Sports Heroes and Mass Sports Participation – the (Double) Paradox of the 'German Tennis Boom'

Hamburg Contemporary Economic Discussions, No. 29, 2009

24 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Arne Feddersen

Arne Feddersen

Hamburg University of Economics and Politics

Wolfgang Maennig

Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The major sporting success of one’s countrymen and women is often supposed to promote the growth of general participation in that sport. This study is the first to analyze the impact of sports heroes on the membership figures of the corresponding sports association by means of an econometric analysis. We do so by evaluating the so-called 'Boris Becker effect' by simultaneously testing for the effects of the rise and retirement of the three stars Boris Becker, Stefanie Graf, and Michael Stich. As a first paradox, our results indicate a negative tennis growth effect associated with the time period of the ascendency of the sport stars. With the first paradox, their retirement should then have a positive effect. In this sense, our second result of a statistically negative tennis growth since the declining success of the German tennis stars must be regarded as a second paradox.

Keywords: tennis, sport association memberships, Boris Becker Effect, mass sport participation

JEL Classification: L83, C23

Suggested Citation

Feddersen, Arne and Maennig, Wolfgang, Sports Heroes and Mass Sports Participation – the (Double) Paradox of the 'German Tennis Boom' (2009). Hamburg Contemporary Economic Discussions, No. 29, 2009 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1544320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1544320

Arne Feddersen

Hamburg University of Economics and Politics ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 9
Hamburg, 20149
Germany

Wolfgang Maennig (Contact Author)

Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 5
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

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