Kinesiology and Sport in Society Trevor Slack wrote an article that principally emphases on how aspects of visible modern sports are strongly linked to commercial enterprises. Slack quotes in his prolog that the several attempts of trying to evaluate the value of business interests in sports is extremely subjective. A conclusion can be made is that commercial interest in sports is on a continuous verge of booming growth (Klavora, 2007).
Contained in the article, Slack employs various contributors of rich academic backgrounds that consent incorporation of the fascinating diversity of perspectives. The article, thus, blends smoothly with the approach of the Sport in the Global Society series. As a result, the article has an appealing eclecticism, healthy critically, and very edifying and revealing. The report is divided into five sections with each section clearly handles every aspect of the sporting industry that has been in the headlines about the commercial sector. The chapters not only give a detailed synopsis of specific areas of the sports industry, but also ventures into various types of work that can be conducted on the commercialization of sports.
Slack piece equally articulates that stadiums and arenas are branded with names of businesses that pay to buy the naming rights of these venues. Commercial logos appear in almost every sports facility ranging from clothing, shoes, equipment, and in the title events they conduct. Media companies have in turn made enormous amounts of profits on rights of broadcasting sporting events. Advertisers correspondingly pay for the advertisement of their products in commercial breaks during screening of sports events. Star athletes are similarly transferred to millions of dollars, and sports franchises are sold at higher prices more than the GDP of some countries.
In the first chapter, Slack focuses on what he believes as a more culturally core area of the sports industry. He ascertains that under late capitalism, cultural manufacturing, as opposed to traditional manufacturing, has become a primary method of wealth accumulation. The cultural magnitude of sports is employed by individuals within the media and communications industries to grow their profit statements of their companies. He takes an example with Olympic Games to illustrate how power elite of the media world annexed sports, drafted it advocated it, and delivered it just to escalate their level of capital buildup.In the second part, Slack looks at the expansion of the sporting goods industry, which he argues that has developed from grappling entrepreneurs to national businesses and finally into transnational corporations. Slack describes the social and historical factors that facilitated the growth of these industries. In the article, he shows different industries that have been integrated into the global economy. For instance, he shows how Nike has benefited from the new economy that has enabled them to make massive sales of sporting goods. He also illustrates how, in the search of capital, much of the sports industry is grounded on the stipulation and exploitation of those employed in the industry.
However, Barrie Houlihan seems to have a slightly diverging opinion. He argues that, in sports, commercial companies are viewed as the chief vehicle of globalization and international sports organizations playing secondary roles. In his reasoning, he sees international organizations playing a vital duty in sports globalization. An example is during club transfers and ownership of broadcasting rights.
In this article, Slack likewise raises the issue of involving the public sector in sports commercialization. He ventures into the question of professional sports subsidization by the government for the teams to have a large fan base. He uses the scenario of Canadian teams that do not have an expansive fan base compared in the U.S. After exploring and evaluating the evolution of different leagues in the U.S. lack concluded that, the cartel structures of professional sports have enabled leagues to experience economic success both to their owners and to players.
The last part of this article deals with one of the core areas of commercial sports: sponsorship. Slack brings a very critical perspective of to the act of support. He argues that most of the scholars who have undergone studies in sponsorship activities of companies do not critically look at the rationale for involving themselves or the consequences they may incur. Slack challenges the traditional idea of support as being an exchange of relationship, but rather reveals the unequal psyche of the exchange. He manages to show how sponsorship escalates capital accumulation of sponsoring institutions, shifts the experience realized in sports, the impact it has on disadvantaged fans (Klavora, 2007).
In highlighting these factors, Slack issues substantial critiques of an activity that has for a long time has been associated with sports. By considering the amount of money spent in sponsorship deals, such analysis raises an alarm on the rationale of frequently presented sponsorship deals. Slack carefully examines sponsorship deals from tobacco, alcohol, and gambling companies can lead to a massive capital increase in these companies despite the negative impacts it may have on the society. Given the gradual speed that commercial businesses have permeated sports and the various increasing practices in this sector, it calls for us to evaluate these changes availed to us. Raising issues about commercialization does help in improving the quality of the sport.
Klavora, P. (2007). Foundations of kinesiology: Studying human movement and health. Toronto: Sport Books Publisher.