Call for papers


Int. J. of Sport Management and Marketing


Special Issue on: "Marketing and Management of Niche Sports"


Guest Editors:
Dr. Brendan Dwyer, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA


Niche sports are those that are not mainstream and do not appeal to a mass audience (Miloch & Lambrecht, 2006). These sports can be found at the professional, collegiate and amateur levels and may vary based on region or country. However, these sports consistently lack the mass appeal found within their mainstream sport counterparts in a specific geographic area. For example, soccer is a niche spectator sport within North America but the most popular spectator sport in other parts of the world.


Many of these types of sport properties have recently experienced severe difficulties due to a number of internal and external factors. The Association of Volleyball Professionals for example has filed for bankruptcy twice since 1998 (Holmes, 2012) and Women’s Professional Soccer, the successor of Women’s United Soccer Association who suspended operations in 2003, ceased operations in 2012 (Dure, 2012). At the intercollegiate level, niche sports or non-revenue generating sports continually face challenges related to equitable resource allocation, decreasing participation opportunities, and threats of elimination.


Recent research has indicated that niche sports cannot borrow directly from the sport management literature focused on mainstream sport. Distinct differences have been found between mainstream and niche sports with respect to sponsorship, fan related attributes, spectator expectations, and participant motives. Yet, there is a dearth of information specifically related to niche sport leading us to question how else are niche sports different from mainstream sport and/or what unique characteristics to these sports provide?


This special issue seeks to invite manuscripts investigating the management and marketing of niche sports, exploring the future of niche sports, and/or identifying niche sports’ economic, managerial, ethical, legal, socio-cultural, and political impacts. Qualitative, quantitative, and conceptual papers are all encouraged.


Subject Coverage


Submissions are welcome on a broad range of topics related to niche sports. Appropriate perspectives for this special issue may include (but are not limited to):

  • Economic impact
  • Sociological perspectives
  • Legal and regulatory issues
  • Consumer/spectator behaviour
  • Participant behaviour
  • Policy implications
  • Sponsorship issues
  • Challenges to growth and development
  • Unique attributes
  • Media consumption
  • Strategy
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Development/fundraising issues


Notes for Prospective Authors


Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written).


All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page.


Important Dates


Deadline for submission: January 1, 2013


Editors and Notes


All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our information on preparing and submitting articles. If you experience any problems submitting your paper online, please contact, describing the exact problem you experience. (Please include in your email the title of the Special Issue, the title of the Journal and the names of the Guest Editors)