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Managing Sport and Leisure ; 27(1/2):44-55, 2022.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1769075


This commentary offers an analysis of the implications of Covid-19 on the future of elite women's football, with the intention of reflecting on and illuminating the threat and uncertainty facing the game. Topics covered include (1) organisational and economic repercussions;(2) consequences for player contracts, migration and investment;and (3) player wellbeing. These significant challenges require swift and decisive action in order to mitigate their potential effects. Recommendations are made for governing bodies, parent clubs and practitioners, in addition to possible future research directions for academics. We reflect upon what can be done during and post-pandemic to continue the momentum and growth of women's football in England, highlighting the need for football clubs to learn from previous crises by embracing innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sport Business and Management-an International Journal ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print):20, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1685044


Purpose Women's football faces an existential threat from COVID-19. Using case studies, the authors explore the COVID-19 responses of three highly ranked national football associations (Australia, England and the USA) and their professional women's football leagues to (a) compare and shed new insights into the wide range of phased responses and (b) establish recommendations for other nations to navigate major crises with their social and ethical responsibilities to women's football. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on institutional theory, a framework analysis was undertaken examining 71 articles to analyse the gendered global impacts of COVID-19 on women's football. Findings Results highlight several important recommendations for nations to consider during the pandemic: (1) maintain active communication with the community to allay worries about the future of women's football, (2) gather support from health and government officials, (3) seek out commercial and broadcasting partnerships to drive revenue, and (4) the interests of women's football are best served when responsibility for the elite women's league does not rest (solely) with national football associations. Social implications The authors argue that sport is an interwoven part of society and cannot be separated from gender equality issues irrespective of the pandemic. Originality/value The study is first to explore institutional pressures and football governing bodies during COVID-19 and provides a framework for nations to manage major crises.

Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics ; : 25-42, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1565317


The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging the growth and future of businesses globally and technological innovation, via digital means, has been identified as a key factor for brands to survive the pandemic. However, whilst the majority of decision-makers in sports clubs recognise the value of innovation, less than half have a clear strategy in this area generally let alone in digital innovation. This chapter examines the opportunities and barriers for sporting brands in adopting digital innovations to engage fans. Using a branded fitness smartphone app as an example of a digital innovation to stimulate discussion, we interviewed 13 decision-makers in sport primarily working in marketing, communications and managerial roles within professional sports clubs. Following thematic analysis, the themes from the interview data were, perceived benefits, barriers to adoption, and overcoming barriers. The study also presents potential solutions to enable sports clubs to overcome such adoption barriers in the future. It provides important managerial and tactical recommendations to sports clubs. The need for a clear strategy for digital innovation is identified and we conclude that digital innovation is missing from typologies of sport innovation, reflective of its overlooked importance within the sector and call for greater recognition. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.