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USA- The Nature of Sport and Commercialism

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Jack Evans

on 15 December 2010

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Transcript of USA- The Nature of Sport and Commercialism

Win Ethic Frontier Spirit Commercialism American Football USA Sport in the USA is a reflection of it's culture. Games such as basketball, with it's high tempo and levels of physical extertion required, reflected the drive and enterprise needed in the so called 'land of opportunity.' The 'Win Ethic' is key in US sports, all American sports cannot result in a draw; winning is the only possible outcome. 100% commitment is needed by everyone to succeed, as in the highly competitive life lived by modern Americans, as well as their ancestors. The origin of this 'win ethic' is believed to have come from something known as 'frontier spirit.' In pre-Colonial America, the native inhabitants of the country faced a constant battle for their land and homes. When the europeans first arrived, from England, Ireland, Porugal, etc. they tried to claim areas of American land as their own. The natives either fought off the invaders and won the battle, or died. This philosphy, known as 'Frontier Spirit,' has carried on throught generations and is the reason for the 'win or die' attitude in sport in the USA today. Commercialism Sport=BUSINESS! Professional Sport dominates society in the USA, reflecting the country's competitive and capitalist nature. Major corporate business' use sport to advertise their products and services. Even school sports attract large sponshorship deals, with many colleges and schools achieving high levels of spectators with their high standard of skill. There is huge media and TV interest in sport and it's participants, from college youngsters to experienced professionals. 'Stars' and idols are 'born,' and thrust into the public eye. College players receive top quality coaching, in order to be of such a quality for top profesisonal clubs to draft them into their teams. Teams are known as 'franchises,' which come into existance for the profit of their owners. The large media interest and sponsorships fund sport, from grass roots to the top professional levels, showing the huge emphasis on sport in American society. From..... Origins Commercialism Developed in 'Ivy League' Universities, such as Yale, Harvard and Princeton, in North-Eastern US. In early 1800's, there were no written rules to the game, with Universities playing their own adaptions of the game. Play was so brutal and physical that it was banned by authorites for a while. It is believed that the rough, physical nature of the game, requiring toughness and endeavour, mirrors the dedicated, forceful attitude of modern and early American citizens, with survival and success depending on physical exertion. The first game between colleges took place in 1869 and has grown into the rich, vastly popular, commercialist's dream it is today. American Football is now a multi-billion dollar business, dominating American media and society. The NFL is a group of companies. Teams are either privately owned or run as public companies. They are bought or inherited and known as 'franchises.' Inflation in the funding of the NFL franchises is caused by many factores, including increased spectator interest, media interest, and inflating profit from TV rights to broadcast games. The games involve vast amounts of advertising throughout, with adverts appearing on screens in half-time intervals, time-out's and any available break in play. This is not just extended to inside the stadiums, commercial breaks during tv breaks take up almost as much as air time as the game itself. The franchises can be known to simply relocate hundreds of miles from their original fanbase, simply for profit. This leads us to question the motives behing participation in the modern day professional game. Are players in the game for the extrinsic profit it brings, rather than for the love and enjoyment of the sport itself? Witth the huge wages earned, it is easy to see where players' motives are corrupted, The Super Bowl The championship game of the NFL, takes place on 'Super Bowl Sunday' every year. This day has become the second largest food consumption day in the USA, after thanksgiving, giving an idea of the profit available to companies in this particular event, viewed by many all over the world. The estimated cost for a prestigious time slot for an advert in a commercial break is around $2.6 billion for 30 seconds. Half-time is an hour long with many TV networks taking advantage of their huge audiences by producing independent half-time entertainment, of course featuring more advertisment. Huge superstars recognised world-wide, such as Sir Paul McCartney, are drafted in as enterntainment in the half-time show-it is more of an event than just a football game. 'Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing.'
-Vince Lombardi, NFL Coach.
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