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Competitive Advantage and Pro Sports

Competitive Advantage and Pro Sports

Competitive Advantage and Pro Sports MGT/488 July 11, 2011 Dr. Elliot M. Ser Competitive Advantage and Pro Sports From the players, to the coaches, to their fans, professional sports teams place a huge focus upon competitive advantage. The Boston Celtics made its National Basketball Association (NBA) debut on November 2, 1946. Since its debut, Boston has had 17 head coaches and won 17 NBA Championships (Boston Celtics, 2011). As one of the most popular basketball teams today, the Boston Celtics have built and maintained a sustainable competitive advantage.

Components of Sustainable Competitive Advantage The Boston Celtics have remained competitive in the sports industry through various methods including individual players, coaches, playing style and tactics, and fan base. Throughout the years, the Celtics have had high-profile players to help ensure competitiveness. There have been 32 players and coaches enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, including players such as Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Kevin McHale, and Coach Red Auerbach. After 65 years in the NBA, the Celtics have won more championships than any other team.

Boston also has a loyal fan base (Boston Celtics, 2011). Criteria of Sustainable Competitive Advantage Core competencies are components that comprise a sustainable competitive advantage for a firm. “…capabilities that are valuable, rare, costly to imitate, and nonsubstitutable are core competencies” (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009, p. 81). The Boston Celtics possess valuable, rare, costly to imitate, and non-substitutable core competencies. The Celtics maintain a valuable fan base. The fans support their team, even during seasons when the team does not win the championship.

The Celtics possess rare coaching qualities. The capabilities of the current coach, Doc Rivers, are similar to those of former coach Red Auerbach. Auerbach led the Celtics to eight straight championships and nine titles in 10 years before he retired in 1966. Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Doc Rivers has led the Celtics to one NBA Championship. They were Division Champions in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. They also reached the playoffs in those years, reaching the finals in 2008 and 2010 (Boston Celtics, 2011).

In 2008, the Celtics played their greatest rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the finals. “There is no greater or more storied rivalry in major North American professional sports than the Celtics versus the Lakers” (Sabino, 2010, para. 1). The Boston players are a costly to imitate core competency; high-profile star players and their drawing power to ensure competitiveness. Competitors cannot obtain the Boston players except at a cost disadvantage. The Boston Celtics non-substitutable advantage is its name recognition and brand strength.

The name recognition and brand strength of the Celtics has no strategic equivalent. Conclusion As one of the most popular basketball teams today, the Boston Celtics have built and maintained a sustainable competitive advantage. The Boston Celtics have climbed to the top of popular basketball teams because of their competitive advantage in the sports industry through their valuable fan base, rare coaching qualities, costly to imitate individual high-profile star players, and non-substitutable brand name.

References Boston Celtics. (2011). Boston Celtics 1946 – Present. Retrieved from http://www. sportsecyclopedia. com/nba/boston/celtics. html Hitt, M. A. , Ireland, R. D. , & Hoskisson, R. E. (2009). Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization, Concepts and Cases (8th ed. ). Mason, OH: South Western Cengage Learning. Sabino, D. (2010). The Rivalry through the Years. Sports Illustrated. 68. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.