Talk:Franchise (sports)

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Merge with Major professional sports leagues[edit]

I reverted this merge, as it had not been proposed and there wasn't a chance for consensus to be developed, as the merge was not proposed.

To put simply, I don't think all users searching for 'sports franchising', or linking to it, would expect to read an article on the major American sports leagues. MK Dons is a perfect example here.

If there is a counter-argument I'd be itnerested to hear it... Robdurbar 15:21, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, the Sports franchising page is pretty weak, and rather than pull anything out of Major professional sports leagues I thought it better to do it the other way around. (BTW, the MK Dons example seems to be using the "misnamed" relocation meaning.) Ewlyahoocom 15:33, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Say, would you mind taking a stab at fixing up the Sports franchising page? Like I said, it's pretty weak, and it shouldn't even be a disambigaution page. Thanks a bunch if you do! Ewlyahoocom 15:36, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Yeah that did occur to me... come back in a week and we'll see how it is ;). I understand the 'mis-use', but it is the terminology that is used in general; to go to a page about the major american sports leagues would be confusing for those who use it; this page - if done well- could lcearly show how it's being misused. Robdurbar 16:12, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
The current version (by Ewlyahoocom) of Sports Franchising looks fine to me (agree that the Dab tag was not correct). It needs to exist: the North American view of the concept is very different from the European/African/Latin American view. So a short article is needed to explain to each readership what it is that the other is getting so excited about / not remotely worried about. I don't see a problem with short articles. I oppose any merger. --Concrete Cowboy 16:54, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Does this page belong?[edit]

From my understanding, "sports franchising" is simply a British term for the North American model of operating a sports league. If that's the case, this page should be returned to a disambiguation pointing to Sports in the United States and Relocation of professional sports teams.

If there actually is a difference in the financial structure of sports leagues in the U.S. and Europe -- if the use of the word "franchise" to describe teams in the U.S. and not in Europe is more than just an issue of semantics -- this page should talk about it. But we shouldn't surmise anything until we have facts on the issue. -- Mwalcoff 23:43, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

I think Ross Gittins highlights one of the aspects of sports franchising in his article The Club has become The Franchise when he says, "A key element in the privatisation of the football codes is the subjugation of the clubs. Whereas previously the competition was a federation of clubs - they were each joint-owners - now they're more like franchisees." He's referring to the situation in Australia's AFL where clubs have evolved into franchises since the 1970's by losing control of the 'league' to a more central body. Now the clubs are often called franchises, including by the AFL.
Even with promotion and relegation a team can be a franchise, the franchises are just offered to a different set of teams each season. A club can be a franchise as well. It is true, though, that often 'sports franchising' is used to refer to a system without promotion and relegation (which the AFL has never had). --ThirdEdition 06:09, 7 April 2006 (UTC)
Well it baisically is an extended disambigpage, with links to them both but a little more information. Out of interest... should the difference in player contracts be mentioned in here? Aren't players in american leagues contracted by and payed by the league in some way? Robdurbar 08:20, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

As I see it part of the reason the page should exist is the way people use the term in sportsese, mostly as a synonym for "team" (or professinoal sports team), but I'm not sure. For example:

  • "It's good for the ball club, good for the franchise, and, most importantly, it's good for our community..."[1]
  • "...many are saying Rivers could be the face of this Charger's franchise..."[2]
  • "...if you disagree with any aspect of the Charger's franchise you are labled a Hater..."[3]
  • "...Darren Howard has agreed to sign a franchise tag contract for the second-consecutive year..."[4]
  • "...one of the core pieces of the Raptors' franchise."[5]
  • "...in the midst of rebuilding it’s franchise into a competitive contender..."[6]
  • "...the old franchise record of 138 roundtrippers...broke the 1960 franchise attendance record..."[7]
  • "...playing for a franchise that has won more titles than any other franchise."[8]

Currently there is no discussion of this meaning on Wikipedia. The closest I could find was at Major professional sports leagues, but although it's title doesn't imply as much, the content is America specific. Ewlyahoocom 09:47, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

It is also an article that explains to each audience what the other finds so strange. Maybe you could argue that it should be in Wiktionary, but it is definitely needed. There in a lot of misunderstanding and emotion about! --Concrete Cowboy 12:07, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Accuracy Dispute[edit]

The problem is that if "sports franchising" is nothing more than a British term for the North American style of organizing sports leagues, we already have articles at Sports in the United States and Major professional sports league.
The page says the following:
"The concept of franchising grew in American sport, though has spread to other leagues too. The Major professional sports leagues licence corporations to operate one of the limited number of teams ("the Franchises") in the league in a particular location — in just the same way as any other kind of business franchise allocation system works. Leagues which have also introduced franchising outside of the USA include the Super League, which is the top level of Rugby League in the United Kingdom and France. This will run on a franchise basis from 2009."
I could be mistaken, but I think what you're trying to say here is that the Super League has "sports franchising" because it does not have promotion and relegation. As far as I know, the fact that North American leagues lack P&R has nothing to do with the fact that they are "franchises."
Basically, we have to decide what "sports franchising" actually is. Is it:
      • A British term for a league structure that lacks promotion and relegtion?
      • A British term for the structure of North American sports league in general, including franchise mobility?
      • A type of team ownership that is different in North American and European sports?
If the first or second definition is correct, this page should be a redirect or disambig or transwikied to Wiktionary. If the third definition is correct, you need to explain how ownership is different and how that leads to the differences in league organization, notably the lack of P&R. You can't start by saying "Sports franchising is the application of Franchising to sports" and then start talking about P&R without explaining what the link is between the two and how the ownership structure differs in sports without "franchising." -- Mwalcoff 22:04, 7 April 2006 (UTC)


  • There is, as far as I can tell, one sentence that mentions promotion and relegation.
  • 1. My understanding is that 'sports franchising' is used in British English and American English - though I could be wrong here, but Americans do refer to 'the franchise' don't they, as they would refer to a team?
Yes, but we don't use the term "sports franchising." -- Mwalcoff 01:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps this could be redirected to, or have a redirect from Franchise (sport)? Robdurbar 08:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 2. The problem with sending this to the 'sports in the USA' is that franchising is also used - rightly or wrongly - to refer to sports team relocation - a perfect example of this can be seen here. Otherwise, I would agree with a redirect; but people linking franchsie from an article on Wimbledon FC, for example, would not want to link to an article on US sports.
This is why the original disambiguation page began - as sports franchising can refer to The form of team ownership in American sports or the relocation of sports teams (thoguh this may be a popular misuse).
Not my comment, but the person is right -- that's why we had a disambig page. -- Mwalcoff 01:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
And Ewlyahoocom's comments below are why I took up the challenge of expanding it Robdurbar 08:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
  • 3. It was felt, however, that this page could be used as more as a disambiguation page; it could actually explain how franchise ownership works. Now I think the problem here is that no-one is entirely sure how that is. My understanding is that an american league - say the NFL -will decide how many teams ('franchsises') that it wants to include. It will then accept applications from teams for these franchise places and, chose which teams allows to operate as franchises under the 'NFL brand'. In 'European sport', in contrast, leagues form part of a larger system or 'pyramid' of leagues (see English football league system). The top leagues accept the best teams, the lower leagues accept worse teams; promotion and relegation allow teams to move between the various leagues, who themselves have less control over the teams that they accept (though they might have minimum stadium size regualtions, for example).
So, for me, this is what the article needs to expand to. How about changing from a 'factual accuracy disputed' tag to a 'needs attention from an expert' tag? Robdurbar 12:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I think you are confusing franchising with the existence or non-existence of promotion and relegation. If Major League Baseball were to adopt P&R tomorrow, the teams would still presumably still be called "franchises." I've put the disputed tag on because I question whether franchising and the lack of P&R are the same thing. -- Mwalcoff 01:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Some people keep referring to "the disambiguation page that was here before". Except it wasn't really a disambiguation page, it was a stub discussion of the term(s). For the US usage it "suggested" Franchising and Major professional sports league , neither of which are appropriate for the way the term is used (see the above list of quotations including "It's good for the ball club, good for the franchise, and, most importantly, it's good for our community..." and "...in the midst of rebuilding it’s franchise into a competitive contender..."). For the UK usage it suggested Relocation of professional sports teams. So, if this page becomes a "proper" disambiguation page it could look like:

Sport franchising or Sports franchise may refer to:

Except that Professional sports team doesn't exist. So, should that entry be replaced with an entry to:

Also note that when these pages use the term "franchise" they often link...(wait for it)...back to Sports franchising. Ewlyahoocom 05:31, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Which is why an aritcle is needed.
How can I be getting franchising confused with a no p/r system when one sentence in this article mentions p/r? I agree that, in theory, the NBA could introduce a second tier and there would be p/r, but the teams would still be franchises. The difference is that the league itself in america controls the teams that paly in it. Under the European system, the league cannot prevent the governing body from placing teams in it, and cannot prevent teams moving on to a better league (for example, the Premier League was first made from teams that split from the Football League; but is has always accepted that teams get relegated to the Football League, and taken teams from the Football League, even smaller ones such as Wigan, who probably bring in less revenue than the teams they have replaced, such as Nottingham Forest or Leeds. Robdurbar 08:36, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I still don't see what that has to do with "franchising." It may be that in the UK, "sports franchising" is used to mean what you just said, but we should then specify that it's a British term that means control by a national governing body, or whatever. But we should clarify that it's a UK term and link to a page that verifies the term is used that way. Google has only 14 pages of results for /"sports franchising" -wikipedia/, most of which are about the franchising of sports-related businesses (like gyms) or team memorabilia. The term is never used in the U.S. to refer to a specific way of organizing a sports league. -- Mwalcoff 23:38, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

In an attempt to clarify all this, I've found a decent source that compares the history of Major League Baseball and the Football League. I think that it pretty much supports what the article now says, but if you feel that I've misread the source then at least there now is one to support the claims made, and you can go ahead and re-edit in accordance to it. Robdurbar 09:38, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't dispute what you say about the American and European systems. What I doubt is that "sports franchising" is the name of the American system. You need to find a source that defines it as such. -- Mwalcoff 22:33, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The Oxford English Dictionary gives one of the definitions of franchise (a 1993 addition) as:

franchise, n., 2.d. An authorization or licence granted to a sports club, formally establishing its existence and ownership. N. Amer. (orig. U.S.).

  • 1905 Ann. Rep. National Commission p. viii, The circuit of either Major League may be changed by transferring either of the above mentioned Franchises to some other city on consent of the majority of the clubs of each Major League.
  • 1922 Collier's 25 Mar. 29/2 To begin with, the two wealthy owners of that club paid for the Franchise and players under contract $850,000.
  • 1979 Arizona Daily Star 22 July C1/1 In the past six years, the city of Phoenix has lost seven professional sports franchises. Five were forced to suspend operations and the other two never quite made it to the Valley of the Sun.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary says:

franchise, n., 3.a. the right of membership in a professional sports league b. a team and its operating organization having such membership

I doubt you'll find a source that defines 'sports franchising', but it does seem like a reasonable title for an article describing the franchising of sporting teams. --ThirdEdition 00:04, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps I have not expressed my concerns clearly. Let me try again:
  • I know that there is an "American system" of organizing sports league and a "European" one, and that the latter differs from the former in having promotion and relegation and the supervision of a national governing body for the sport.
  • I know pro sports teams are called "franchises" in North America and not in Europe.
However, I don't think the first point automatically links to the second. Perhaps there is a connection, but unless someone finds a source that explains it, I think don't think we can go ahead and make the link. -- Mwalcoff 00:19, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
But the key is that the American system also has franchsises and this is - to those Europeans describing it at least - the defing feature.
However, it is true that this term 'sports franchising' itself uncommon. My proposal is then that this page is moved - but to what title?
I think possibilities are:

Thoughts? Robdurbar 05:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I've grown into something like that. This page could move back to a disambig, sending people to either sports team relocation, american major leagues or professtional sports league organization. I think professional is better for the title, though there would be no harm in creating the other as a redirect. Robdurbar 08:49, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

So to confirm: 1. This page moves to Professional sports league organization, with a few changes to reflect this.

2. Sports franchising becomes a redirect to Franchise (sports), itself a disambiguation page.

Robdurbar 08:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Not just the United States[edit]

The article says:
"In sport, the term Franchise may refer to:

  • A professional sports team in the United States
  • A sports team that has been relocated in European use"

However, sports teams are called franchises in other countries too. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa the Super 14 teams are almost always called franchises and in Australia, AFL and NRL clubs are often called franchises as well. I assume that in Canada the term franchise is used quite a bit as well. The regional Welsh rugby teams are also regularly called franchises. So, although I'm convinced the term starting the US it's common usage has spread more widely. --ThirdEdition 01:49, 18 April 2006 (UTC)