Sports is not just "Science", you know? There's some "Art" to it, literally.

Dr Nnamdi O. Madichie

Posted: September 4, 2014

Tagged: clubs / investment / revenues / rugby

Most sports enthusiasts have come to perceive the subject as a science that needs a lot of number crunching from the investments and returns on such investments (i.e. ROIs) to the development of performance shoes in Athletics, performance cars in Motor Racing, acceptable diet for Athletes and even horses when it comes to Horse Racing. There are also calculations on how to spin the balls in Cricket Test matches and perhaps shin and shoulder guards in Rugby.

The latter needs further elaboration as it seems to take the back burner in many sporting calendars – secondary to Football, Athletics, Tennis and even Cricket especially in countries renowned for the sport – notably Australia, England, India, and the West Indies amongst others.

The Bedminster-based Broad Plain Rugby Football Club in the City of Bristol (England) is the focus of this article. The Club has been  hosting numerous projects in Bristol, while also offering their facilities to several local schools who don’t have any open space of their own such as Victoria Park, St Mary Redcliffe, Parson Street and Ashton Gate.​ Little surprise why it won the prestigious “Community Club of the Year.” 

The Award winning selection also comes at a time when they’ve just announced that they’ll receive their official RFU accreditation in the coming months – which will be celebrated with a party on September 6, 2014. But their nomination for a Sports Award is more to do with the tireless support that the club gives to the community.

Indeed the competition was set to provide recognition to individuals, groups and volunteers both in a professional or amateur setting in Bristol, and Broad Plain RFC, reportedly ticked all the right boxes.

But does doing good translate to doing the maths? Not for Broad Plain, which was on the verge of bankruptcy – perhaps due to some scientific miscalculation of its sporting ledger. As Club owner Dennis Stinchcombe put it,  “within 12 months we could have been closed, which means 120 years of exceptional youth work in Bristol would have been lost.”

Come in Banksy – yes the world’s renowned graffiti artist!

A Banksy artwork that was painted on a wall outside, in a doorway of cash-strapped youth club – i.e. Broad Plain Boys’ Club, in April 2014 sparked an ownership dispute with the City council.

But Banksy’s letter to the hard-up club saying it was theirs may well have been a triumph for “Art” over “Science” in Sports – ah yes, literally.

The artwork was only recently sold to a private collector for £403,000 and Broad Plain will be sharing a portion of the proceeds with a number of other voluntary sector youth clubs across Bristol City.

A mural to thank the artist created with the Young Bristol Creative Team has been unveiled.​ Furthermore, the home page of the Broad Plain Rugby Football Club now reads Welcome to Broad Plain RFC, a Banksy-friendly Rugby Club!” Why not? This is nothing to do with science – Art sells sport!

IBBC News (27 August 2014) Banksy's Mobile Lovers artwork raises £400k for boys' club‎.
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About Nnamdi O. Madichie

Nnamdi O. Madichie is Associate Professor of Marketing and International Business at Graduate Studies Division, School of Business Administration, Canadian University of Dubai. He has published extensively in the area of sports marketing and management covering topics from the English Premier League, to Middle East Investments in Sports, and Leadership lessons from Sports, especially football. His paper “Management Implications of foreign players in the English Premiership League football” has received 18 citations on GoogleScholar since it was published in 2009. He can be contacted at: