The Marketing and Economic Implications of Select Bankruptcies in Professional Sports since the Start of the Global Economic Crisis

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Sport Marketing

Publication Date



There is common agreement that at the end of 2007 the world entered into a period of global recession that was the worst since the Great Depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s. Over the years of economic highs and low, the sport business industry, and more specifically major professional sports, seemed to be immune to these ebbs and flows as a result of their quasi-monopoly status and the belief they were largely recession-proof (Jaffe, 2009; Knowledge@Wharton, 2008). Since the Great Depression this has been largely true – however the latest global economic crisis has shown that even professional sports are being negatively affected. The purpose of this paper is to look at the effects of the global economic crisis on the professional sports industry, and more specifically some of the examples of how the significant change in the global economic landscape has had a direct effect on the sport business industry. The most interesting of these effects is the increase in the number of bankruptcies that have occurred over the past five years. An analysis of these bankruptcies in professional sports over the recent past will be described, including their causes and results. Specific analysis will focus on the marketing implications of these bankruptcies, including the challenges faced by marketing practitioners both internal and external to the professional sports industry. This paper will conclude with recommendations of how sport businesses should potentially operate going forward in this trying economic landscape from both an economic and marketing application perspective.

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Digital Commons@Georgia Southern License

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