Cross Sector Relationships in the Supply of Sport at a Local Level: Cooperation between Non-Profit and Commercial Sport Providers

The provision of sport at a local level is characterised by a complex mixture of three main types of providers: the public sector, the commercial sector, and the voluntary sector. Nowadays, traditional non-profit sport clubs still hold a dominant position, besides governmental initiatives and the growing impact of commercial sport providers. The purpose of this paper was to analyse cross sector cooperations between non-public sport providers with different organisational characteristics at a local level in Flanders (Belgium), non-profit sport clubs on the one hand, and commercial sport providers on the other. Data for this analysis are drawn from the Flemish Sport Club Panel 2009 and the Flemish Fitness Panel 2009. The results indicated that for-profit sport providers are more likely to have cross sector cooperations, compared to non-profit sport providers who preferred cooperations with other non-profit organisations. Perceived cross sector competition had a positive effect on cross sector cooperations of voluntary sport clubs, whereas competition from other commercial sport providers contributed to interorganisational relationships of for-profit sport organisations.

Keywords: non-profit sport clubs, commercial sport providers, cooperation, competition, interorganisational relationship