Consumption and Sport

DAVID L. ANDREWS and BRYAN C. CLIFT

University of Maryland, USA

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs075

In the twenty-first century, sport represents a popular and prominent aspect of what is a pervasive consumer culture (Horne 2006). The concerted commercialization of sport has been a process that can be traced back, at the very least, to the rapidly urbanizing mass culture of the early to mid phases of the industrial revolution. However, it has only been since the end of World War II that broader enmeshed economic, social, cultural, and technological transformations have drastically reshaped the sporting landscape according to the dictates of a seemingly unrelenting, corporate-led culture of consumption. Within this moment, the combined processes of corporatization, commodification, spectacularization, and celebritization have rendered sport a vivid expression of a late capitalist economy, within which cultural products and processes have played an ever more pivotal role (Jameson 1998). From its basic internal logic as competitive athletic practices, the pervasive commodification of sport as a culture industry has led to its re-engineering as primarily a mode of commercial entertainment. Hence, contemporary sporting events (specifically those high-profile, meticulously structured, and heavily financed physically based contests between teams and/or individuals) are illustrative of an economic formation characterized by an inextricably conjoined commercialized ...

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