Controversial Issue Analysis in Sports Marketing
For this project, students will conduct an in-depth examination of two controversial issues in sports marketing. In general, students will explain each issue and explicitly describe the probable positions/perspectives of various stakeholders including:
- consumers as participants and/or consumers as spectators
- the sports team
- the player(s)
- the VP Marketing for the team and/or the brand affected
Each of the above stakeholders relevant to the controversial issue must be analyzed in detail. This project is based on secondary (published) research; this is NOT an opinion paper. Teams will select two controversial issues from a short list of issues listed below.
Where to Begin. Begin by reading about each of the SIX controversies listed below and keeping track of reference information as you go so that your team can decide which TWO of the issues it wants to select for the project. Do NOT limit yourself to Google searches. Take advantage of the many library databases available through the UHCL library (e.g. Business Source Complete and the various newspaper databases). Ask the reference librarian for help in identifying appropriate databases that list articles in the general press. Be sure to keep track of the bibliographic information for use in creating your list of references. Share your articles with your team on your team discussion board. As a team, select the TWO best (most detailed and most interesting) controversies to use in preparing your paper.
List of Controversial Issues. Your team should select any TWO of the controversial issues listed below:
- Sports Product Brand Endorsements by Professional Athletes (e.g. Michael Jordan sneakers)
- Load Management (deliberate reduction of training and/or competitive event participation for star players)
- Ticket Pricing and PSLs (personal seat licenses)
- Franchise Mobility (teams moving from one state to another)
- Obligation of Players to Engage with the Media
- Expansion of Playoff
Project Organization. You should have one introductory paragraph, body paragraphs sufficient to provide balanced coverage of each of the two controversies in great detail, and a very brief summary paragraph at the end. If you don’t have great detail, find more articles (in other words, do more research) — or choose a different controversy where you have more detail. More specifically:
- Introduction to Controversies in Sports Marketing (1/2 point).
At the beginning of your paper, you should provide a brief introduction to controversies in sports marketing. This should not be an overview of the specific content of your paper, but rather a general introduction to the paper and a statement of purpose. Identify the two controversies your team has selected for the project and why you chose them Explain in one sentence each what each controversy is about.
- Controversial Issues Analysis (8 points)
You will then examine one controversy at a time. Use a subheading for each controversy to set the section apart. Provide comprehensive background information on the controversy under debate. Use as many examples as you can find to explain the controversy or the stakeholder positions. Where applicable, use examples from various sports (e.g. football, baseball, basketball, etc.) and at different levels (professional sports, college sports, high school sports, intramural sports, etc.). For example, are PSAs only applicable to professional football? Do the research to find out what sports and what levels are affected.
Explicitly consider the perspectives of each of the specific stakeholders who are relevant to the particular controversy: consumers as participants and/or consumers as spectators, the player(s), the sports team, and the league. Use a lower level subtitle to break out each stakeholder analysis. Explicitly describe the probable positions/perspective of each stakeholder in great detail. The reason the issue is controversial is because various stakeholders have different perspectives/positions/interests and are affected differently. Once again, use examples from various sports and at various levels as applicable.
Close the section by describing what you would do if you held the position of VP Marketing for the team (or the brand, as applicable) and you were faced with this controversy since this is the position you may one day hold. Specifically, what position would you support and how would you resolve the differing perspectives of the stakeholder groups. If all members of the team are not in agreement, then describe the perspectives of your individual team members.
In the final section, briefly summarize the key findings for each controversy (two sentence) and set forth specific recommendations regarding the controversies that are in the best interests of society at large.
Use of Citations and References (1/2 point)
Be sure to use in-text citations for every single sentence (not paragraph!) where information was derived from a source other than you. Then close your paper with a nice one paragraph summary of your findings overall. Finally, be sure to present your references using the instructions provided. You will lose points if you do not format in-text citations and references according to the instructions provided to you.
The Deliverable Will be in the Form of a Microsoft Word Document. The deliverable for this project will be in the form of a five-page minimum/seven page maximum written report in Microsoft Word (page count excludes cover page and references). Use 11-point Tahoma or Arial font, double spacing, and standard margins. Graphics do not count in the five-page minimum. Any graphics included must have sources (e.g. complete url) shown below each graphic.
- Write in third person only and do not copy any verbiage from your source.
- Avoid all sizzle. This is an analysis, not a sales piece. Be factual and objective.
- Do not use any direct quotes even if you cite them properly; everything should be in your own words and at a high school reading level. You MUST cite your sources even when you use your own wording.
- Use a subtitle for each controversial issue section (e.g. the subtitle is the name of the controversial issue) to distinguish the two major body sections of your paper. The use lower level subtitles to break out the stakeholder perspectives for each topic.
- Be concise; do not add fluff to fill out your paper. You will lose points for including fluff.
Proofread Your Project Carefully (or Have it Proofread by Someone Else). Make sure you proofread your project carefully for typographical or grammatical errors. Take advantage of the UHCL Writing Center to help you, especially if English is not your primary language. Your project should be professionally prepared and free of errors. You will lose points for formatting or grammatical/spelling errors.
Post Your Project to Assignment in the Team Project Folder Under Course Contents. Make sure your project is the best you can make it; you will not be able to edit or delete the posting. Be sure to make your posting by the deadline. You will lose one point for every day past the deadline for up to a maximum of two days.