of focus was proposed to move away from the question “if elite sport has societal impact?” and move towards managing impact: “how public value of elite sport can be created and how negative effects can be reduced”.
  • We should be careful in assessing effects of elite sport on population groups not interested or active in sport

We encourage researchers interested in the following potential societal impacts of elite sport to submit an abstract:

  • Social inclusion and equality
  • Collective identity and pride
  • Ethics and fair play
  • Passion and happiness
  • Prestige and image
  • Quality of life and athletes’ abilities
  • Sport participation and health
  • Sponsors and commercial activity
  • Local consumption and living conditions

Envisioned format
This workshop sets a platform for debate, discussion, networking and collaboration throughout the workshop. Workshop participants are asked to prepare short PowerPoint presentations of 10 minutes. Ideally, PowerPoints covering similar topics belong to a short series of presentations, after which key questions and remarks are discussed together the audience, conveners and presenters. Presenters will be asked to stay within the workshop for the entire duration of the workshop.

Submission requirements
Abstracts required, short paper encouraged

Journal Special Issue
ESMQ 2021 Special Issue “Societal Impacts of Elite Sport: Positives & Negatives”

Veerle de Bosscher, Vrije Universiteit Brussel –
Simon Shibli, Sheffield Hallam University –
Jens de Rycke, Vrije Universiteit Brussel –

Workshop 4: Environmental Matters in Sport Management

Rationale and Aim

All parts of society are challenged and pressured by how to respond to environmental, climate and resource problems with bold, effective and relatively swift action. The sport sector is no different. In fact, the survival of certain recreational activities and sports are heavily reliant on immediate climate action (Orr & Inoue, 2019).

In the early 2000s already, the scientific community reached a consensus on the increased pace and complexity of climate change (Oreskes, 2004). At the time of writing, the median temperature of the planet has increased over 0.9°Celsius since the preindustrial era, causing ice caps to melt, water levels to rise, biomes to shift geographically, and an increase in the frequency and severity of storm activity (World Metrological Organization, 2018) – all of which impact on and seriously endangering conditions for human life almost anywhere on the planet (CRO Forum 2019) and, subsequently, any sport-related activity. In 2015, by signing up to the Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly every country pledged to keep global temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C” (UNFCCC, 2019, no page numbers).

Environmental advancements and literacy within sport management research are in stark contrast to such around economic and social knowledge. The sport sector should be no exception to advancing its literacy on environmental issues; questioning its own environmental impact; and accelerating positive climate action. Recent announcements of sports organisations signing the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework could be seen as stepping-stone for the sector to explicitly acknowledge its responsibility for environmental impacts and its potential to act as climate change ambassador. However, this initial step is highlighted by exemplar organizations (i.e., signatories of the framework), but more collective action and understanding is needed throughout the global sport sector.

In the context of global climate change, greenhouse gas emissions are most prominent. It has become standard in most industries for organisations to report on Scope 1 (direct emissions, e.g. steaming from operating own car fleet) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions, e.g. emissions caused through consumption of acquired energy). A recent trend among more ambitious and sustainability-oriented companies is to also include Scope 3 emissions, called “value chain emissions”. These organisations accept responsibility for impacts “outside of their own walls”, i.e. from the goods it purchases to the disposal of the products it sells (both upstream and downstream of their operations).

The academic sport management literature has been hesitant to study, describe and scrutinize sports’ impact on natural environments (Breitbarth et al., 2015; Orr & Inoue, 2018). Those studies available predominantly focused on singular sport events/event series or sport tourism (e.g. Collins et al. 2012). Very few research is available on regular, especially grassroots sport-related events, participation and mobility (Bunds et al., 2018; Wicker 2018, 2019; Breitbarth et al. 2019). Certainly, the sport industry itself is falling short on systematically measuring and reporting its environmental impact (McCullough et al., 2020) with only few – albeit a slowly increasing number of – sport organisations mapping and measuring its ecological impact. They could identify areas of environmental externalities to increase organizational performance and efficiency (Eccles et al. 2014). Consequently, there is also a void in research dealing with organisational and managerial motivation/resistance to accept ecological responsibilities in general and to address (negative) environmental impact caused (Schaltegger & Burritt, 2018).

With this workshop convenors seek to inspire and accelerate global understanding of how sport management research can – or even: should – contribute to nothing less than keeping the plant liveable for current and future generations. Contributions are welcome especially – but not exclusively – across the following topics:

  • Environmental impact measurement and reporting
  • Climate risk and vulnerability
  • Climate adaptation
  • Environmental policy and law in sport
  • Managing sustainability
  • Positive action and communication
  • Engaging sport participants, fans and other stakeholders
  • Sport facility management
  • Environmental education in sport
  • Supply chain management in sport

Envisioned Format and Flow

We envision the workshop to embrace a different flow than standard track sessions. Depending on the number of submissions and contributors as well as conferencing time available, a mix of formats are in scope at this stage, including practitioner input.

Submission Requirements

Abstract required, Short Paper encouraged.

Journal Special Issue

The convenors are talking to editors of established (sport management) journals in regard to a special issue on the topic of workshop.

With the workshop bringing together a global community of practice and coalition of interest, future collaborative international research and publication opportunities will be discussed during the workshop and in its aftermath.


Tim Breitbarth (lead), Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne/Australia,

Brian P. McCullough, Seattle University, USA, / Texas A&M University, USA (from July 2020)

David M. Herold, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria,