Sport and the Corporate World

Authored by: Barry Smart

Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829731
eBook ISBN: 9780203404065
Adobe ISBN: 9781134116621


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Sport has become increasingly immersed in the corporate world and ever more dependent on the lucrative financial returns that flow from commercial sponsorship, endorsement contracts, and media broadcasting rights. Sport events, teams, and athletes are now known not only for the competitive tournaments and performances with which their identities have become synonymous, but also, by virtue of an increasingly pervasive corporate logic that structures the sporting world, as commercial brands (Gratton et al. 2012; Perelman 2012; Smart 2005, 2007). Sport teams and athletes are ranked not only in terms of their competitive sporting performances and tournament successes but also, as is the case with sport events, according to commercial brand value. The three events considered in the corporate world to be the most valuable sporting properties are the Super Bowl, the Summer Olympic Games, and the FIFA World Cup, with estimated brand values of $470 million, $348 million, and $147 million respectively (Forbes 2012).

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