Governance Issues in Professional Sports


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Lecture from my sport law class

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Governance Issues in Professional Sports

  1. 1. Governance Issues in Professional Sport Chapter 4
  2. 2. Hardest topic for most Sport Management students? Anti-trust
  3. 3. Sherman Antitrust Act Section 1 Prohibits joint action between two or more parties that unreasonably restrains trade in a relevant market
  4. 4. Sherman Antitrust Act Section 2 Prohibits predatory or exclusionary conduct that enables an organization to acquire or maintain monopoly power in a relevant market
  5. 5. Focus of antitrust law--maintaining economic competitiveness
  6. 6. Sport teams are exempt from technicalities of anti-trust There is an interdependence of teams
  7. 7. Sport leagues protected from antitrust laws because of sport governance structures
  8. 8. Three bureaucratic layers: The commissioner League board of governors or owner’s committee Centralized league office
  9. 9. Also...
  10. 10. Power of the Commissioner Authority to impose disciplinary measures on owners Approves player contracts Create rules Offer dispute resolution Act “in the best interests of the game”
  11. 11. Commissioner Limitations Owners have the authority to fire Must adhere to the league’s constitutions and bylaws
  12. 12. Pro Sports League Structure
  13. 13. League office conducts centralized league operations
  14. 14. League board of directors or owner’s oversee policy making on issues
  15. 15. Individual teams are responsible for team operations, including: facilities, marketing tickets, etc.
  16. 16. League set rules and eligibility standards for acceptable owners
  17. 17. Owners outline the restrictions on franchise relocation
  18. 18. Owners also... 1. Determine how to restrict the supply of players
  19. 19. 2. Restrict television exposure
  20. 20. 3. Restrict playing sites
  21. 21. Individual Sports Governance
  22. 22. Not employees Not exempt from antitrust laws Often considered independent contractors
  23. 23. Event promotors or producers are in charge of individual events
  24. 24. Players associations may officially sanction some events & not others
  25. 25. What is a players association?
  26. 26. Players associations shape policies & establish disciplinary procedures
  27. 27. Want to know more about me? Visit: or