Mapping Innovation in Sport: Revealing the Innovation Opportunity

  • James Skinner
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
  • Steve Swanson


This chapter establishes the sport innovation landscape by distinguishing where innovation can occur in the sport industry, and how these sites intersect with a cultural context. The chapter addresses how a sport enterprise can go about mapping its culture with innovation in mind. The first section of the chapter maps the potential sites within the sport industry where innovation can occur. Next, the chapter explores the innovation–culture link through a ‘cultural innovation horizons’ framework. Horizons expose the kind of cultural support that different forms of innovation require in order to be successful and sustainable. Finally, the chapter suggests ways for sport leaders to map their organisations’ cultures with innovation in mind. The chapter concludes that culture can be a repository for unimaginative and conservative values or a foundry for inspiration and enterprise. In sport, it is no longer satisfactory to just cultivate cultures that speak to strength and resilience. Such admirable qualities must be bound together with agility and ingenuity. Innovative cultures drive performance, leverage powerful histories, and change swiftly in turbulent conditions. Sports enterprises with innovative cultures find ways of winning because drive and ambition lies at the heart of their collective meaning.


Context Horizons Performance Sustainability Agility 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Skinner
    • 1
  • Aaron C. T. Smith
    • 1
  • Steve Swanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Sport BusinessLoughborough University LondonLondonUK

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