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Happy New Year and welcome to 2014 – another year full of ‘sport management perspectives’ – looking back at defining moments in the second half of 2013

In the sports year 2013, July offered Great Britain a vital moment when Andy Murray (Scotland) was crowned champion after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final and thus won the Wimbledon men’s singles title to break 77 years of British misery in the most prestigious tennis tournament. Murray’s title added to the Scotsman’s marketability and stressed the branding impact associated with being transformed from a great player to a ‘champion’ of a ‘high-status’ tournament like Wimbledon. On top of that, 2012 and 2013 have been essential for Murray’s progress as he stepped up and has continued a significant winning streak. In 2012, Murray lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final but came back to win Olympic Gold in the same venue shortly after. Then, he peaked when scoring BIG in the 2013 Wimbledon final (add to that his 2012 US Open title). That process mixes a fine personality with top ‘centre court’ performances and that is remarkable and important in the sports world. His competition with Novak Djokovic has given tennis fans an interesting rivalry to supplement the Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal and Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic rivalries and that is what the sport has always benefitted from.  Great Britain also played a central role in Tour de France where Chris Froome proved to be way too strong for his competitors. The race took place without any big doping scandals although critics wondered why Froome was so strong. The biggest protest seemed to be the debate focusing on why riders would wear American baseball caps (instead of traditional cycling hats) at the podium to highlight sponsorship exposure. For some idealists, these actions were thought to violate the sport’s heritage.

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Photo: Andy Murray’s official web site.

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Photo: Chris Froome’s official web site.

In August, I noted that Usain Bolt from Jamaica underlined his dominance with three gold medals at the World Championships in Athletics in Moscow. Bolt’s celebrity status and marketability shined through once again as he won the men’s 100, 200 and 4×100 metres. He backs it up with an extraordinary positive and optimistic personality – as a personality and an athlete he has broken records and sat new standards for athletics. Drawing on the support of big corporate brands like Puma, Swiss watchmaker Hublot, car manufacturer Nissan, electronics giant Samsung and so on, Bolt has secured solid revenue streams and intensified his presence in popular culture. Additionally, he has capitalized on a book deal with Harper Collins. Big brands such as Puma and others have started to utilize Bolt’s iconic gesture ‘To Di World’ in their campaigns, see video below. Golf player Jason Dufner achieved a key victory when he won the PGA Championship in New York to enter the ‘finest gentleman club’ of being aligned with the best golfers in the world – it is about winning the RIGHT tournaments. Dufner is also behind the term ‘Dufnering’, which his friend and fellow golfer Keegan Bradley celebrated during the PGA Championship, check the humorous video below.

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Photo: From Jason Dufner’s official Twitter account – a fan example of #Dufnering.


Denmark showed its presence in the sporting landscape when it hosted the European Championship in men’s volleyball in September. As a small country, Denmark once again demonstrated its capability to host international sports events, which makes it more interesting to be a sports stakeholder in Denmark. Furthermore, I evoke that September provided us with one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history when Team Oracle USA came back and won the America’s Cup from being down 8-1. The event also proved that the sport is more exciting to watch now. Bringing the event into the bay of San Francisco made it more appealing for all stakeholders. Otherwise, corporate sponsors would not have had the same interest in the event. The comeback was a fine media sports moment although the  US market from a broadcasting perspective still has some work to do to get to the same level of interest as seen in New Zealand. Finally, Serena Williams proved her strength again when she won her fifth US Open title in women’s tennis.

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Photo: Sport Event Denmark’s official Twitter account – the organization plays a vital role in Denmark’s ability to host int. sports events.

Sebastian Vettel’s dominance in Formula 1(F1) culminated when he won his fourth consecutive F1 World Championship. Vettel is still young, which is a great economic factor in his chase for more fortune and fame in the world of motor sports. Red Bull Racing and Vettel reflect a powerful relationship from a sporting and commercial standpoint. His talent is striking and he is open to contribute to interesting stories in the media. Along with his association with Red Bull, he has built his own robust marketing platform where he still seems to have enormous unexploited potential as an effective endorser for various corporate brands. This may create a situation where he tries to expand his current commercial partnerships as his personal sponsors are relatively limited in contrast to his potential. Boston Red Sox won the Baseball World Series after 6 games at home at Fenway Park and brought a lot of pride back to Boston.

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Photo: Sebastian Vettel’s official web site.

In November, Novak Djokovic won the ATP World Tour Finals over rival Rafael Nadal in what has become another lucrative event for the ATP. I also remember November, 2013 due to the fact that the preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil were subject to the tragic death of two construction workers, which puts even more emphasis on the working conditions connected with FIFA’s marquee event – it adds to the tension, which has been related to for instance Qatar 2022. Finally, New York Marathon was back after it was cancelled in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy.

In December, FIFA staged the FIFA 2014 World Cup Final Draw for the tournament in Brazil. In particular, group D seems to be very strong with teams such as Uruguay, England and Italy along with Costa Rica. The excitement builds up for the biggest sporting event of 2014 and FIFA knows what to do to make the commercial train run faster. From that perspective, commercial rights have grown in value over the years. Denmark also hosted another successful int. sporting event, i.e. the European Short Course Swimming Championships where especially the Danish female swimmers celebrated many strong performances and gave us some good media moments. Especially, the young star Mie Ø. Nielsen gave us a refreshing honesty and straightforwardness in her appearance. Finally, check one of the videos below to see some funny moments from the sports year of 2013.

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Photo: Official web site of the swimming event in Denmark.

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