Extending Sport-Based Entrepreneurship Theory Through Phenomenological Inquiry

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper adopts a process perspective on sport entrepreneurship in the fitness industry, utilizing phenomenological inquiry into the entrepreneurial lives of eleven fitness entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to reveal how fitness entrepreneurs strategize and pursue competitive advantage in a non-traditional industry. Our findings show that while fitness entrepreneurs share many similarities with non-sport entrepreneurs, fitness entrepreneurs are affected by a variety of factors attributable to working in a non-conventional industry. The present study contributes to the emerging theoretical discussions surrounding the concept of sport entrepreneurship and highlights the value of process perspectives when examining entrepreneurial activities. No empirical studies thus far exist that seek to illuminate the exact nature of individual sport entrepreneurship. This study is a first step in developing testable hypotheses and to contrast sport entrepreneurship to non-sport entrepreneurship. Additionally, our research provides fitness entrepreneurs in the industry with information on what they may face when pursuing their own business objectives. Finally, sport management and entrepreneurship curricula can be enhanced based on information gathered in this study.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)




Publication Information

Sport Management Review