George Churchill Sociology
The Influence of Commercialisation on the Professionalisation of Sport
More sports are turning professional with athletes being able to live off the money generated bysponsorship, endorsements, contracts and prize money. These are all provided by popularitywithin the sport industry due to a large global audience. Modern sport is now an industry wheresportsmen are paid greater then film and entertainment celebrities and use corporate logos of commercial companies. The modern sport society has evolved with technology, government,management, media and different perceptions on gender in sport all shaping the face of professionalisation in modern sport. Commercialisation has changed the face of sport in everyway possible to take advantage of the phenomenon that was once just known as leisure time.
The sports industry was worth $194 billion in 2001 ahead of electronics and food (Schaaf, 2004)and one of the main factors in this is commercialisation. In the last three decades sport hasimproved in huge amounts and moved on from being played and run by a bunch of amateurs to ahuge money making industry run by professionals. In fact sport has now become more businessrunand adapted to becoming more market orientated with consumers, professionally hiredmanagement teams are now in place to set goals and targets using new and improved strategiesto exploit the growing industry that is sport. Athletes are now paid to train while sportsmanagement such as directors are now instrumental in running sport. The dissemination of sport professionalism has heralded a new era of strategies that are now put in place to exploit theconsumer and maximise profit. The modern athlete can now make more income fromsponsorship then their basic wage and the enigma surrounding the individuals or sports personality will endeavour to sell products to you.Over the last three decades sport has afforded athletes to turn professional due to the modern re-structuring sport has endured. Sport is a big business and big businesses are heavily involved insport. Athletes are marketing commodities, broadcast rights cost huge amounts, sponsors fight itout for exclusive rights to events and more sports find themselves with the capacity to turn fromamateur to professional every year due to large businesses expanding their sporting influence.Professional sport only started to exist in the early 19
century with lack of organisationshampering its progress. Organisation in sport requires rapid transportation (trains, planes), mass production, technology and industrialisation. Sport was played locally but there was no