Private-sector–Not-for-profit Partnerships in the Sport and Physical Activity Contexts

By Norman O'Reilly and Michelle K. Brunette.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 24, 2014 $US5.00

With the current global “inactivity crisis” and scarcity of resources, public organizations in the sport and physical activity context require guidance for successful and responsible partnering with private organizations. There is often a high level of support for building partnerships; however, clarification is needed regarding partnership needs, roles, and management. The term “partnership” has been applied to various relationships between organizations, varying in type, goals, and strengths, including the nature of the financial contributions involved via sponsorship and donation type linkages. The current paper adopts the view that it is more appropriate to visualize partnerships on a continuum, varying in strength of partnership (i.e., commitment and longevity of the partnership) and level of influence on the other partner’s goals, objectives, and actions. In the sport and physical activity contexts, public–private partnerships (P3s) across multiple sectors have pooled financial, product, and human resources to create sporting facilities, events, products, and programs. Examples of public partners in P3s include: ParticipACTION, Right to Play, and Agita Mundo, while private partners include Nike, Coca-Cola, Scotiabank, Barclays, and many more. The permutations and combinations of P3s that exist are vast. For example, individual athletes are also active in partnerships as part of branding efforts or driving partnerships through their own foundations. The authors analyzed related literature and examples of P3s in practice and thickened the analysis with expert interviews leading to the creation of a partnership protocol. The protocol details eight specific principles required related to the creation, implementation, management, and evaluation of P3s. These are: (i) partner needs, ii) community stakeholders, (iii) communication strategies, (iv) advantages/disadvantages, (v) management, (vi) monitoring and evaluating, (vii) learning from the past, and finally, (viii) building for the future.

Keywords: Public–Private Partnerships, P3s, Community Sponsorship

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.31-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 24, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 374.076KB)).

Dr Norman O'Reilly

Associate Professor, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Norm O’Reilly is an associate professor in sport management at the University of Ottawa, specializing in sport business. He teaches courses related to sport management, sport finance, and sport marketing. Dr. O’Reilly teaches in both English and French. He has previously taught at the David Falk Center for Sport Management at Syracuse University, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, the School of Sports Administration at Laurentian University, and the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. A holder of BSc, MA, MBA, and PhD degrees and a former school director and director of a research centre (the Institute for Sport Marketing) at Laurentian, Dr. O’Reilly is an active researcher and engaged member of the Canadian sport community. He has published 5 books, over 65 articles in refereed management journals, and over 125 conference presentations and case studies in the areas of sport management, tourism marketing, marketing, sport finance, and social marketing. At conferences, he has won 11 best paper awards. Norm is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, a highlight of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Forum since 2007. Dr. O’Reilly holds a PhD in management from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, an MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, an MA in sports administration from the University of Ottawa, and a BSc (kinesiology) from the University of Waterloo. Dr. O’Reilly also holds the CGA accounting designation.

Michelle K. Brunette

Manager, International Admissions and Recruitment, Laurentian International, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Michelle Brunette teaches international health in the School of Human Kinetics and is an academic advisor at Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada. She received her master’s in human kinetics from Laurentian University, a BA in political science from the University of Windsor, and an honours bachelor of physical and health education from Laurentian University. Brunette co-authored “Public–Private Partnerships in Physical Activity and Sport,” a guide for nonprofit, charity, and sport organizations in developing and maintaining strategic and responsible partnerships with corporate partners. She has published in the Journal of Sport Behavior and has presented at several conferences. She is a volunteer coordinator for the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes, a founding board executive for the Young Professionals Association, and the former athlete representative for Ringette Ontario. She has extensive cross-cultural work experience: She taught conversational English and Canadian culture to students in China, served as a TESL instructor preparing people for teaching and working abroad, and worked in Ireland as part of the Student Work Abroad program.