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.