Equal Opportunities in the Field of Sports - An Investigation of History, Environmental Factors, Facility Network and Organisational Circumstances in Cross-Country Skiing and Canoeing in Finland
Services in the field of sports as a public service and as a voluntary-based civil initiative are developing on the grounds of national, regional history, environmental factors, and governmental policy, which then educate expert personnel, provide directly or induce indirectly finance for operation and facility construction. In this article the authors analyse whether equal opportunity exists in practising cross-country skiing or canoeing in Finland. Finland is one of the richest countries in Europe when it comes to natural space. The legislative basis to practice nature-based, outdoor recreational and competitive sports is laid down in the "Everyman's Right". Both of the examined sports have a long history in Finland. The weather and environment are more than suitable for practising either of these sports. The facility network is well developed for cross-country skiing but insufficient for canoeing. A magnitude difference to be found in the popularity of the two sports. By utilising the historical and natural resources and bettering organisational effectiveness, development has broad perspectives in canoeing.
The paper aims to investigate current approaches to the management of public sport facilities by local governments. In the Czech Republic, local clubs traditionally played a key role in providing sport to the public. With decreasing participation in organized sport, a significant number of clubs have been forced to transfer their facilities to local governments and the sport position of local authorities has strengthened considerably in recent years. In consequence, there have been alterations in the management of public sport facilities. The findings of statistical analysis emphasize an increasing role of specialized organizations at the expense of in-house management or external provision (facilities hired out to sport clubs). Moreover, local population and type of facility were found to be the possible reasons for different approaches. In-house management is associated with smaller municipalities whereas most of their facilities have the character of public goods. In contrast, publicly funded organizations and municipal enterprises appear in municipalities with larger populations providing sport facilities of regional importance in the form of mixed goods. Finally, clubs, as representatives of external provision, mostly provide sport facilities primarily intended for their own purposes - club goods. In the context of recent works and contemporary trends in sport participation, the research findings indicate that different forms of management may have significant effects not only on efficiency of public budgets but also on conditions for sport at local level - especially on targeting those who would participate in sport if they had access to new opportunities or leisure programs.
The Football Fan Community as a Determinant Stakeholder in Value co-Creation
Fans are of central importance to sport service production. Their passion, excitement, and involvement plays a crucial role in event implementation and value creation. Due to the importance of fans as "co-producers" of the sport service, the hypothesis of this research is that a fan community is a salient stakeholder in the value co-creation process. This paper focuses on how a football fan community engages in manifold interaction with its team, the local context, and the network of actors as a whole. Within the theoretical framework of the stakeholders and the network approach, a multi-case analysis and thorough examination of the ACF Fiorentina's season ticket holders database enlightens a system of relationships where fans are able to influence the internal dynamics of the social network that has developed around the football club. In light of the empirical evidence presented by the case studies and the database on supporters, we propose a first typology of fans' roles and strategic behaviours. Findings, though not exhaustive, illustrate not only the roles assumed by fans during matches in terms of identification and participation, but also underline the variety of ways in which fans behave as stakeholders of their own team. In terms of value cocreation, this research highlights the fan community as a salient stakeholder and not just a mere spectator. Fans and supporters not only are crucial actors in implementing the sport service, but they even play an important role of influencing the choices and behaviours of the football club and other stakeholders.
Background: Sport tourism plays an important role in the tourism industry and consequently in the economy. Sport tourism centres as providers of sport services need to be familiar with the basic needs of their customers and tailor their services accordingly. Objectives: The aim of the paper is to determine the models for customizing sport tourism services to address the needs specific for an individual sport. Methods/Approach: A questionnaire has been created and sent electronically or physically to top athletes from Slovenia, Central and Eastern Europe. Respondents were mainly from Slovenia and mostly representatives of national sports federations. The Mann Whitney and the Kruskall-Wallis tests were applied in order to test differences among sport groups. Results: The conducted Mann-Whitney non-parametric tests show that representatives of different sport groups have different perspectives on sport tourism services. Conclusions: The results of the study can be used by sport tourism centres in the process of tailoring their services, planning marketing activities or developing strategic projects.
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