Public subsidies for sports clubs in Germany : funding regulations vs. empirical evidence

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Staatliche Subventionen für Sportvereine in Deutschland : Finanzierungsbestimmungen gegenüber empirischen Befunden
Author:Feiler, Svenja; Wicker, Pamela; Breuer, Christoph
Published in:European sport management quarterly : ESMQ
Published:19 (2019), 5, S. 562-582, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
ISSN:1618-4742, 1746-031X
Online Access:
Identification number:PU202001000112

Author's abstract

Research question: The purpose of this study is to examine if the funding principles set by sport policies at different governmental levels in Germany are associated with the actual receipt of subsidies by voluntary sports clubs. Put differently, this study analyses whether the engagement of sports clubs in different areas promoted by the government is financially rewarded. Research methods: This paper is based on a three-wave balanced panel dataset obtained from an online sports club survey in Germany (n = 1275). Three Heckman selection models were applied to identify if fulfilling different funding principles affected the receipt of subsidies from sports organisations, states, and communities. Results and Findings: The results show that the fulfilment of funding conditions is rewarded in different ways: while some policy regulations are reflected in the receipt of subsidies, others are not. Specifically, competitive sport and youth promotion activities, which are traditional focuses of clubs and public funding, are financially supported, while health sport, a newer funding area, is not, despite governmental policies proposing support for health-enhancing sport offers. Implications: This study adds to existing knowledge on financing voluntary sports clubs by empirically testing whether and to what extent funding conditions based on sport policies translate into clubs actually receiving subsidies. From a managerial perspective, developing programmes for youth seems promising since such programmes are financially supported at different governmental levels. Moreover, clubs should apply for subsidies to cover any costs related to core sport needs (equipment and travel) and for basic funds.