Contemporary Sports Issues

Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Finance and Economics in Sports Industry; Sports Consumer Behavior; International Sports; Legal Considerations; Professional Sports; Sociological Aspects of Sports; Public Relations; Sports Facility and Event Management; Intercollegiate Athletics; Sports Management and Marketing; Sport Tourism

Skills: This event provides recognition for PBL members who understand and demonstrate knowledge about the current principles and issues of the dynamic sports industry both in this country and internationally.


Objective Test

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • Financial calculators may be used for accounting, finance, and analysis & decision making events; calculators will be provided for all other events.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid PBL national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 15 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit three (3) individuals in all events requiring only objective tests and two (2) individuals or teams for all events that require a pre-judged or performance component.
  • Each competitor can compete in two (2) events.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (Community Service Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • Desktop Publishing—the finished product must be uploaded in PDF format by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May. Label all documents with the event title, competitor’s name, state, and school.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (Community Service Project and Local Chapter Annual Business Report).

Additional Materials

  • Financial calculators may be brought to objective testing and used for any accounting, finance, or analysis & decision making events.
  • Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.

Graduate Students

Graduate students may compete in all PBL events.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Website Resources
Finance and Economics in Sports Industry
1. Describe the economic impact of sports and entertainment events in various areas: locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
2. Discuss key sources of revenue for sport organizations and facilities.
3. Explain the role of ticket and concession sales, corporate sponsorship, licensing sport merchandise, fundraising, and franchising.
4. Apply the basic economic principles of scarcity, cost/benefit analysis, opportunity cost, and supply and demand to the production and consumption of professional and intercollegiate sports.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of budgeting practices within sports organizations and public and private financing utilized in the sports industry.
6. Identify and understand basic financial terms.
7. Identify expenditures as related to sports and entertainment industries.
8. Describe the importance of business and financial plans.
9. Analyze basic financial documents: budgets, income statements, balance sheets, and breakeven point analysis.
Sports Consumer Behavior
1. Describe the individual as a sport consumer.
2. Discuss the group influences on the sport consumer.
3. Describe strategies for building a relationship with the consumer.
4. Discuss the influences involved in consumer decision making in sports.
5. Discuss the psychology of sport consumer behavior.
6. . Analyze the numerous cultural constituencies affecting and affected by the sport industry.
7. Develop an understanding of how sport, professional and amateur, can influence life.
8. Discuss social issues (e.g., race, gender, deviance, and youth socialization) from within the sports world, how they are perceived, and how fans respond to them.
9. Discuss various perceptions and social limits of sport across diverse cultures.
10. Discuss key sport marketing theories and concepts such as the unique elements of the sport product, sport consumer behavior, brand management, relationship marketing, sport sponsorship, and sport sales/promotions.
International Sports
1. Discuss international contract negotiations.
2. Characterize the international sports marketing environment.
3. Discuss the impact of globalization on sports.
4. Discuss the strategies that professional sport leagues have used to cross international boundaries.
5. Describe the organizational structure of Olympic sport.
6. Compare the difference involved in representing athletes in different sports and in different countries.
7. Identify key historic changes that have taken place in international sport.
8. Describe the various governance structures within international sports.
9. Describe the historical evolution of international sports.
Legal Considerations
1. Identify state and federal laws enacted to address specific issues within the sport industry.
2. Describe how legal issues are decided.
3. Identify sex discrimination issues.
4. Define collective bargaining agreements as a component of labor law pertinent to sport.
5. Describe the importance of liability, negligence, and safety in the sport setting.
6. Discuss the impact of labor laws and labor unions on sports.
7. Explain the purpose and benefits of copyright protection.
8. Identify purpose, types, and terms and need for contracts.
Professional Sports
1. Generate a contract for the sports professional.
2. Demonstrate contract negotiation for the selected sports professional.
3. Contrast the differences among the salary caps used within sport leagues.
4. Classify the basic structure of the professional sport industry including league and team operations and the commonalities and differences among league sports and individual sports.
5. Explain the role of the commissioner in league and individual sports.
6. Illustrate the storied labor management struggles of the professional sport industry and their impact on the various leagues involved in them.
7. Describe the unique aspects of professional sports.
8. Describe the various governance structures within professional sports.
9. Describe the historical evolution of professional sports.
10. Identify and define standards of controlling professional sports.
Sociological Aspects of Sports
1. Explain the role and importance of school and youth sports in contemporary American society.
2. Illustrate the historical development of school and youth sport programs and offerings.
3. Analyze the management and governance systems that affect school and youth sport organizations.
4. Describe current issues facing recreational sport today.
5. List the benefits of sports as well as the dark side of sports.
6. Analyze how sport and entertainment events can cultivate social responsibility.
Public Relations
1. Illustrate how the broadcasting industry works, what audience their sport attracts, the competitive nature of the media business including the dynamics of their local market, and how valuable positive exposure can be to a sport organization.
2. Define communication technology and its impact on sport.
3. Describe the requirements of the public relations role and the need for information systems.
4. Write and prepare press releases
5. Explain the use of a sports media guide and its value to the press
6. Organize and facilitate an effective press conference.
7. Explore ways in which effective publicity affects a sports program.
8. Compare and contrasts media sources for public relations and advertising.
9. Discuss the importance of positive and negative public relations for sports; how firms assist in creating favorable images, and how athletics can affect public perceptions.
10. Identify potential benefits of celebrity endorsement.
11. Describe public relations efforts related to fans, publishing, and speaking engagements.
Sports Facility and Event Management
1. Describe critical event management functions and discuss the current issues in event management.
2. Discuss food and beverage services and onsite merchandising at a sports and entertainment event.
3. Describe some of the safety and liability concerns that a facility manager must address.
4. Discuss how certain laws, rules, and regulations directly impact business decisions in the event and facility management context
5. Determine policies and practices for maintenance, scheduling, use, and supervision of sport facilities.
6. Discuss prevention procedures and preparation techniques including risk management.
7. Describe potential marketing and sales techniques used before, during, and after events.
8. Describe the role of sponsorship and evaluate potential techniques for effective utilization.
9. Discuss criteria for selecting venues.
10. Explain the process for planning an event including budget and follow up activities.
11. Explain factors affecting attendance at an event.
Intercollegiate Athletics
1. Describe college compliance and eligibility in sports.
2. Explain current issues facing collegiate athletic coaches and administrators.
3. Discuss the impact of governance on intercollegiate athletics.
4. Describe the current financial situation in U.S. college athletics.
5. Describe the historical evolution of collegiate sports.
6. Define the role of interscholastic athletics in education.
7. Discuss eligibility standards at the high school and college level.
8. Describe the similarities and differences between professional sports and college athletics.
9. Describe information on the organizational structure of college athletics
10. Describe the NCAA’s, NAIA’s, and NJCAA’s roles as the governing bodies in collegiate athletics.
Sports Management and Marketing
1. List the reasons for the growth of the sports agency industry over the past three decades.
2. Create a sport management and marketing agency plan.
3. Define the functions of sport management and marketing agencies.
4. List the types of sport management and marketing agencies.
5. Discuss the challenges facing sport management and marketing agencies.
6. Analyze the differences involved in representing athletes in different sports.
7. Describe the role of a sports agent.
8. Discuss the legal and ethical dilemmas that arise in the sports agency industry.
9. Explain the agent’s and general manager’s roles in an athlete’s contractual agreement.
Sport Tourism
1. Discuss the impact of sport tourism.
2. Define sport tourism.
3. Discuss the connection of sport and tourism.
4. Describe the various segments of tourism.
5. . List the three types of sports tourism.
6. Describe the approaches to sustainability of sport tourism—social, economic, and environmental.
7. Discuss strategies to leverage tourism with sports.
8. Describe the major dimensions of sport tourism.
9. Identify future trends for sports tourism.


PBL Program of Study
Sports & Entertainment


States may submit up to 3 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 15.


Test: 1 hour