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Commercialisation in Sport

Commercialisation in Sport

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Published by skillachio10
sociology article on the impact of commercialisation within sport
sociology article on the impact of commercialisation within sport

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Published by: skillachio10 on Jul 13, 2008
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03/31/2013

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George Churchill Sociology
George ChurchillSociology ssp231Marc LawtonThe Influence of Commercialisation on theProfeesionalisation of SportDue Date: 9
th
May 2008Word Count: 2175
1
 
George Churchill Sociology
The Influence of Commercialisation on the Professionalisation of Sport
Abstract
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.
Introduction
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
th
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
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George Churchill Sociology
organised commercial sports industry (Slack, 2005). The means to a professional sports clubrequires large numbers of people living in close proximity who have time to spectate and moneyto afford to do so and there must also be other clubs with the same means to compete against. Toorganise this event of two professional clubs takes organisation and communication andnewspapers were the earliest form of commercialism. The internet, radio and television are themodern updates of commercialism and reach out to larger audiences. Only in the last threedecades has the internet been available and it has provided an advanced way of communicating.
Government
With sport now becoming a major industry the government has implemented commercialisationstrategies on sport to capitalise on the growing potential the industry has. There are moreinvestments on grassroots, coaching and managerial aspects of sport to encourage participationincrease andexpand the professional sector. The British sports ministers announced in 2002 that£459 million was being invested in school sports to promote sport participation(www.culture.gov.uk). With this strategy in place it increases sales on sporting goods such asequipment, supplements and television broadcasts. The sporting sector also generates incomethrough facilities, education and sports events such as the Olympics.Governments have played with commercialism to exploit the going trend in sport, they haverecognised the profit they can make using education programmes and courses. It is true that bykeeping everyone healthy it puts less strain on the health service but it can also be recognisedthat the government can manipulate the public by publishing statistics from leading scientists andexperts stating the benefits of sport and nutrition. Over 200 universities in North America offer degree programmes in sport management and it is one of the fastest growing areas of study inAmerican universities (Chelladurai, 1997). By offering these highly recognised degrees thegovernment starts a matrix of occurrences that creates revenue. Individuals pay for and gaindegrees and go into professional areas of sport, these can range anywhere from physiotherapiststo sports development officers and they help promote and influence more sports into turning professional.Professionalisation of sports management is now a pivotal influence in modern sport. A trend ingood management practice being the key to organisational survival is evident in the modern dayculture, where performance is measured and management techniques and marketing plans areimplemented to improve practice in all areas within sport. It can be argued there is more demandfor management teams to be implemented within clubs to ensure survival, with the belief organisation within a club can be a key factor to success. In 2003 sports minister RichardCaborn stated “
there are over 400 governing bodies and only 120 odd sports
”, this was to reflect
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