Revenue Sharing, Competitive Balance and the Contest Success Function


Address for correspondence: Marco Runkel, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Magdeburg, Postbox 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany. Tel.: +49 (0)391 6718546; fax: +49 (0)391 6711218; e-mail:


Abstract. This paper investigates revenue sharing in an asymmetric two-teams contest model of a sports league with Nash behavior of team owners. The innovation of the analysis is that it focuses on the role of the contest success function (CSF). In case of an inelastic talent supply, revenue sharing turns out to worsen competitive balance regardless of the shape of the CSF. For the case of an elastic talent supply, in contrast, the effect of revenue sharing on competitive balance depends on the specification of the CSF. We fully characterize the class of CSFs for which revenue sharing leaves unaltered competitive balance and identify CSFs ensuring that revenue sharing renders the contest closer.