GUARDING THE GAME Preserving the Integrity of Sport
As organised sport has become
a major economic sector it has
become more valuable and
complex, with each major sport
evolving in its own system of
governance, relationships, sup-
port, and financial flows. In
general, as the value of a sport
grows, so does the complexity
of its ecosystem, as more indi-
viduals and enterprises seek to
participate in the sector’s fi-
nancial rewards. Consequently, more points exist at which integrity breaches
can occur, and all sports organisations need to understand the ecosystem in
which they operate. This will enable them to identify where their integrity
vulnerabilities may lie and how best to engage their constituencies and guard
against the occurrence of integrity breaches.
The ecosystem of any sport reflects its history, structure, and character, as well
as its governance and funding. Implicitly, it also maps the many boundaries
and domains that are vulnerable to breaches that threaten the integrity of the
competitive games that are the foundation of sports value. Although each
sport has a unique ecosystem, most share several structural similarities. Al-
lowing for local, regional, national, or global variations, a sport’s ecosystem
typically contains at least five interacting levels (see Figure 5.1).
The Event
itself – the game, match, race, test, tournament,
bout – is the hub around which the sports ecosystem revolves,
connecting the major constituencies and interests, including all its
ancillary production and broadcast participants, either individual
or corporate.
The Competitors
– the athletes and teams that are the enduring
source of sport’s financial value and the objects of the most
passionate fan attachment; this level also includes affiliated
and supporting personnel who facilitate individual and team
performance – coaches, trainers, agents, and advisors.
• Owner
• General manager
• Professional staff
• Other teams
• Minor/Reserve leagues
• Academies
• Amateur sports
• Coaches
• Players
– Agents
– Players Association
• Trainers
The Dynamic
of Major
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