The article models the upset—a low-probability outcome of a periodic competition. It is assumed that the upset is an independent component of consumer preferences, whose marginal willingness to pay grows with time. The decision rule for a league on upset timing is a competitive-balance problem but is unlike standard models of competitive balance. Upset timing is likened partially to the optimal redemption time of a growing asset, and implications for competitive balance in this environment are derived.
Osborne, E. W.
(2012). Upsets. Journal of Sports Economics, 13 (3), 314-320.