Sport logistics research: reviewing and line marking of a new field

David M. Herold, Tim Breitbarth, Nico Schulenkorf, Sebastian Kummer

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although logistics management is a crucial part of local and global sports events, there is no research-driven characterization of “sports logistics management”. The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize a framework that allows for a more structured recognition of logistics in sports, in general, and sport event management, in particular. In addition, we conduct a systematic literature review of sports logistics management and locate opportunities for future research both for sports management and logistics management scholars. Design/methodology/approach: Guided by Durach et al.’s (2017) systematic literature review approach, we identify key attributes and characteristics of sports logistics management. These are based on studies featuring at least partial aspects of logistics management in sports and sport events, and that were published between 2000 and mid-2019. Findings: The study reveals that sports logistics management – meaning logistics activities in sports and sport event management – is a heavily under-researched area that provides an abundance of scientific opportunities. Based on the three sport event types of local/regional sport events, major sport events and mega sport events, the authors propose four sports logistics management pillars that are central to the proposed Sport Logistics Framework: venue logistics management, sports equipment logistics management, athletes logistics management, and fan and spectators logistics management. Practical implications: By providing a conceptual framework for sports logistics, the authors progress towards informing the sport sector on relevant strategic and operational levels of logistics management and set the stage for empirical studies that are likely to advance sport logistics planning and management. Originality/value: This is the first study that builds on a systematic review of literature specifically focused on the logistics aspect in sports and sport event management. It provides a conceptual framework of sports logistics management and offers an agenda of future research opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-379
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Global logistics
  • Literature review
  • Logistics strategy
  • Management research
  • North America
  • Urban logistics


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