Professional sports are producing billions of US Dollars yearly. The business management of pro sports is also retaining the would-be to produce even more income. The spending fans are doling out money at record rates in 2013 and sports business seems on a rise.
Nowadays fans have been shaken and forced to observe in silence the beginning stages of total commercialization – the annexation of big business with their “bottom-line” intentions. These sports businesses are deliberately spreading their fiscal goals and objectives into our cherished sports!
Fans, by and large, are becoming embittered and the loyal allegiance they used to display for their chosen sports and heroes is quickly declining. Players, who once used to play the game for the love of it and often spent money from their pockets, are now progressively demanding a compensation package, which essentially has them becoming a CEO of a large, global corporation!
Where Business Management In Sports Has Gone Wrong
The corporate terminologies “revenue generation,” “high decibel marketing” and “bottom-lines” are now being progressively heard more often in Sports. It is becoming very, very big – and the sleeping bear is being poked with a stick.
It is my belief that all of the sports we play and watch today stem from three things: fun, recreation and self-efficient unity in life’s lessons.
Where Is The “Its Still A Game” Approach?
First, every sport began as a fun, recreational activity. Someone was bored rigid and decided that they needed something to do. So they picked up a stone, threw it into the air and hit it with a stick. Or they took something and kicked it. Or they sat down at a table and wrote down plans on how to put a ball into a basket. All of these things were done for recreation to give the body something fun to do.
This single recreation grew into group implementation, or team sport. Team sport brought people together in a common bond to achieve a goal. And it brought people out to watch and cheer for the team. So not only was there harmony on the field, but in the stands and community. This is what we call “Team Spirit” (which we have showcased in a fun way in the video above).
What About The Character-Building Value Of Sports?
Since everything that transpires in our lives is an ethical test, this leads us to the third thing that sports has provided us – the opportunity to learn life’s lessons through competition.
We learn about ourselves. We learn about trust. We learn how to handle wealth and impediments. We learn that life is not always fair. And in team sports we learn how to work together for the good of one and all not just ourselves.
Sports works best when we stick to these three principals at all levels. That’s the way that I was brought up to see it; though I have failed to remember that from time to time.
The Ugly Side Of Sports Business
For the most part, that’s those aspects of sports were why we were so enamored with them and had been for many years. But the money aspect has changed that. One can make a case that at the highest levels of youth, high school, college and professional sports every off-the-field decision made is business connected.
The youth who play travel ball so that he can be recruited by the private high school. The high school kid who transfers from school to school until they find the one which will showcase their talents for a college scholarship. The college student-athlete who selects the school they want to play for based on the amount of playing time that they can get in order to get ready for the pros. And the pros, who are all capitalists as they look to endorse themselves on and off of the field.
Unfortunately, the ugly side of the business does not just rear its head for the players, either. The travel team coach who, though he may not be paid, looks for the kid who might become a pro and can use his name to recruit more players for him. The high school coach who does the same. They may equally be looking to move up to the college level and make money. The college coaches who recruit young kids with the full backing of the university presidents and brass for the sole resolution of winning basketball and football games and bringing their schools income. That is income that is used to fund other sports on campus, and to pay these coaches. The ones who want more go off to the pros and make more money; where they meet owners who are all about money.
I am as interested in a buck as the next guy but the quest for money, in my opinion, is like that pet stain on the couch cushion – you can flip it over but it’s still going to stink.