Goal of research
To analyze the strategies of athletes during the match, to determine the optimal options for broadcasting sports competitions, to assess the impact of the competition schedule on the final result.
We work in the framework of rational choice theory and develop formal mathematical models as well as apply econometric analysis of the models based on the collected databases.
Empirical base of research
In the calendar difficulty problem, the team-level data includes observations from 7 European football leagues (Spain - La Liga, England - English Premier League, France - Ligue 1, Italy - Serie A, Germany - Bundesliga 1, Holland Eredivisie and Russia - Russian Premier League) for the seasons 2012/2013 - 2017/2018. We use three main sources of data: the results of the matches, dynamic tables during the season, as well as qualification rules for the European cups – all the data was collected from the official websites of the leagues. Market value estimates were based on transfermarkt.com data as of September 1st of each season. In the problem of the athletes’ efforts in derbies, we use the open Internet resource https://www.bundesliga.com, which provides the data on several seasons of the German Bundesliga 2015-2019 (1378 observations at the match level). As for the problem of playing versus former clubs, we used the databases of the official NBA website (176416 player-match observations), websites https://www.hockey-reference.com (334229 observations) and https://understat.com/ (245858 observations), as well as a number of advanced statistics, including tracking metrics.
Results of research
The research provides a positive answer to the question of whether it can be profitable for a TV-holding to broadcast weak matches of a sports championship on a free TV channel if there is an alternative to broadcast interesting matches or broadcast nothing at all. The paper confirms the effect that a more difficult round-robin tournament schedule leads to worse results at the end of the tournament. Also, we have shown that athletes choose the level of effort during a match based on match status (in particular, taking into account derby status), although this additional effort is not explicitly paid by the club. Finally, we have shown that in matches against their former clubs, players are more productive and efficient.