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Advantages & Disadvantages of Commercialization in Sports

Exposure

    Commercialization is about media exposure for the sport. If a major company sponsors an event it is much more likely to get prime time television coverage, bringing in greater advertising revenues and exposing more people to the sport. This will bring in more fans, improve the profitability of local sports clubs, which in turn helps the local economy and revives community spirit when the team is performing well.

Participation

    With increased exposure of the game comes increased participation. For example, when a national team does well at the Olympics the number of children taking up the sport increases. This is at a time when there is national worry about the health of young people with regards to what they eat and the level of exercise they participate in. The commercialization of sport which leads to increased exposure, encourages children to get more exercise and reduce obesity. It can also help young people find a hobby which gets them off the streets and discourages them from crime.

Funding

    Sports teams are businesses like any other and they need to make money to survive. The only way they can keep up with rising wage costs, improving facilities and bringing in new players is to sell advertising space to increase revenues. All fans want to see their team succeed and are not fussy about the sponsor's logo on the team shirt or billboards around the ground. There have on some occasions been problems when the name of the stadium has been changed to include a corporate trademark.

Fan Costs

    One of the main problems with increased commercialization from a fan's perspective is the feeling the increased costs are passed on to them. Ticket prices, refreshments and team shirt prices have all gone up at the same time more and more advertising space is sold around the stadium and television rights are sold for almost every game.

Player Distraction

    It has been claimed in some sports that commercialization results in poorer player performance at international levels. For example the underperformance of the England soccer team despite the domestic Premier League having the highest wages of any soccer league in the world. Commercialization also offers a distraction from the game as the top name players are singed up by major labels to promote products.

Advertisements

    For those watching at home the main drawback of commercialization in sport are the advertisements that appear every time the game stops. Every camera position at the Superbowl is now sponsored by a different company, there are commercials shown almost continually and the advertisements during half time are the most expensive pieces of air time that can be purchased. All of this could be seen as a major distraction from the sport itself. Critics claim the pace, and occasionally the outcome, of major league sports games are dictated by television commercials.

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About the Author

This article was written by the SportsRec team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about SportsRec, contact us here.

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