“Sport is a very special kind of business” says TSE Consulting Managing Director to inspire NFs
News from the CEV
Luxembourg, May 3, 2013. Lars Haue-Pedersen, Managing Director of TSE Consulting, followed up on the opening speech delivered by the CEV President by recalling the main goals of the Management Seminar and also the experience that his company has accumulated in most of the Olympic sports in Europe as well as overseas.
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“One of the things we found out is that sport is a people business” he said. “Because of its nature, in sport people get good ideas when they are together and this seminar can be very good quality time and I hope you will be going home with a couple of good ideas” he said. “We need to look for big things and that’s why the main topic of this seminar will be the breakthrough, which means we want to help you discover something that can contribute a big improvement to the work of your federation” he added.
Sports management? What’s that for a business? That’s the very first question Mr. Haue-Pedersen submitted to the audience. “Sports organizations are not just something in between corporate businesses and NGOs. This is not enough as a definition as national federations aren't driven nor by profit neither by purpose. Sport is a very complex world and it is not driven exclusively by purpose as NGOs like the Red Cross or Amnesty International are. Once they have accomplished their mission, they should – potentially – no longer exist. On the other hand, sport is a very special kind of business”.
To define what sports organizations are Mr. Haue-Pedersen drew the attention of the attendees on three quintessential fundamentals: competition, customers, growth. “These key terms apply to corporate businesses and to sport as well but in a different way”. Mr. Haue-Pedersen continued by listing what these terms mean for NFs and by identifying what competition and customers mean for a sports federation. “In sport you can’t get rid of your competitors as business units do. On the other hand, customers are not buying something from you, but in sport you rather need to make them active with the ultimate goal to attain a growth to be measured in more fans, spectators, media, sponsors, activities. This is not like in business where you basically attain growth by improving the turnover, i.e. by increasing revenues and cutting costs. This does not apply to sport. You are managing” he said while addressing the Presidents and General Secretaries of 41 national federations “a business which is not a NGO. You have a purpose but you live a reality closer to that of the business world. Sports organizations are nevertheless different; they can’t eliminate the competition, and even though they won’t support their competitors, they have to work with them to improve all together for the good of the sport. They have to activate their customers as there is not much NFs can sell; the customers have to be motivated, possibly by networking, so as they feel they would like to join what the NF is doing. Moreover, while in a business you have to increase turnover and profit in the end, in sport people are asked to bring in more money. The more money you bring, the better, because it can be spent to have more activities. In this sense NFs also have to attain growth though this is declined differently than in ordinary business” Haue-Pedersen said to round off the first session with an inspirational statement.