Critically explore whether or not the process of commercialisation has ruined sport Essay Example
Critically explore whether or not the process of commercialisation has ruined sport Essay Example

Critically explore whether or not the process of commercialisation has ruined sport Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1357 words)
  • Published: December 29, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of commercialisation on sports, examining its globalisation and commodification and determining whether the outcome is positive or negative. The study will trace the history of sports development from pre-1860s until present day, emphasising the link between industrialisation and commercialisation. Notably, it should be acknowledged that before industrialisation, sports held no monetary significance.

In this time, the notion of making money from sports was non-existent because they were mainly seen as recreational pursuits for men like polo, fishing, fox hunting, archery and peasant shooting. The lower class hardly participated in sports and the upper class constituted most of the players.

The sports functions and events of the era were linked to religious festivals, including the Greek Olympics, which aimed to reinforce religious values. Unlike modern sports, there was no organised for


m of competition, such as an NBA league for basketball players. Instead, smaller scale contests were arranged by local churches or villagers.

The athletes who participated in events were uncompensated due to societal rejection of sportsmen receiving material gain. This view was reinforced by the school system. The only minor means of earning money through sports was via gambling. Women were not included in sports during this era because they were socialized through the education system to pursue other roles such as motherhood and early marriage.

During the industrial era between 1860 and 1890, sport experienced a considerable transformation that led to several positive developments. The emergence of various governing bodies for sports enabled organized contests and trophy distribution for tournament victories. This subsequently attracted paying spectators to live events. Consequently, professional sportsmen emerged who were remunerated for

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their efforts, creating a distinction between amateur and professional sports in the UK (Coakley, 2007).During the years 1890-1914, there was a noteworthy change towards commercialisation in society that had significant effects on the world of sports. This led to a considerable increase in both viewership at sporting events and media coverage and advertisements for such competitions. Following this period, between 1918-1939 prior to World War Two, the trend continued to grow with the introduction of new sports, investments in stadiums, radio broadcasting, and extensive media attention given to sports.

Back in 1999, Horne et al observed that despite the commercialization of other forms of cultural leisure, sport remained untouched. Nevertheless, after a period of inactivity following the war, sport started to become more and more isolated as the flourishing leisure industry turned its attention to sectors such as travel and tourism to boost the UK economy. This transition brought about what is now recognized as the media era from 1962 until today, where technological improvements like radio and television have significantly revolutionized how we experience sports.

With the help of TV technology, cable and satellite now allow viewers to watch live broadcasts of major sporting events from different countries. Football gained enormous popularity in the UK during the 1990s, not just for sport but also entertainment. Today's sports are faster-paced and more exciting with extensive coverage worldwide. The media's global coverage significantly influences modern sports, as evidenced by sky and cable's payments to cover the premier league.

Due to the influence of media, changes in television schedules have been made to accommodate sports events. An example of this is the rescheduling of a football FA Cup replay for

a weeknight, resulting in all programmes for that day being either rescheduled or changed for viewing on another day. Major sporting events' commercialisation has also led to significant improvements in sports facilities in countries hosting them. For instance, the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 resulted in 15 new sports venues and offices being established while Montreal's 1976 Olympics saw the creation of a new Olympic park and village (May, 1995; Klausen, 1999). Therefore, global sport facility development has seen profound impacts due to commercialisation.

The commercialization of sports and athletes has resulted in the commodification of their identities, as demonstrated by the use of sports stars' names on leisure products like Cristiano Ronaldo-branded football boots. Furthermore, Police sunglasses are promoted by David Beckham.

The commercialisation of sport involves using the images of athletes to promote products that may not be related to their sport. These marketing tactics encourage consumers to emulate the athletes, essentially using them as a selling point for merchandise. Commercialisation, by definition, prioritizes financial gain and business ventures. As a result, sports have transitioned from a recreational activity to a money-making enterprise. Consequently, athletes and managers alike have become concerned with business principles. This commercialisation process has transformed sports organizations into business-like entities.

According to Houlihan (2003), sports organisations have become more market-oriented, prioritizing profit and customer needs. This has resulted in an emphasis on maximizing revenue as the primary focus and decision-making factor for these organisations. The commercialisation of sports has also led to a rise in television rights, player salaries and sponsorship deals, with organisations actively pursuing strategies to increase their profitability.

In the United States, sport organizations have adopted a

business approach to sports management to maximize profits. A prime example of this is the commercialization of golf, which targets individuals with economic influence in society (Coakley, 2007). Golf holds significant commercial value as a sport in the US.

Although golf is popular in the United States, it is not well-suited for commercial presentation due to limited visibility and low spectator turnout. Camera placement challenges can also make filming difficult. Additionally, compared to other sports, golf's slower pace and lower level of action make it less appealing for non-players.

Although not all individuals engage in golf, the ones who do usually possess wealth and occupy influential societal positions. This group of people is attractive to sponsors and advertisers due to their purchasing behavior which affects a considerable amount of individuals including their colleagues, relatives, and enterprises. They hold significant financial influence and invest in upscale commodities such as luxury vehicles alongside technology for both their businesses and workers.

High-end automotive brands sponsor prominent golf events like the PGA, LPGA, and senior PGA tours, leading to extensive coverage by major TV networks such as Sky and Satellite. Fans watching golf are known to have disposable income, making them an attractive target market for advertisers who have access to the funds of both large and small companies, as Coakley (2007) notes. As a result, commercialization of sports becomes the drive for generating financial returns in this realm.

Thus, sports are utilized for financial gain, such as in the case of formula one which represents the height of contemporary technology and requires significant funds. Formula one is commonly compared to a miniature space program and previous sponsor agreements have depicted payment between

i?? 9 million-i?? 35 million per year for displaying sponsors' logos or slogans on car bodies.

Houlihan (2003) states that the commercialisation of sports has affected non-profit and state-run organizations. Formula One racing is sought-after by corporations due to its extensive global TV audience, second only to the summer Olympics. Bernie Ecclestone, a key figure in F1's worldwide success, became Britain's richest man in 2000 and earned ˆ617 million after selling half of the holding company for F1. In recent times, managers have taken on a more business-focused approach towards managing their organizations.

Commercialization has led to the growth of sport, as shown by the 128% rise in professional football clubs in Germany during the 1990s (Zimmerman, 1997). Not-for-profit sports organizations have also adopted commercial approaches due to demands for efficiency and effectiveness (Houlihan, 2003). Despite changes in the sports industry, benefits such as improved facilities through major events like the World Cup and Olympics exist.

Although commercialisation of sport has advantages and disadvantages, it has a significant impact. The remuneration for elite athletes is substantial, increasing the excitement and pace of sports events, thereby drawing in larger audiences. Conversely, major sporting events are financed by high-priced automobiles, causing them to no longer be exclusively centered on exceptional athlete performances but instead prioritizing commercial rights.

Companies are fiercely competing for sponsorship deals to promote their products before, during, and after sporting events. This has led to the commercialization of sports, with companies seeing it as an avenue to generate financial gain and view it as a business and product.

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