But first let us look into commercialization and its effect in sports before McDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken get offended.
Literally, commercialization means to sell, usually in a unapproved way. Take food franchise for example, when their food is advertised, the food is usually and comparably larger than the original. But, commercial sells and makes profit. In sports however, commercialization has to take a new turn and study to make selling. Undeniably results and sports are inseparable so in order to sell, only successful and popular will make the cut. This has sadly discouraged the enjoy of playing sports.
Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) is a popular and successful soccer team in the world. The name carries a spectacular commercial value that it is impossible not many will buy. Commercialization has helped popularizing MUFC and thus the sports itself.
But it depends because certain sports are less popular in different countries. Usually the people support sports based on culture like in Malaysia, sepak takraw is played popularly originating way back the glorious Malacca era or which their national team is good at like China has been spectacular in badminton. In Britain, people are proud to play soccer as the national team is a great performer at international competitions and they wear their favorite team’s jersey. But in Australia, the rugby is popular not surprisingly because as the team is one of the defending champions in the world.
And no matter what sports, commercialization never fails.
Recently, the national soccer team (Malaysia) has achieved great success in Asia. People say the era of Mokhtar Dahari has returned. And in a matter of few days, hundreds of soccer national team’s jersey were sold! Now, everyone is proud to wear national team’s jersey! As the athlete excel, the patriotism does too. And their willingness to spend every ringgit just to wear national sports attire proves it; commercialization helps to instill patriotism.
Sport is generally expensive. The budget covers wages of technical team, medic, coaches even player themselves but it varies from each sport like tennis maybe only cover coaches. Anyhow, they have one thing in common which is sports event. And in every sports event, the seatings and the field have to be properly organized so that so spectators will enjoy in comfort. Therefore, we are talking about a lot of money. That is the role of commercialization, it brings the money that not only the spectators can enjoy the game but the ones at home watching from television also.
Throughout commercialization involvement in sports, there have been improvement notably in advanced utilities and training equipment. Badminton rackets are lighter and powerful. Soccer boots are designed to run smoother and to have better touch with the ball. In baseball today, the batter (the one with the bat to hit the ball) practices with a machine that automatically throws the balls. Practice makes perfect. It is proven to give evident improvement for batters. Commercialization has led advanced technology to orchestrate better sports performances which draws more spectator thus more money.
On the other hand, commercialization has also have brought sports to a different level of competitiveness. Because one truthful rule prove will sell; winner wins all. Therefore, every better athlete now will try to gain a spot of success just for the sake of material gains e.g. millions of money. It is too late, commercialization has created a negative culture of gaining with money instead of just enjoy the play. It is obvious in many sports, soccer for example where the best players are recruited via lucrative earnings to play in rich clubs. However, many of these players have fallen out of focus, defeated by new stress environment and other factors. If materialistic did not come, they could have scored more wonderful goals.
Conclusively, perhaps commercialization has dignified patriotism, creatively involve technology in sports, increase profit to present better events but it has instilled materialism in most of the athletes which is equivalent to killing the sports itself. Just like large consumption of commercial food makes more patients in hospitals, perhaps too much of commercialization in sports is “unhealthy” and it has become a “disease” with no cure.