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The impact of economic recessions on business strategy and marketing has recently received increased research attention. However, these contributions are limited, especially with respect to sports marketing businesses and those operating in emerging markets. The main aim of this study was to examine the impact of the global recession on the business models of sports marketing businesses. Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with executives at market-leading sports marketing businesses in South Africa. Grounded theory data analysis was conducted to understand the common patterns within the data. The results of the research point to four significant business model shifts, influencing the customer value proposition, agency relationships, revenue models and staffing approaches of sports marketing firms. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed including the suggestion to revisit the business model upon which sports marketing businesses compete in a post-crisis world.


Managing Global Transitions is an open access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License