Sports teams will try anything to get an advantage over their competition, but are there some factors which keep some teams propped up at the top? Does operating in a larger market mean that some teams have the edge over their opponents no matter what?
Creating an infrastructure
Teams with access to worldwide markets can bring in much more money than those without any level of global appeal. The New England Patriots are one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, and that’s mostly down to their huge fanbase. Valued at over $3 billion, the constant flow of revenue coming in means the team can keep upgrading their facilities, giving their players the best possible chance of success.
The Patriots have won two of the last three Super Bowls, showing that the infrastructure they’ve put in place gives them a competitive edge. With so much money coming in, these teams with massive bank balances can fill their teams with stars right now and prepare for the future. They have the budget to scout more young talents than the others with a broader reach, making them more likely to uncover the next big thing.
Teams operating in larger markets are able to attract even more money through their success. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the top ten most valuable sports teams in the world and with that prestige comes even more money. In 2012 the Lakers began a partnership with Time Warner worth $4 billion.
That kind of cash has allowed them to put together incredibly expensive teams, and during the most recent offseason, they were able to recruit LeBron James. LeBron is one of the very best players on the planet and the Lakers rolled out a $35 million per year contract for King James, something not every NBA team can offer.
More money, more problems
With huge amounts of revenue streaming into a team expectations naturally rise. Take soccer teams like Manchester United or Real Madrid, they are expected to win competitions every year as they spend more money than others. Expectations are always high among the fans, but also those who sit on the board.
The board members are expecting results on the field, and if the team is underperforming, there is an immense pressure coming from the higher-ups. That often results in the team’s coach or manager getting fired, and some players might be moved on too. Manchester United and Real Madrid are two of the most supported teams in the whole world with a large appeal globally.
If they are not winning competitions, then shareholders and sponsors worry they are not getting a return for their investment. This adds further pressure and only accelerates the sacking of coaches.
The bigger the market a sports team is able to work in the better an edge the can have over their opponents. Some teams appeal to players because of their legacy, but money makes to sporting world go round, and the teams out in front are getting further ahead.