Sports = Innovation

Remember those little crafts you used to make in elementary school where you’d glue little loops of construction paper together like pieces of a chain and tear them off day-by-day as a countdown toward something special like Christmas break or Field Day? Well, I haven’t resorted to that system of checking academic terms off my list, but my home office whiteboard contains a barely more sophisticated version.
Paper chain by someone more crafty than me
Yesterday I got to check off my 6th term out of 8 total (just coursework, dissertation will require actual construction paper loops and glue sticks). I have three academic courses left in this journey that both feels like it just started yesterday, and yet also feels like it has been moving as slowly as molasses in winter (as my relatives like to say).
This term I’m embarking on Research Methods and Entrepreneurship in Sport. Despite my better judgement, the shimmery lure of going full-time and getting this done is too enticing to drop to one class. Plus, I really want to cross those terms off my whiteboard!
I’m super excited about these courses as one is going to help me begin to mold my dissertation topic (stay tuned for more on that), and the other, entrepreneurship, is of personal interest to me, especially as I got to start the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission essentially from scratch.
I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about leveraging the sports commission in to even greater social impact for our community. I think this course will help me lay a foundation to do just that. In our first readings, we learned about the very nature of sport being innovative and entrepreneurial in spirit. Read Sports Business Journal, Sporting News or SportTechie on a weekly basis to continue to be amazed by the concepts emerging.
Photo: Sports Business Insider
In sport, we have a unique opportunity to leverage our products for the greater good. Sports, by their nature, are community driven. Check out the awesome WIN for KC program developed by colleagues at the Kansas City Sports Commission, as an example.
Seriously, who doesn’t love the Globetrotters?
We’ve talked a lot about consumption driving sports, and that also makes them communal. What I mean is, I believe sports creates a common bond, sense of community and shared values. Regardless of background, political persuasion or religious preference, sport can unite vastly different groups of people. If you are an Ohio State Buckeye fan, you’re a Buckeye fan. Period. If you’re a Michigan fan, well then, sorry.
I’m kidding about that last part (kind of).
I’ve held true to the position that if we all rooted for the same teams, sports would lose their intrigue (and probably their existence)…unless you’re the Harlem Globetrotters, but that is more novelty entertainment. By the way, did you know the last time the Harlem Globetrotters lost was in 1971?
Let me jump this train back on the track. The sports world is advancing at warp speed changing the way we participate and consume sports. As such, it’s also changing the very fabric of our community. It’s an exciting time, indeed!
I’ll leave you with two of my favorite quotes about innovation from two well-known innovators. This has been Stoll on Sports.


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