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Kenneth Cortsen’s Insights

This blog strives to provide insights and trends about the business of sports. Browse the site and gain a deeper understanding of the passionate texture of the convergence between sports and business. That is YOUR way to get ahead in the game!


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Current and future sports business trends from a 2020 perspective

December 31, 2020 12:34 pmCurrent and future sports business trends from a 2020 perspective

2020 marks an extraordinary sports year. First, 2020 has been remarkable because of the major shift that the COVID-19 pandemic provoked in the business of sports. Another a yet more positive influencer on the 2020 sports year is how the role of activist athletes saw increased commercialization potential boosted by the aftermath of Colin Kaepernicks ‘social justice’ promotion four years after he first took a knee (2016). The 2020s is also a time of increased influence of technology and data. This trend holds interesting business opportunities. This article gives you insights into these trends but also provides additional sports business insights regarding commercial opportunities and trends relevant for sports industry professionals.

Football, cooperation, CSR & commercialization may move leagues, clubs and societies forward - the case of Responsiball's CSR-ranking

December 30, 2020 4:40 pmFootball, cooperation, CSR & commercialization may move leagues, clubs and societies forward - the case of Responsiball's CSR-ranking

The tenth edition of Responsiball’s annual CSR (corporate social responsibility) ranking of international and professional football leagues’ and clubs’ governance, environmental and social commitments is now online. The ranking takes a ‘triple bottom line’ approach to motivate professional football clubs and leagues to greater standards of responsibility and accountability. Based on some of my research within the intersection of sports, CSR, and commercialization, there is no doubt that the professional football industry can benefit from taking a collective step to apply football as a community driver, which can enhance positive societal change while boosting commercial benefits for the leagues and clubs involved in these activities. More specifically, the strategic application of CSR has the capability of influencing sports brand management and commercial partnerships positively through improved brand capitalization.

Development tendencies over time in the business of sports in the US from Johan Cruyff and the NASL and from Billy Ball to the Moneyball era - a dialogue with Andy Dolich

December 29, 2020 12:49 pmDevelopment tendencies over time in the business of sports in the US from Johan Cruyff and the NASL and from Billy Ball to the Moneyball era  - a dialogue with Andy Dolich

The business of sports has really changed since the 1960s. Globalization, technology, data, new ownership models such as the growth of portfolio models and investments across various sports and international borders, and the application of sport as a geopolitical and soft power instrument are only a few of many important milestones, which emphasize the major changes that has had an impact on the sports industry since the 1960s. This article takes the audience on a brilliant journey in the business of sports, which illustrates vital managerial points related to owning, managing and operating a business in the sports industry. The experienced sports industry professional Andy Dolich draws on executive lessons from positions as Executive VP for the Oakland A´s of MLB, President of Business Operations for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, COO of the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, President of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, Director of Marketing for the Washington Capitals of the NHL and General Manager of the Washington Diplomats of the NASL. Over the span of many decades, Dolich was fortunate and competent enough to work with various ownership groups and sports legends such as the Dutch football super star Johan Cruyff.

A dialogue with Roger Breum regarding sports sponsorship trends in the 2020s and AI-powered solutions

December 27, 2020 11:41 amA dialogue with Roger Breum regarding sports sponsorship trends in the 2020s and AI-powered solutions

In a business or sport business landscape where consumers and fans are constantly bombarded with messages, rights holders and sports-related brands MUST strive to stand out. Early studies in sport sponsorship emphasized how the intensive progression of sport sponsorship is a result of the huge amount of clutter that originated in traditional media (Meenaghan, 1991; Wilkinson, 1993; Séguin & O’Reilly, 2008). So, sport sponsorship became an additional marketing platform through which rights holders and sports-related brands could improve commercial activities in their pursuit of better rates of engagement with consumers and fans.

A dialogue with Alan Rothenberg on the history, development & future of the MLS and football

December 22, 2020 12:24 pmA dialogue with Alan Rothenberg on the history, development & future of the MLS and football

From a sports business, there are interesting insights about the heart of football/soccer history and development. Alan Rothenberg, a renowned expert in sports law, sports leadership and sports business, participated in a dialogue earlier this year (2020), in which he gives the audience first-hand knowledge from how he participated in boosting football’s (soccer in the U.S.) popularity in the U.S. from his positions as Chairman and CEO of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Chairman of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, President of the U.S. Soccer Federation, Chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and a founder of Major League Soccer.

At the time, the 1994 FIFA World Cup was the most successful in the history of FIFA. The tournament generated massive average attendance numbers, approximately 64,000 fans per game, and produced an operating profit of more than $69 mio.