Media involvement in sport and the betterment
Do You Agree That The Media’S Involvement In Sport Has Made It Better? Discuss The Positives And Negatves Of The Commercialisation We Have Witnessed Over Recent Years. What Has This Meant Dor Sport Fans And Other Stakeholders Involved In The Industry?
Table of Contents
In a general way commercialisation means the process of bringing new services and products to the market. In a broader aspect sale, customer support, production, distribution and other key features essential for commercial success of new service and product are included with the core concept of commercialisation (Mattila, Yrjölä and Lehtimäki, 2019). Sports commercialisation is such an aspect of sport enterprise that covers display, sales and using the sport or some of the features of the sport to produce financial income (Clausen et al., 2018). As media is related with the display of sports, it plays an important role in sports commercialisation (Moscoso Sanchez, Fernandez Gavira and Perez Flores, 2018). In this essay media involvement, positive and negative impacts of sports commercialisation are going to be discussed. On the other hand, analysingthe ways sports commercialisation has impacted fans and other stakeholders of the sports industry are going to be analysed here as well. The thesis statement of the essay is to analyse different aspects of sports commercialisation and media involvement in it.
Media coverage of sports means that all the events and other associated aspects are properly being presented ahead of the audience. While digital media is related with proper broadcast of the sports event, nowadays, social media are covering other associated aspects of the sports event (Phua, 2010). As indicated by Jang et al. (2021), quality of sports broadcast plays an important role in attracting the fans. Sports enthusiasts who already are attracted to a particular sport are attracted by the coverage of events using high-tech cameras. This, also triggers them to scratch for more event related information in the special media pages or channels of that event. However, who are not sports enthusiasts, normal media coverage is liked by them. Thus, it can be said that media has a direct impact on the viewing experience of the sports fans (Jang et al. 2021).
Media involvement in sports dates back to 1883. Sports always had the capacity to attract enthusiasts. Technological innovations, increased urbanisation, industrial revolution, all have triggered the amalgamation of media and sports. New York Journal is the first newspaper, dating back to 1895, introducing a separate section for sports. From then, the array of media coverage has changed hugely (sportsmediaguy.com, 2017). Not only the broadcast or print media, but recently social media has also started to highly impact the sports. Using the social media clubs, stars and fans are interacting with each other and it is increasing the interest as well as fan loyalty to particular sports. Social media on one hand making the fans more engaging with the sports events on the other hand making the sporting professionals more accountable to the public as they are considered as youth icons (latrobe.edu.au 2022). Sports people never hoped to be biased. In 2012, Voula Papachristou was ejected from the Olympic games for making racist tweet on Twitter. Therefore, it can be said that social media is helping in understanding the genuine nature of the sports person which also helps in keeping the game fair (latrobe.edu.au 2022).
One of the recent benefits that sports media involvement provides is generating a high level of income. Efficient media professionals like cameramen, producers and commentators present the media sports package in such an attractive way that excites the audience and increased audience potential attracts the sponsors as well (Thorpe and Dumont, 2018). Sponsorship directly deals with paid advertising or marketing of a product or service. Due to huge media coverage sponsors target the sports events as they can get potential customers from sports audiences. As an example, it can be said that Arsenal had earned on an average £30 million from its shirt sponsor Emirates. A huge amount of sports event costs is compensated by the sponsorship money (mirror.co.uk, 2017). Even some sports events are organised depending on sponsors. If media coverage was not there this would not have been possible. As indicated by Smith and Martiny (2018), sports related stereotypes are more in case of less media covered sports. If just twenty years of timespan is viewed, then it can be observed that Women’s cricket had nearly no global media coverage. It gave rise to the patriarchal stereotype that women cannot play cricket. However, still many countries had ICC recognised women’s cricket teams back then. With the increased media coverage of women’s cricket, stereotypical division between men’s and women’s cricket has diminished. Thus, it can be said that gender stereotypes in cricket have diminished (cardiffmet.ac.uk, 2015). As an example, it can be said that media coverage has increased the virtual as well as direct spectators of Women’s cricket globally (Thecricketer.com, 2022).
The sports media nexus can be better described by the application of the Golden triangle model. The sponsors, covering media and elite sport, all three components are interlinked with each other. Media has the expertise and the technical efficiency to produce spots as a package in front of the viewers. Using the broadcasting rights media can also provide important financial resources. Companies and renowned brands provide sports sponsorship in the form of money in exchange of visibility of their services and products in the sports events. In this way, the media on one hand handles the financial resources and on the other hand manages the interest of the audiences (Thibault, 2009).
The positive aspect of sports commercialisation is that it deals with making profit from sports.
Sport commercialisation and performance improvement
In recent years, sports have highly benefited from commercialisation. Increased profits have helped the sports organisations and the players to improve performance and attract support (Fahlén and Stenling, 2019). Technology is one of the most important arts of sports coverage. Using the media coverage and technology engaging participants, spectators and arranging funding through commercialisation are some crucial benefits (bbc.co.uk, 2022). As an example, it can be said that due to postponement of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 for COVID 19, the sports association of Japan had faced huge losses. However, the losses were recurved 70% by the money of broadcasting media rights and over 18% from the money gained from sponsors like Coca Cola, Airbnb, Alibaba, Atos and many more (startuptalky.com, 2021). Thus, it can be said that sports commercialisation has helped to arrange the Tokyo Olympics even amidst pandemics.
Increased and exposure and simultaneous media benefits
Commercialisation highly deals with media exposure of sports. A prime time sports coverage not only increases the exposure of the events but also increases the audiences of that particular media channel (Hutchins, Li and Rowe, 2019). Therefore, it can be said that the two parameters of the golden triangle of commercialisation, elite sports events and media benefit each other. As an example, it can be said that Discovery, which had the European broadcasting rights of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, had driven a record number of subscribers which had helped in boosting the channel revenue by 21% which amounted more than $3 billion (theguardian.com, 2021).
Advertisements and reversible benefit of sponsors
Sponsors benefit the sports organisations. Sponsors also benefit from sponsoring the organisations. The funding of the sponsors benefits the sports events and the players, moreover advertisements also increase the exposure of the sponsors as well (Peluso, Rizzo and Pino, 2019). With the funding of the sponsors, events get benefitted and the possible consumers of the products of the sponsors also get increased. Thus, it can be said that sports commercialisation in the modern world benefits and also benefits sponsors. As an example, it can be said that FIFA World Cup sponsorship and campaign of Coca Cola had helped it to boost up this sales by 5% globally (marketingweek.com, 2010). Thus, it can be said that funding of Coca Cola has helped to successfully execute the FIFA World Cup successfully while the consumers of the company have also increased.
Increased participation of the players as well as audience in unpopular sports or even in popular sports are the two crucial benefits that sports commercialisation provides currently. As indicated by Rowe (2019), increased commercialization is related with increased exposure of a sport that is less popular. As already discussed in the previous section, as the media limelight has been vested on women sports, participation of women has started to increase in international sports. Commercialisation has helped in reducing social taboo in the global sports market. As an example, it can be said that commercialisation was the driver which had caused equal number of games for male and female in London Olympics 2012 (thesportjournal.org, 2022).
Thus, it can be said that commercialisation has helped the sports industry to get increased participation from all the sectors. Simon and Owojaiye (2019), have said that increased sports exposure encourages children to get engaged in sports. Media broadcasts that many inspiring
Costs of a fan in light of social identification theory
Social identity theory can be widely applied for sports fans. Social identity generally derives from the information of an individual’s self-concept derived from his/her membership in a social group (Phua, 2010). Applying the concept of this there, it can be said that when a sports spectator is a member of a specific group, he/she tries to match all he choices with other members of that group. The in-group decisional similarities sometimes create a burden on the sports fans (Phua, 2010). Commercialisation is highly related to increasing exposure. As the sponsors give their labels on the shirts, jerseys and other accessories, the price of the things also get increased. Moreover, vibrant promotional campaigns around a sports event require excessive expenditures which are ultimately levied on the ticket prices. As a fan always tries to remain loyal to the sports event or club, he/she has to pay more to watch the game. Thus, cost burden is a negative impact of sports commercialisation.
Distraction of players
Distraction of the players is another drawback. With increased sports commercialisation the price money and profit of the players also get increased. Therefore, players always try to give their best in the tournaments that have higher prize money than the national tournaments. However, sports are not all about earning money rather deal with inspiring people (Summerley, 2020). It has been observed that playing too much makes the players tired and they cannot give their best when it comes to playing for the national team. It has often been observed that the English national soccer team has performed poorly in the football tournaments but in the same season the same players have played well for their respective English Premier League clubs (theguardian.com, 2016). The performance of Indian national team in T20 World cup 2021 is also fatigue of IPL. he players were tired but as commercialisation is at top notch in IPL and players want to make money as well, they never say no to the tournament which ultimately have distracted them from their performance as a national team in international tournaments (news18.com, 2021).
Inequalities and sports coverage and sponsorship
As already discussed in the previous section, sports commercialisation has highlighted many unknown sports events and have made them popular. In contradiction with this aspect, increased commercialisation also causes inequalities (hoddereducation.co.uk, 2022). As indicated by Górecka (2020), famous sponsors generally prefer to sponsor the popular sports as more spectators already watch the sports events. As commercialisation of anything is directly related with financial profit, it makes the sponsors choose the game or event which is financially profitable to them. As an example it can be said that in 2018, when the English football club Arsenal had signed a sponsorship deal worth £200 with Emirates until 2024. On the other hand, the English hockey team had struggled to just manage £2.2m sponsorship for the team (thenationalnews.com, 2018). From this instance, it can be said that massive sports commercialisation creates discrimination which is clearly visible from these facts.
Sports stakeholders are the entities who are intricately involved with the sports events like community, participants, financial stakeholders, governing bodies and spectators (idpublications.org, 2022). With increased commercialization the national governing bodies lose control over the sports agenda. As an example, it can be said that the event timing can be changed based on the demand of the television as a huge amount of financial deal is involved here. As an example, it can be said that Super League Rigby was switched to the summer game just to maintain the demands of the media broadcasters and the sponsors (mirror.co.uk, 2016). On the other hand, it can be said that top sponsors like Coca Cola, Airbnb have helped the Japan government to turn Tokyo Olympics 2020 into reality after postponement (startuptalky.com, 2021).
Media focus is a strong encouragement for the players. Proper commercialisation involves media focus, thus, players try to perform better. It can be observed for the English Football players’ performance in the EPL (hoddereducation.co.uk, 2022). As indicated by Sedky, Kortam and AbouAish (2020), it can be said that sports commercialisation and media coverage involving both social as well as digital media attract the audiences towards the less popular games. It is the media coverage that has attracted increased audiences in the Women’s cricket tournaments (forbes.com, 2019). Referring to the discussion of the Golden triangle in sports, it can be said that financial stakeholders or sponsors of sports events and the sports authorities have reversible dependency on each other (Parent, 2008). Popular sports events increase the visibility of the sponsors to a greater aspect. Moreover, most of the premiere sports events are executed by the financial investment of the sponsors.
From the detailed analysis made in the essay, it can be said that commercialisation has made the exposure of the sports event to a legendary level. Broadcasters play an important role in creating revenue from sports events (Jang et al., 2021). It is the impact of huge commercialisation that the performance level of the sports person and the amount of profit from the sports events have increased. Thus, it can be said that commercialisation of sports has both negative and positive impacts on its stakeholders.
From the overall discussion made in the essay, it can be concluded that commercialisation in sports has helped in overall development of sports. With increased media involvement, spectators have been interested in the less popular sports. It has been observed that media limelight has increased the audience number in the Women’s cricket matches. However, commercialisation is not all good. Increased involvement of money and exposure make the sports person greedy and they sometimes prefer money more than the performance level. In this essay both the positive and negative impact of sports commercialisation on different stakeholders has been highlighted in the essay. Thus, it can be said that the thesis statement of the essay has been achieved properly. Commercialisation in sports is essential but over reliance on commercialisation can have negative impacts on enhancement of sports or associated events.
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