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THE DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEMS OF MAJOR SPORTS
some owners aggressively seek to improve team performance and grow rev-
enues, others seem more satisfied with nonfinancial considerations such as
media coverage, benefit in community relations, and personal gratification.
The local market a team represents also affects its commercial prospects and
behaviours. Clubs based in the biggest and wealthiest cities with major media
outlets, for example, generally fare better commercially than rivals based else-
where. However, those based in smaller communities may be valuable “local
monopolies” if no other popular sports team operates there.
Fourth, the leagues or associations responsible for governance, and hence of
integrity assurance, are only one relatively small component in the overall
ecosystem, although good governance and assurance of integrity drive value
throughout it. Media companies, broadcasters, equipment and clothing man-
ufacturers, bookmakers, and many sponsors and advertisers are typically far
bigger, wealthier, and more diversified than the individual sports and teams
from which they derive revenues. This fragmentation and decentralisation of
financial interests is unusual among major economic sectors and may affect
the regulation of integrity threats. Should the governing body of a sport prove
ineffectual in dealing with a breach, for example, other constituencies may
step in to force the issue. This has occurred several times in recent years, as
when major sponsors and broadcasters pushed for an investigation of cor-
ruption in the award of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City, or when
German broadcasters cancelled coverage of the 2007 Tour de France after a
major sponsor withdrew in protest over doping scandals. In some instances,
governments may become involved, as happened when the U.S. Congress
held hearings on steroid use in baseball, or more recently, with the launch of
a Swiss government investigation into potential corruption in the award of
venues for FIFA tournaments.
Finally, sports integrity breaches may originate inside or outside the ecosys-
tem. The initial impetus may be a corrupt athlete, game official, team owner
or administrator, or a representative of one of the affiliated constituencies
looking to make a score. Alternatively, a breach may begin outside the system
through criminal activity such as a doping lab or an illegal gambling ring.
Once a breach occurs, the consequences spread–and are felt – through the
network of relationships in the ecosystem.
© MONITOR QUEST LTD. 2011
GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
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