Issue 5 | 2023


1. Le rugby professionnel masculin français sous le choc économique de la Covid-19

Carin Yann ; Florian Delbrouque.
The Covid-19 crisis had an impact on French professional and amateur sport with the suspension of competitions from 12th March 2020 and the premature and definitive closure of the 2019/20 season. This was the case for French men's professional rugby, for which the TOP 14 (1st division) and PRO D2 (2nd division) professional championships were suspended and then definitively closed. On 1st March 2020, the French National Rugby League (LNR) voted for a season without a championship winner or promoted and relegated teams, and with rankings stopped at day 17 for the TOP 14 and day 23 for the PRO D2. Based on academic work carried out on amateur football (Carin & Andreff, 2020) and professional basketball (Carin, Desquennes, Jaworski and Andreff, 2021), this study focuses on the economic models of French professional men's rugby clubs, their evolution over a period from 2008/09 to 2018/19 and the economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis on clubs’ finances. Access to the financial data of professional clubs in the first two divisions and exchanges with the Direction Nationale d'Aide au Contrôle de Gestion (DNACG) allowed us to better understand the distribution of revenues, expenses and financial performance before the Covid crisis and to assess the short-term economic effects of this crisis on the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. In addition to the economic effects on the first two seasons of the Covid- 19, this study helps to highlight the crisis management of French […]

2. Revisiting innovation: the organizational vulnerability of small or medium companies innovating in the outdoor sports sector

Bastien Soulé ; Julie Hallé ; Eric Boutroy ; Bénédicte Vignal.
While it is common thought that innovating is likely to procure competitive advantage within the industry of sports goods, it is also a risky activity which may lead to damaging consequences for companies. It therefore seems relevant to take an interest in the potential detrimental effects of innovation processes within small, particularly creative, companies in the sports sector. In this paper, we seek to know if, and how, engaging in an innovation process leads to singular forms of organizational vulnerability.Case studies were carried out in five French companies specializing in the outdoors: three small or medium entreprises (SME) and two very small (or micro) entreprises (VSE). We conducted a total of 48 interviews with different actors in the innovation processes, accompanied by field observations and analysis of secondary data. The priority frequently given to meeting technical challenges is likely to distance the product from the customer and real use. In certain cases, "innovation fever" generates internal imbalance. Second, some companies are too dependent on a key figure in their functioning, the inventor-entrepreneur; it sometimes implies a weakening of the innovation network during its vital decoupling stage. Finally, although the creation of innovation networks is necessary, it heightens the dependence on stakeholders and exposes to specific threats.Excessive confidence in the benefits of innovation can prove problematic. Innovators should not be […]

3. Olympic projects to leverage collaborative sport policies. The case of the partnership between the French cycling federation and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines community.

Clément Lopez ; Mathieu Djaballah ; Dominique Charrier.
This article questions the leveraging effect of Olympic bids in kind of collaborative governance, by articulating federal-local interests. It is based on a case study of the collaborative relation between the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Agglomeration Community and the French cycling federation from 2000 to 2020. The contribution retraces the local collaboration process in a specific context: first showing the role the 2012 Olympic bid played in the implementation of a federal-local partnership, 2nd explaining in which extent the 2024 Olympic bid has been used to foster the structuration of this partnership. This work uses Kingdon’ streams theory to put in light the capacity of Olympic bids to open up ‘policy windows’ for the implementation of collaborative sport policies.

4. The Sport Organisation PErformance Management (SOPEM) Framework: An Empirical Application to the French Federation of Hiking

Stéphane Champely ; Brice Lefèvre ; Guillaume Routier ; Guillaume Bodet.
How can we measure performance in sport organisations? The usual framework for organisational performance in sport federations is two-stage: measuring and managing performance. A new framework is proposed by adding two intermediate stages for analysing and reporting performance. The four-stage framework is applied to the French Federation of Hiking, a leisure-oriented federation with an aging and primarily female membership. Data comes from administrative membership records over a nine-year period (2011-2019), corresponding to 2 million multivariate observations, i.e. over 20 million available data. The analysing stage combines marketing and advanced sociodemographic statistics.A discrete-time logistic binomial model of the probability of leaving the federation demonstrates the importance of considering membership duration, age (albeit in a nonlinear way) and interesting interactions with members’ sex. Value for money is demonstrated for several stakeholders (e.g. 1 euro of public subsidies corresponds to 485 euros of volunteer work). The new framework proposes a cycle of measuring, analysing, reporting and managing performance. It can be entered at any stage and used to create or cocreate a specific performance system depending on the goals and means of the sport federation considered.

5. La science dérange-t-elle les managers ?: Retour sur la construction, la diffusion et la réception des savoirs dans la distribution d’articles et de services sportifs

Oumaya Hidri-Neys.
In France, under the Anti-Discrimination Act of 16th November 2001, "no person may be excluded from a recruitment procedure (...) on the grounds of (...) age (...) gender (...) or physical appearance". Yet despite the existence of this anti-discrimination law, discrimination in recruitment persists. Seven surveys carried out over the last fifteen years have shed light on the sociological mechanisms that contribute to discrimination on these three grounds in a sector of activity that offers a major source of jobs for students of Sport and Exercise Sciences programmes (STAPS) - companies trading in sports goods and services in large and/or medium-sized self-service retail outlets, such as Décathlon, Sport 2000, Intersport, etc. The results have been the subject of publications and research reports, but the conduct of research in this field, which is 'sensitive’ in many ways, deserved to be developed independently, particularly in terms of the ambivalent attitude of managers towards science in this sector. Encouraged by calls for introspection and the gains offered by reflexivity in sport social sciences of sport, this account of an investigation makes it possible to look back on experiences in the field, both successful and unsuccessful, and to open a reflection on the circulation of knowledge in so-called sports distribution. Examining the context, the researcher's identity and the possible instrumentalization of her scientific work helps to explain the difficult […]