Authors: Wanyi Tang and Rodney J. Blackman
Corresponding Author: Rodney Blackman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanyi Tang is a doctoral Teaching Assistant at the United States Sports Academy
Rodney J. Blackman, is an Associate Professor and Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy
Startup Leadership in Sports
A qualitative, phenomenological document analysis approach was taken to ascertain and highlight characteristics found in successful sports startup entrepreneurs. This information was framed in a thorough review of leadership characteristics necessary for general startup company success, as reported by successful startup entrepreneurs in response to interview questions. Other sources of information valuable for interpretation and understanding of this phenomenon came from individuals known for their successes and reporting their expertise, based on experience, in magazine and journal articles, as well as information from focus groups reporting results from their findings in online formats, newsprint articles, and other popular literature. Accordingly, 4 primary dominant leadership characteristics were identified among sports startup leaders. These traits included sound decision making, recruitment and retention of workers that fit the company and become followers, maintenance of clear vision, and prioritization to keep that vision clear and being attentive to strategy – to continually strategize for success. Interestingly, it was also determined that sports startup leadership characteristics do not appear in isolation – but rather, in each case in this study, effectiveness was augmented by leaders who displayed multiple leadership characteristics linked in a variety of different ways.