Entrepreneurial orientation can be an effective response by sports clubs to manage a recession, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, its study can be fundamental to understand different ways of managing a recession. This study analyzes the entrepreneurial orientation of Spanish non-profit sports clubs to identify different groups and their profiles. The sample is composed of 145 Spanish non-profit sports clubs. Different validated scales have been used to analyze entrepreneurial orientation, business model adaptation, service quality, and economic and social performance (performance in social impact and performance in social causes). Entrepreneurial orientation is the variable used to differentiate the groups. This is made up of three dimensions: innovation, risk-taking, and proactivity. According to the results obtained, there are three groups of sports clubs according to their entrepreneurial orientation: non-entrepreneurs (n = 11), moderate entrepreneurs (n = 85), and strong entrepreneurs (n = 45). There are substantial differences between the three groups according to the adaptation of the business model, the perceived impact of COVID-19, and the returns analyzed. Strong entrepreneurs have considerably higher levels of business model adaptation, economic performance, social performance, and perceived service quality than non-entrepreneurs. Theoretical and practical implications have been drawn that can bring new information to the sports and organizational sector. For example, the diagnosis of the different profiles according to the level of entrepreneurship can be useful to propose strategies to improve performance. In this way, it can help to evaluate the return on the investment made by sponsors or governments in the organization.
Keywords: COVID-19; business model adaptation; entrepreneurial orientation; performance; sport management; sports clubs.