Analysing the commercial development of Australian rugby utilising financial reporting

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the financial growth and development of the governing body of Rugby Union in Australia, now known as Rugby Australia. In doing so, the research observes Rugby Australia’s transformation from a small amateur organisation into a multi-million dollar enterprise. The study examines 39 years of annual financial reporting from which four key operational phases were identified. Through this analysis the exponential growth of the organisation is quantified. Correspondingly, the composition of the organisation’s specific revenue items was shown to have shifted significantly over the four phases. Furthermore, the changing accounting treatment of revenue line items within the financial reporting provides qualitative insight into the organisation’s historical philosophy toward individual revenue streams. The study contributes to an emerging field of sport research which utilises financial documents as a primary method to explore organisational performance and development. This offers new empirical insights into the transformation of sport into a sophisticated commercial industry. In doing so, it addresses academic calls for greater adoption of quantitative financial methods to explore both sport history and sport management.




Bond, D., Fujak, H., Frawley, S., & Whales, L. (2021). Analysing the commercial development of Australian rugby utilising financial reporting. Sport in Society, 25(1), 105–125.

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