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Business & Sports Marketing


Business & Sports Marketing

Sports sponsorship and the (in)visible athlete
This provides an excellent opportunity for a motivated student to study and teach in an expanding area in the lead up to Rio 2016. The PhD project will enable someone interested in sports sponsorship to specialise in the emergent field of disability sport sponsorship. Whilst it has long been recognised that non-disabled athletes have increasingly become assets used through sponsorship to endorse a broad range of products and services, disabled athletes are often positioned at the margins of any commercial sporting interests.

Significantly, the recent 2012 Paralympics has signalled a turning point for (re)positioning and challenging traditional notions of disability within sponsorship discourses. Indeed, the ‘supercrip’ narrative has become much more attractive to potential sponsors. These developments raise a number of critical questions around: the motives of sponsors for targeting disabled athletes; the benefits anticipated and realised by sponsors and athletes; and the perceptions of spectators consuming disability sport sponsorship. Uniquely, this project will seek to address these questions in the lead up to Rio 2016 by utilising emergent thinking found within sports sponsorship and exploring this in relation to contemporary notions of disability, and its interrelationship with sport. The research will explore the issue of sponsoring elite disabled athletes from the perspectives of the athletes, sponsors and spectators.

It is anticipated data will be collected through content analysis of disability sports sponsorship media coverage, stakeholder questionnaires and interviews. Other approaches will centralize the experiences of elite athletes through video diaries; and the development and creation of ‘digital collages’ of key sporting events.

Please contact Dr Hayley Fitzgerald for further details
Email: H.Fitzgerald@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)113 8127570
The Business of Successful Leadership in Sport
The PhD opportunity provides an excellent opening for a student to study and teach in the rapidly expanding discipline of sport business management. Moreover, the PhD research provides a unique opportunity for a student wishing to explore the concept of successful leadership across a range of sport business contexts. Whilst research exists that explores the notion of leadership in sport, this tends to focus on coaching and the management of professional teams. Similarly, the concept of successful leadership has been a key focus within business settings.

This research will complement existing studies, whilst extending understandings, by unifying work from two different disciplines. The study will also offer an alternative perspective by drawing from individualistic and contextual leadership schools of thought. For example, the research shall explore the notion of leadership as an identity that interplays with other individual identity markers. Additionally, the study will focus on how individual leadership identity intersects with the sports landscape; the kinds of challenges and opportunities that this creates; and how these are negotiated and navigated.

A key feature of the study will be the range of methods used. It is anticipated that quantitative and qualitative, traditional and more contemporary approaches will be drawn upon to fully explore leaders’ insights and experiences. These methods could include for example, observation of leaders, validated questionnaires to colleagues and co-workers, and a series of interviews. To compliment these more traditional methods, participatory approaches will also be used to involve those being researched being more included in the research process. Participatory methods often involve the creation of research artefacts by the researched and have the potential to generate more meaningful data. These could include video diaries, digital photo biographical boards, and blogs or podcasts of key events and critical incidents.

Please contact Dr Lisa O’Keeffe for further details
Email: L.Okeeffe@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)113 8123794