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Money Games: The Emergence of Sporting Industry &Globalization

Musa Ahmed
Since the beginning of times, humans have found different forms to entertain themselves and sports played a primary role for entertainment and leisure to an industry that rivals any other in size and power. Sports is the type of co-curricular activity that extends back to military training to evaluate individuals based on physical skills, team work and discipline. Although the concept is pretty old, most of the games didn’t exist 120 years ago. With the evolution of sportsmany people blended into the modern popular culture, which reflected changes in their social attitude and standards. Along with an increased influence of sports in politics, social culture and possibly education, it is impossible to talk about modern sports without considering the money influxinto this emerging industry, particularly the strong links established by various commercial enterprises. Stadiums and arenas bearing the names of businesses that pay to buy the naming rights to venues, sponsors’ logos appear on athletes’ clothing and equipment, sporting facilities owned by the businesses owned by them and the titles of the events in which the compete which include major cities across the globe, utilizing the expense of social projects to stage sporting events and attract professional athletes into their area. Media companies spend bulk some of money on right to broadcast sporting events, and advertisers pay to promote their product using commercials and pop-ups during the games, as they have proven to maximize their level of capital accumulation.Many media companies like Sky Sports, BTV Sports, NBCSN and TSN have availed in the cultural significance of sport to not only enhance profits but also building a complete media empire. Technological influence can also be witnessed in the world of sport from a small scale of fitness to big sporting events, gadgets like fitness watches and applications like Fitbit are used regularly and field based techs like Goal-line technology have given fruitful results in football.Massive amount of money is spent on transfers of star athletes with a huge contracts and release clauses, example can be taken of Neymar, a Brazilian footballer with a world record transfer fee of $263 million. Similarly, James Harden, Houston Rocket’s Basketball sensation signed a $228 million extension of contract till 2022-23. The frequency of the links between sports and businesses have dramatically increased over the past 30 to 40 years as professional sport franchises like Manchester City Football Club, Paris Saint-Germain(PSG)etc. were taken over by billionaires and multi-national companies for sums that are higher than the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) of some countries.With the commercialization of sport on the rise, the sporting goods industry has also triumphed respectively. From struggling entrepreneurs to national businesses to transnational corporations, the sport companies have cemented their place into the global economy, as they have moved the production side of their operations usually to developing countries using female, low-cost, non-unionized labor which have proven successful in the pursuit of capital and exploitation of those who work within the industry. The main sporting good industries include Adidas, Nike, Puma, Under Armor etc.Generally, we see that there is no Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code for sport and business but still related activities are commonly recognized as being part of the sport industry are recorded under a variety of SIC codes. Red Bull, for example, which has part of its operations in sport in the form of Motorsports, X Games and Futsal, is listed under ‘Energy Drinks’, Disney is listed under ‘recreational activities’ and Churchill Downs under ‘casinos and gaming’.Despite the difficulties in clearly distinguishing what constitutes the sport industry, there have been several attempts to estimate the value of commercial interest in sport, due to its constant fluctuation. The Sports market in North America alone was worth $60.5 billion in 2014, which shall reach up to $73.5 billion by 2019, according to Forbes Magazine. Meanwhile, U.S economic arch-rival, China whom had a sporting cultural revolution in the form of Basketball’s popularity and Chinese Super League, an emerging football league with superstars, are making billions of dollars, with Sporting companies like Nike totaled $8.4 billion sales in 2017 and Adidas making $3 billion, eventually increasing the sale of sporting goods in Asia-Pacific by 60%. The European market has not come slow in revenue as they made $10,522 million, which is expected to reach $13,596 million in 2022. The products include sporting equipment, fitness application and sports nutrition products.Despite the fact that the studies cited above are highly subjective, what can be inferred from them is that there is a large commercial involvement and secondly the level of involvement is growing and it shall keep on expanding as from every ordinary man to a business tycoon has taken a keen interest in the world of sport.

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