Sports Economics

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sports Economics

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    2.5 - 3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course overview and objectives
    This applied economics course explores various aspects of the economics of sports and sports leagues. We will consider a number of topics, including:
    • Sports demand and team revenues: ticket and stadium revenues, the market for sports broadcast rights, merchandising and sponsorship. 
    • Sports supply: team costs, analysis of the drivers of players salaries and managers, the value of sport talent and the salaries of “superstars”.
    • Team profits: profit maximization or win maximization?
    • Sports finance: accounting, assets and liabilities, brands, UEFA Financial Fair Play rules. 
    • European and American Leagues in different sports (football, rugby, basketball, 
    American football, baseball, hockey); leagues competitive balance policies.
    • The organization of major sports events in the world (World Cup, Euro Cup, Olympics, World Rugby Cup).
    • Other sports: Formula 1, Tennis, Marathons, Surf, Cycling.

    Course Objectives
    The purpose of this course is to allow the students to have a basic understanding of the important concepts in the economy of professional sports and to know how to apply economic thinking to the business of sports, in different leagues and countries.

    Course Content
    1. Introduction: What is Sports Economics?
    2. Sports Demand and Teams Revenues
    2.1 Demand for Sports and Stadium Revenues
    2.2 The Market for Sports Broadcast Rights
    2.3 Team Merchandising and Sponsorship
    3. Sports Supply and the Market for Talent
    3.1 Team Cost and Winning Percent
    3.2 The Value of Sports Talent: Wages, Market Value and Endorsments
    3.3 The History of Player Pay: America and Europe
    3.4 The Labor Market: Transfers, Drafts, Salary Caps, Structure of the Labor Market in Football, Clubs Strategies 
    3.5 The Role of the Manager in Professional Team Sports
    4. Revenues, Costs and Profits
    4.1 Profit Maximization and Win Maximization
    4.2 Long-Run Profits and Winning Percent
    4.3 Long-Run Strategies of Clubs
    4.4 Short-Run Profits and Winning Percent
     5. Sports Finance
    5.1 Clubs Accounting
    5.2 Assets and Liabilities, Brand Value, Players Value
    5.3 UEFA Finantial Fair Play Rules
    5.4 Debts, Finantial Crises and Club Strategies 
    6. Sports Leagues
    6.1 Leagues in Europe and America
    6.2 Leagues and Competitive Balance
    7. International Sports Events
     7.1 World Cup, Olympics, Euro Cup, Rugby World Cup and New Stadiums 
     7.2 Economic Impact Analysis
    8. Multi-Events Sports
     Formula 1, Tennis, Marathons, Surf, Cycling

    Final grading = 20% continuous evaluation + 50% final test + 30% final paper

    Class Presentations
    Rodney D. Fort, “Sports Economics”, Pearson Education International, 3rd ed.
    Stephen Dobson and John Goddard, “The Economics od Football”, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed.
    Foster, O´Reilly and Dávila, “Sports Business Management”, Routledge


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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