The challenges of modernizing a professional sport: A case study of professional road cycling

Stephen Morrow*, Catharine Idle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Professional road cycling is a sport founded on commercialism. Since the first races of the late 1800s, the sport has maintained a close relationship with commercial companies and sponsors. This case study examines the challenges faced by a sport trying to restructure and modernize to retain its contemporary relevance. In 2005, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Pro Tour was established. Based on models common in American professional sports, it created a super league of 20 licensed teams, obligated to contest all 27 Pro Tour races per season. Its creation has been controversial. The case focuses on the power play that has taken place between stakeholders in the sport - the governing body, race organizers, sponsors, teams, riders, the media, the public - and the conflict between stakeholders keen to protect their individual financial interests.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Cases in the Business of Sport
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780080554563
ISBN (Print)9780750685436
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2007


  • Governance
  • Modernization
  • Power
  • Professional road cycling
  • Stakeholder conflict
  • UCI Pro Tour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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