Evidence-based Management of Voluntary Sports Clubs: An Exploration of the German Experience

A seminar as part of the Sport Business Centre Seminar Series

Given by: Christoph Breuer, Full Professor, Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne.

Room  MAL 532
The Main Malet Street Building
Torrington Square
Birkbeck College, University of London
London WC1E 7HX
Monday 10th June 2013 at 2pm

For directions click here

This event will operate under “Chatham House Rules” – no external reporting without the permission of the speakers


Voluntary sports clubs, organized and managed by volunteers, differ from for-profit sport organisations in many ways. Notably, voluntary sports’ clubs have historically been able to rely on a pool of volunteer labour, and support from various governmental organisations, to support their activities, notably in promoting sport participation. However, their distinctive organizational structure needs to be taken into account when designing effective management structures and styles for voluntary sport organisations.

In this presentation Professor Breur explains, by means of empirical analyses of voluntary sports clubs in Germany, some of their specific effective management structures and styles.


  • Breuer, C., Wicker, P. & von Hanau, T. (2012). Consequences of the decrease in volunteers among German sports clubs. Is there a substitute for voluntary work? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 4(2), 173-186.
  • Vos, S., Wicker, P., Scheerder, J. & Breuer, C. (2013). Sports policy systems in regulated Rhineland welfare states: Similarities and differences in financial structures of sports clubs? International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 5(1), 51-71.
  • Wicker, P. & Breuer, C. (2010). Analysis of problems using Data Mining techniques – Findings from sport clubs in Germany. European Journal for Sport and Society, 7(2), 131-140.
  • Wicker, P., Breuer, C. & Hennigs, B. (2012). Understanding the interactions among revenue categories using elasticity measures - Evidence from a longitudinal sample of non-profit sport clubs in Germany. Sport Management Review 15(3), 318-329.
  • Wicker, P., Breuer, C. & von Hanau (2012). Gender effects on organizational problems – evidence from non-profit sports clubs in Germany. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 66(1), 105-116.
  • Wicker, P. & Breuer, C. (2011). Scarcity of resources in German non-profit sport clubs. Sport Management Review 14, 188-201.
  • Wicker, P. & Breuer, C. (2012). Understanding the importance of organizational resources to reduce organizational problems: Evidence from nonprofit sport clubs in Germany. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 24(2), 461-484.
  • Wicker, P. & Breuer, C. (accepted). Examining the financial condition of sport governing bodies: The effects of revenue diversification and organizational success factors. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.
  • Wicker, P., & Breuer, C. (accepted). Exploring critical determinants of organisational problems using Data Mining techniques: Evidence from non-profit sports clubs in Germany. Managing Leisure: an international journal, 18(2), 118-134.
  • Wicker, P. & Breuer, C. (in press). Exploring the organizational capacity and organizational problems of disability sport clubs in Germany using matched pairs analysis. Sport Management Review.
  • Wicker, P., Vos, S., Scheerder, J. & Breuer, C. (2013). The link between resource problems and inter-organisational relationships: A quantitative study of Western European sport clubs. Managing Leisure 18 (1), 31-45.
  • Wicker, P., Weingärtner, C., Breuer, C. & Dietl, H. (2012). The effect of a sports institution’s legal structure on sponsorship income: The case of amateur equestrian sports in Germany. International Journal of Sport Finance 7(4), 340-357.


Prof. Christoph Breuer is Full Professor of Sport Management at German Sport University Cologne. Simultaneously he was Research Professor at German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin), one of the biggest think tanks for economical issues in Germany, for six years.  Dr. Breuer publishes widely in journals such as Applied Economics, Journal of Sport Economics, Journal of Sport Management, International Journal of Sport Finance, Sport Management Review and European Sport Management Quarterly.

In basic and applied research he works amongst others for big companies (e.g.  German Railways – DB, Postbank, Toyota Germany, Deutsche Post), public authorities (e.g. European Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance), consultancies (e.g. Deloitte, Ernst & Young), sport confederations and federations (e.g. European Olympic Committee – EOC,  German Olympic Sports Confederation – DOSB, German Football Association – DFB, German Equestrian Federation – FN) as well as foundations (Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe).

Contact details

Contact details:

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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