Review of Regional Research

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Football clubs and regional image

  • Christina FischerEmail author
  • Rüdiger Hamm
Original Paper


Several studies describe and estimate the regional economic effects of sports clubs, most of which concentrate on estimating the monetary effects. In contrast to these studies, this present paper focuses on the intangible regional effects of sports clubs. More precisely, the aim is to analyse whether image effects extending from a professional sports club to a city can be identified, and whether personal characteristics moderate the relationship between club and city image. The city of Moenchengladbach and the well-known German Football Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach are used as an example. The data for the analysis of these effects was gathered through surveys conducted in the autumn of 2013. The results of descriptive statistics and regression analysis suggest that there is indeed a positive image transfer from the club to the city. In the competition of cities for target groups such as companies, residents, workers and tourists, a positive image can be a decisive factor. As the decisions of these groups codetermine regional economic development, a football club can evidently facilitate regional economic development beyond regional multiplier effects.


Sport Football Regional Development Location Factor City Image Image Transfer 

Fußballvereine und regionales Image


Viele Studien beschreiben und messen die regionalwirtschaftlichen Effekte von Sportvereinen. Die meisten Studien fokussieren sich dabei auf die monetären Effekte. Im Gegensatz dazu untersucht der vorliegende Beitrag einen intangiblen Effekt von Sportvereinen. Ziel des vorliegenden Beitrags ist es zu untersuchen, ob Image-Effekte von einem professionellen Sportverein auf seinen Standort identifiziert werden können und ausgewählte persönliche Charakteristika einen Einfluss auf die Beziehung zwischen Vereins- und Stadtimage haben. Als Beispiel werden hierfür die Stadt Mönchengladbach und der Bundesliga-Fußballverein Borussia VfL 1900 Mönchengladbach genutzt. Die Daten, mit denen der Effekt analysiert wird, stammen aus Befragungen vom Herbst 2013. Die Resultate von deskriptiven Auswertungen und Regressionsanalysen weisen darauf hin, dass das Vereinsimage das Image der Stadt positiv beeinflusst. Im Standortwettbewerb mit anderen Städten und Regionen um wichtige Zielgruppen wie Unternehmen, Einwohner, Fachkräfte und Touristen, kann ein gutes Image ein entscheidender Faktor sein. Da die Entscheidungen dieser Zielgruppen die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung von Regionen mitbestimmen, kann festgehalten werden, dass ein professioneller Fußballverein über die nachfrageseitigen Multiplikatoreffekte hinausgehende Einflüsse auf die regionalwirtschaftliche Entwicklung haben kann.



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their very helpful and thorough comments, and Brian Bloch for his linguistic editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Niederrhein Institute for Regional and Structural Research (NIERS)Niederrhein University of Applied SciencesMönchengladbachGermany

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