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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Why Practicing Sports Increases Sales Success

Published: May 28, 2019


Franziska Weis, University of Applied Sciences St.Gallen; Benjamin von Walter, FHS St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences


Sports participation; Salesperson performance; Trait activation theory


Although scholars frequently stress the similarities between the competitive worlds of sports and sales, no empirical study to date has investigated the relationship between sports participation and sales success. In this research, we argue that sports participation has an impact on salesperson performance through goal orientations. An empirical study with salespeople from different industries shows that sports participation has a positive impact on hunting orientation, which, in turn, leads to higher salesperson performance. Moreover, the study shows that the type of sport serves as a moderator. The effect of sports participation on hunting orientation is stronger when salespeople practice competitive sports. The study also shows that sports participation has no effect on sales success through farming orientation, which is regarded as another important goal orientation. These findings contribute to existing research on the antecedents of sales performance.