28th EASM European Sport Management Virtual Conference

September/October 2020

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. 

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 has selected Workshop proposals that capture a defined sub-theme; have a clear aim; and have wide appeal to both presenters and conference attendees. Accepted Workshops and their envisioned content are featured below.


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

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,
Andrea Collins, Cardiff University, UK,

Workshop 5: Running events in Europe: Social, Economic and Psychological Perspectives

Rationale and Aim:

Running events are one of the fastest growing markets within the European sport industry. It is estimated that in Europe there are over 50 million runners today (Scheerder & Breedveld, 2015). These European runners are estimated to spend 9.6 billion euro annually on running-related activity (Scheerder & Breedveld, 2015). Organized running in the form of city marathons has also shown considerable growth, recently. At present, there are more than 100 major international marathons worldwide and thousands of smaller ones (Alexandris et al., 2019). Running events have a multiple role; they can contribute to the promotion of physical activity and active lifestyle and build community welfare, since they are associated with social / community integration and economic benefits (Theodorakis et al., 2015, Gratton et al., 2006),). This is particularly important because such events take place in local communities, where their impact can be particularly strong (Djaballah, et al., 2015, Taks et al., 2015). Furthermore, they can contribute to personal welbeing; recent research has shown that successful running events are associated with personal happiness for participants, psychological well-being, and improved quality of life over the long term (Alexandris et al., 2019; Theodorakis et al., 2019). Considering the ongoing interest in running events, this workshop aims to report recent research conducted in the context of the “Run for Health” Erasmus+ sport project and further invite running events related research.

Researchers working on any of the potential subthemes below are encouraged to submit papers:

  • Economic impacts of running events
  • Social and psychological impacts of running events
  • Running events and quality of life
  • Marketing running events
  • Running events and promotion of an active life-style
  • Segmentation analysis in running events
  • Running events and national / European policy
  • Partnership and governance of running events
  • Future trends in running events
  • Running event and technology
  • Funding running events
  • Sponsorship strategies in running events

The workshop will combine presentations of short papers (max. 2,500 words) and a symposium to stimulate dialogue among scholars and practitioners around how innovation can be maintained in an increasingly structured SDP environment. Based on the positive feedback from two prior SDP workshops in Bern and Malmö, presenters will be asked to share their work in 20 x 20 Pecha Kucha presentations. Additional details will be provided to presenters to help them prepare for this non-traditional presentation format. This format provides a more engaging way for attendees to learn about the research being presented and also allows us to allocate sufficient time for a symposium involving SDP industry representatives. The convenors will open the workshop with an overview of the current state of the field and will subsequently facilitate interactive discussions among researchers and industry representatives to identify areas requiring future follow up actions. The convenors will conclude the workshop by identifying key outcomes and ways for participants to further build on the knowledge generated from the workshop.

Envisioned form and flow
The Erasmus+ project will be the starting point of the workshop, and it will be presented shortly at the beginning of the session. Presented papers will be categorized according to the themes and delivered shortly within each theme. These short presentations will be followed by discussion in which the contributors will participate, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and comment.

Submission requirements:
Abstract required; short paper encouraged

Vassil Girginov, Brunel University London
Kostas Alexandris, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
Paul Hover, Mulier Institute