Marketing outsourcing in the English Premier League: the rights holder/agency interface

2017-03-17T15:51:55Z (GMT) by Elisavet Manoli Ian Hodgkinson
Research question: While marketing outsourcing may offer a clear means for revenue generation and cost efficiency, there is a need to go beyond the outsourcing decision itself to address ‘how’ outsourcing can be managed successfully. Differing to existing studies, this study examines the dynamic nature of marketing outsourcing from the right holder and agency perspectives in an overlooked setting. Research methods: Qualitative data was generated from semi-structured interviews with marketing managers from 30 English Premier League (EPL) football clubs and with 10 marketing agency account managers. The clubs included in this study had all participated in the EPL, and all ten marketing agencies interviewed had been contracted at some point in time to these clubs. Results and findings: By capturing both sides of the right holder/agency interface, this study includes a neglected perspective (i.e. agency) to more accurately examine the principal–agency relationship in marketing outsourcing. The findings add greater nuance to the drivers/motivations and barriers/constraints that are typically cited in sport management and marketing studies, providing a new framework to understand the relationship dynamic and guide successful sport marketing outsourcing initiatives. Implications: Though outsourcing can be an impactful business decision, the success of marketing outsourcing in football is dependent upon the balance of conditions across the right holder/agency interface. Specifically, while pushing factors may contribute to effective marketing outsourcing, resisting factors undermine the right holder–agency relationship. However, in nurturing key necessary features both parties can limit resisting factors and emphasise push factors for shared value creation.