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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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Latest Insights

Football economy, the European Super League and a history that repeats itself

May 16, 2021 6:53 pmFootball economy, the European Super League and a history that repeats itself

Instead of attempting to fix the challenging balance between revenue generation and high costs as well as the risks of how soft budget constraints and a global crisis (e.g., COVID-19) play together, the global top clubs went down the road of ‘ego avenue’ for a quick fix in relation to their breakaway attempt in the form of the proposed European Super League (ESL). Football fans protested against this proposed plan and football’s governing bodies demonstrated via their zero-tolerance policy and ESL was put on hold (at least for now). This article will strive to provide a pragmatic and scholarly founded analysis concerning the proposed ESL competition format and the current direction the football economy. It will dive into the reasons behind the ESL format, its future influence and how this proposal is also related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, historic commercial development tendencies in football and the influence of foreign ownership and private equity investors in the football economy.

Scandinavian countries build bridges through sports

February 3, 2021 5:36 pmScandinavian countries build bridges through sports

Under the hashtag #DetSomBinderOsSammen (‘what ties us together’ would be a quick and reasonable translation), Øresundsbron portrays important building stones in Scandinavian societies such as the role of sports in relation to democratic values and sports as a community driver. As I have written with two co-authors in an article, which will be published in 2021, the Scandinavian sports model is a reflection of the institutional pillars, which are integrated in how sports blend with the social responsibilities taken by Scandinavian societies. Compared to elsewhere in the world where there has been a growing divide between neighboring countries and between various social groups, this is a great celebration of more than Denmark’s handball title.This is a celebration of the positive social constitution and relationship between neighboring countries but sporting rivals.

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.