The internationalization of sport industry: Factors influencing sports equipment firms’ entry mode choice
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This research aims to examine the factors that influence a sports equipment firm to choose suitable market entry modes for entering into foreign markets. By using a qualitative approach and a case study method. Perspectives of resource-based view, transaction cost theory, institutional theory and special characteristics of sports were integrated to identify the factors that influence a sports equipment firm’s entry mode choice. Eight factors were identified which are asset specificity, brand awareness, global-level experience, cultural difference, market attractiveness, environmental uncertainty, legal environment and winning performance. Propositions were developed to use as a connection between the theories and the exploration of sports equipment firm’s entry mode decision. A case study of a Thailand sports equipment firm was used to demonstrate and discuss. The findings show that market attractiveness is the most important factor while the international experience is necessary when a high control entry mode level is required. Winning performance influences the firm to gain more control and establish the distributor in the market. Moreover, this research provides an insight into the internationalization of a sports equipment firm with a beneficial source of data for those sport equipment firms considering the choice of market entry mode to enter the foreign markets
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