The sport industry has experienced tremendous growth in the past century. This has been facilitated by technological advancements and developments in infrastructure. The sports industry has had to undergo a metamorphosis to help supplement the ever-growing demand, they have achieved this through various strategies. Commensurate to the development of effective strategies, emphasis must be laid on entertainment, as it is a critical factor in sporting events.
Transformation of sports
Sporting events can be traced back to 11 BCE, where Herod the Great, King of Judea, held the first Olympics. Gradually the sports industry evolved and took characteristics of modern day businesses. Sports clubs, tournaments and leagues are the most prevalent structures that are used currently to organize modern day sports. “The two most critical factors that have caused a fundamental shift from how sports used to be organized to the modern day sport is sponsorships of sports and sporting leagues,” says Kelly Auburn, Toulmin Essay writer specializing on sports-related topics.
Sports leagues have been organized in different ways in line with the overall strategy of the sporting industry or entity, in order to complement the sporting organization participating in it. This mainly requires the coordination of at least two different teams. A league can adopt two types of schedules an elimination tournament or a round-robin tournament. England is considered the birth of modern sports management; this is because most of the sporting events can be traced back to England, from tracking events to the football field. England’s influence in the sporting culture was brought forth by its dominance over its colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century, sports clubs were developed in England and the membership was limited to the individual who was considered economically and politically powerful within the English society. During these times, early clubs organized one-time events or annual events that brought together remember of different clubs. In the 19th century, changes were effected with clubs having acquired standardized rules and organized seasons of competitions. In the 21st century, sport management structures are gradually being replaced by alternative management structures. “This can be seen in the case of elite European clubs such as Real Madrid, Olympiakos and Manchester City,” notes Peter Hawks, APA Outline sports writer at ConfidentWriters. The Olympic Games have also revolutionized from its early days and now it resembles tournament structures.
Sponsorships have increasingly become an important source of revenue because sports require financing and even sports organizations that are considered to be well off, welcome additional sources of funds, from sponsorship-related activities. The importance of sponsorship can be seen in the fact that sponsorship is one of the most important sources of revenue for the Olympic Games. Sponsorship is a marketing strategy that aims to pursue commercial and corporate objectives by associating with a certain sports organization.
How sponsorship has changed the nature of sports
Sponsorship is used to refer to a market strategy that aims to pursue certain commercial and corporate objectives by associating with a particular organization, personality, brand and even product. An example of sponsorship can be seen at Arsenal football club, where Fly emirates stadium built the Emirates stadium, we can also see this in the fact that Adidas sponsors the All Blacks rugby team. The growth in sponsorships has been attributed to a number of factors such as:
- The importance of sponsorships in increasing an organization’s profile in terms of generating sales
- The inefficiencies of traditional media coverage, for example, viewers flipping channels during advertisements
- Sponsorship is believed to be a cost-effective marketing communication tool, compared to adverting media which is experiencing a rise in costs
- Extensive media coverage of the sponsored events
- Policies concerning alcohol and tobacco, caused the manufacturers of such products to look for other viable alternatives of promotional media
The shift in how sports organization got their funding, made the sports organizations to be market-oriented in the pursuit of operational strategies to cater to the needs of the fans. Sports management has become focused on the maximization of revenue using strategies, and more consultative decision-making processes. Over the recent past, sports organization have experienced an unprecedented rise in expenditures on factors such as player’s salaries, television rights and sponsorships.
The amount of money spent by this sports organization, and the following that these sports organizations have, have led politicians to become involved, with sections of world leaders being aligned to a certain sports organization. Sponsorship means that the sports events will get a lot of media coverage, for example in the U.S; it is a white house tradition to welcome the NFL champions for a visit. George Bush also went on the field before the super bowl in New Orleans, for a coin toss. Due to the number of people interested in sports worldwide, supporting certain teams will give a politician mileage in their political careers. This importance of sports personalities is also seen in England where the Queen knighted David Beckham for all his achievements and contributions he made to English football.
Impact of sports sponsorship to sports
The main purpose of sponsorship is to target huge consumers, through different modes of advertising such as advertising, promotion and media exposure. Sport sponsorship is a very effective tool, in the association of brand with sports, in creating a connection with the sports fans. A lot of money is being spent on sports organization through sponsorship. Sport sponsorship has reached levels in which sports organizations or personalities that attract sponsorship, will receive unprecedented levels of income. Organization sponsor sports because of image enhancements.
Positive impacts of sponsorship
Sponsorship is a critical component to the modern day sport. Sponsorship has helped in the development of sports in terms of increasing competition. Sponsorship helps sports organization, to earn more money and buy world-class players from around the world. For example, in the English Premier League, a majority of players come from all around the world. This helps in increasing competition levels within the leagues. Increasing competition levels translates to an increase in the number of fans, which can help the company earn more revenue. Sponsorships has also helped in the facilitation of charity events by sports organizations. It has helped the sporting organizations to build state of the art stadium and sporting facilities that are safe for the fans and participants.
Sponsorship has helped in the development of sports by providing the necessary equipment and facilities that enable the sports organization to run smoothly. For example, the Emirates Stadium was built with the help of Emirates Airlines, for the Arsenal Football club. Sponsorships also help in providing gears such as jerseys and equipments used for training. Sponsorship helps sports organizations to engage in corporate social responsibility. This is because it offers another source of income, apart from charges levied to the fans. For example, Etihad airlines helped Manchester city in the installation of wind-powered turbines to help in the conservation of the environment around the Etihad stadium.
Negative impact of sponsorship of sports
Sponsorships in sports help kill competition, in that sports organizations that have backing from sponsors are more competitive than other sports organizations in that, they can be able to buy and offer high wages to players or coaches, and by doing so increasing the sport organization performance. This is done at the expense of other sporting organizations. This is because individual star players in weak teams will tend to be attracted to big clubs due to career advancement opportunities and their wages. The injection of huge amounts of money through sponsorship affects fair play within the sporting industry in that it reduces competition among different teams. Fair play means that teams are accorded equal opportunities as all those who are involved. The pressure that comes with sponsorship, with the expectation of success of the sports organization, can affect individual athletes, and this pressure may lead some of them to use performance-enhancing drugs to improve their performances. Sponsorship in sports may also lead to cases of match-fixing scandals, in that sports organization with large sponsorship backing can buy off, other teams to change the outcome of their matches together, in favour of the financially strong sports organization.
Sports has continued to evolve over time, with a renewed focus on the fans, who are the backbone of sports. In recent times sports has been in sharp focus as sports is viewed as recession resistant. This has caused a number of changes in the sporting industry, with corporate bodies, injecting money into the sports industry through sponsorship. The sports industry has continued to develop as can be seen with the number of leagues around the world. This has looked into the changing face of sports today, playing special attention to the evolution of sports through leagues. We have also discussed on sponsorship and its effects in the sporting industry.