Stakeholder influence strategies in bidding for a professional sport franchise license

Jackie Heffernan, Danny O'Brien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines an application for a franchise license in Australia's professional rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL). Frooman's (1999) typology of stakeholder influence strategies is used to analyse the negotiation of resource relationships between a Gold Coast franchise bid team and its key stakeholders. Primary data came from 12 interviews with nine key actors in the bid process; these were buttressed by secondary data. Frooman's typology provided a useful heuristic, but did not fully account for the critical role of firm legitimacy in stakeholders' choice of influence strategies. The bid team negotiated stakeholders' initial direct withholding strategies by creating access to the intangible resource of legitimacy. This subsequently provided access to material resources such as finance, a new stadium, and, ultimately, a franchise license. The findings are of note to practitioners and scholars interested professional sport and stakeholder theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalSport Management Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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