Sport is becoming a business. More and more companies are getting involved in sporting events. Do you think that it is a positive or negative development?
Major sporting events attract millions of viewers. Needless to say, they have become quite popular with corporates trying to reach more and more customers. By sponsoring popular sporting events companies significantly improve their brand recall value. Nowadays, big corporate houses are not only sponsoring sports events; they are also buying sports teams. It is a win-win situation for both. Sport gets the financial assistance it desperately needs. Companies build their brands. However, this development, too, has some negative aspects. Let’s analyze.
Now that companies pump in millions of dollars into many sports items, talented players are eager to enter the field. This is a definitely a positive development. Sportsmen, at least those who play popular items, are now assured of a steady income. In the olden days, many sports persons weren’t earning enough to make a living. Prize money wasn’t good. Sponsorship deals hardly ever existed. This deterred many talented players from pursuing a career in sports. Now the situation is totally different. Corporate sponsorship has also helped many sporting events from becoming extinct.
On the flip side, when sports become a business, the focus can shift from talent to profit. Although big prize monies and sponsorship deals can attract fresh talent into the game, sometimes the same can lead to problems like match fixing. It is not uncommon for international cricket and football players to get involved in match fixing controversies. The pressure to perform can also compel many players to consume performance enhancing drugs. What’s more, the events that attract corporate involvement are already popular on their own. For example, in India cricket is hugely popular so companies are eager to sponsor cricketers. Players of other less popular events don’t have any sponsors.
After analyzing both sides of the argument, it is not hard to see that corporates entering the field of sports is both good and bad. Big prize money and sponsorship deals will definitely encourage more people to pursue a career in sports. On the other hand, companies will always have business interest in their mind. Sometimes this can take the focus off the game.
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Sponsorship money is the life blood of major sports in America and the rest of the world. Having sponsorship funding allows athletes and organizations to focus more on the training and production of their sports, as well as reduce the stress that comes with finding money to train and put on events. In some sports such as NASCAR sponsorship presence is very recognizable, but even sports like golf or tennis sponsors factor heavily.
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For athletes in individual sports, a sponsorship can take them from a part-time amateur athlete to a full-time professional. Athletes such as fighters, track and field athletes and race car drivers rely on sponsorship money to allow them to train full time. Without sponsor money, many would be forced to work full-time jobs and would not have an adequate amount of time to train. This leaves them at a disadvantage facing opponents who have the resources to devote their lives to their sport.
From little league baseball all the way up to NASCAR, teams rely on sponsorship money to function effectively. Without sponsors many of these teams would not survive, and the surviving teams would not be able to travel and compete as easily. Without sponsors, team owners and officials would be forced to focus on fundraising, which would take the focus away from building the best team possible. When you see local businesses on the jerseys of a little league baseball team, or sponsor stickers covering a stock car, each of those sponsors paid money or provided a service for that exposure. Money from sponsors allows these teams the ability to plan their season, pay for travel and equipment, and advertise to bring in fans.
Sports leagues as large as the NFL and UFC also function and rely on sponsorship money. Whenever you hear a product being advertised in a commercial as "the official product" of a certain league, you can be sure sponsorship money was paid for that right. Although not as visible as NASCAR decals covering their cars, the NFL receives a great deal of money from sports apparel companies, beverage companies and many other products. Being associated with a league as popular as the NFL is a premier marketing tool for these companies.
If not for his many endorsements it's likely that Michael Jordan would not be as famous for certain products as he is today. Starting with his Nike shoe deal, he's gone on to endorse products from underwear to sports drinks. Appearing in print and video ads has greatly helped to broaden his audience past those who watched him for what he did with a basketball in his hands. People who didn't follow basketball knew who he was from his many commercials.
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