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Change In Sports From Amateurs To Professionals Sport Essay

Info: 2071 words (8 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Sports

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Amateur sports are sports where participants are entirely engaged without any form of remuneration. This kind of sport was seriously guarded in the 19th century by the rich people though in the 20th century it was faced-out as a result of continued growth in professional sport. Currently amateur sports are held by a few organizations that govern sports. Professional sports developed in the 19th century, this was spear headed by the US and the United Kingdom. By then sporting culture was strong in the institutions of learning for example colleges and universities[1]. As a result, middle class and upper class men who were students at these institutions played as amateurs. People who were working were limited in participating in the games due to there busy schedule though one’s in a while they could be given an afternoon-off in order for them to take part in the sport that was then available.

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When professional teams started to emerge some clubs could willingly pay players in order for them to take some time off there profession and take part in sports. This served as an incentive to increase the number of attendances and also it made players to fully concentrate on their sport. This provided a good opportunity for the people who were against amateur sport to flourish and expand. The influence of money and its effect on sport brought the change in sports from amateurs to professional since it was in the main interest of professional to give the highest possible amount per unit of performance (Gallagher et al 1997, 71).

The upper class and middle class men who dominated this sport had a theoretical preference as well as a self interest in preventing the sport from being professionalized[2]. As a result this threatened the participation of the working class in the sport who did not understand why they should not be paid for taking part in the sport. This led to competing interests between the two involved parties since we had a group that wanted sports to be open for all while the amateurs feared that professionalism would destroy the Corinth spirit. The conflict between the two parties lasted for about a century during which sports like golf took it relatively easy and tolerated the competition between the two while others were traumatized by the happenings and they therefore helped the preceding generations to come in terms with professionalism (Wilson 1994, 379).

The Olympics of the 19th century

In the early 19th century and 20th century Olympics restricted participation to only amateur players since the amateur code had been strictly enforced. For instance track and field medals were stripped off from Jim Thorpe for taking expense money from baseball that he played in the year 1912. Afterwards Olympians from western countries who were successful began to accept endorsement contracts from organizations and people who were willing to sponsor them. Complex rules were also put in place to ensure that funds received were channeled to trust funds rather than being given to the athletes. At the same time nations that belonged to Communist bloc joined the Olympians team that mainly comprised soldiers and students who were being paid by the government to train full time.

The retirement of the International Olympic committee (IOC) president in the year 1972 led to the relaxation of the amateur rules in many areas. In the US the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 prohibited national governing bodies from imposing strict rules on standards of amateur than required by the International governing bodies dealing with respective sports. In the year 1990 there was an abandonment of the Olympic regulations which regarded amateur with an exception in sports like boxing were participation rules required amateur status for participant’s safety (Dunning 1999, 118).

Professional sports are sports where athletes receive payment for there participation and performance. This kind of sport has been promoted by several developments i.e. mass media and increased leisure by people which has lead to large audiences thus commanding large incomes. As a result people involved in sports have made it there primary career hence devoting there time on training in order to sharpen there skills, experience and physical condition. The proficiency led popularization of sports[3].

Benefits of a successful team to the city and sponsors.

Successful team popularizes the city in which they are located in other words we can say it sells the city to the world. And as a result investors are attracted to that place making the place to rapidly develop. For example Rochester city in the United States is the 3rd most popular city and it has become a centre for a large metropolitan area. Sponsors drive the goals of a team which include promotion of safety and services to communities dominated by there employees. As a result the morale of sponsor’s employees is boosted due to direct connection to positive changes occurring in the community at large.

Sponsors are able to enjoy visibility through the daily services offered by the teams they sponsor[4]. Some of the benefits of team sponsor partnership include; players wearing sponsor’s logo on there t-shirts and this reveals sponsor’s commitment to the community. There is also promotion of corporate commitment to the community and when the team is being recognized the links of the sponsor company will be included and as a result the company is popularized.

Influence of politics on sports decisions.

There is also increased corporate recognition since there will be opportunities for the media to highlight the corporate community investment. These increase the sponsor’s company visibility by the politicians and the community leaders at large. Net work opportunities with the corporate world, community and public officials are provided. Sometime the team may visit the sponsor’s office in need of training and this in turn gives his employees an opportunity to plan and facilitate sessions meant for building the corporate members.

Media plays a very important role in government development since people get access to the politics and other forms of entertainment. For a very long time the media still remains the leading source of political communication. All functions performed by the media are influenced by political insinuations. For example entertainment, news reporting, socializing new generations, airing of political forum as well as profit making. Its influence is very rampant during political campaigns since coverage of a single event may turn out to be most significant in putting an opponent down.

And since people have there own formed ideas when viewing television and other media sources there is selective attention which is created and as a result viewers tend to pay much attention to information that agree with there own opinions. And since the media is very effective on politicians who do not have a stable political opinion on all issues its very easy for the decisions of sports to be influenced by the happenings in politics.

In politics and sports power, prestige and profits motivate the people involved[5]. The media reports the preceding in both politics and sports for political purposes. Sports are regulated by political establishment in order to ensure equal opportunities, justice, legal authority and personal attention. As a result the relationship existing between sports and politics reflects the changing pattern of values and cultural practices. In the Olympics the formal rules that governed the competitors were formulated by politicians who were very eager to offer an entertainment that would be popular (Allison 1986, 63).

Economic and cultural aspect of sports

Sport has been used and its still being used to raise income, this can be referred to as sport commoditization. Commercialization of sport is not considered as cultural but rather out of the necessity due to economic circumstances. In the colonial time sports were unstructured, spontaneous activities which were coordinated and organized by the participants. This is not the case at the moment since sports are being well organized in order to attract many people from all spheres of the world with different financial status in order to raise a lot of money. At the moment professional sport has grown rapidly and it has become a booming business. Athletes, support personnel and sport team owners have benefited handsomely from sport fans who pay to watch there games and also purchase commodities endorsed by them (Staudohar et al 1991, 264).

Influence of Italian government on sports.

The kind of sport being played in a place is determined by the people’s practice or rather culture. The culture of the people influences the kind of sport they engage in. for example the ancient Olympic Games were religious festivals that commenced with procession along the sacred highway. Therefore culture has a great part in the development of a sport. The Italian government influenced the transition process by sponsoring players to train in order to gain the needed skills and this helped the sport to move from amateur to professional. Govern sponsorship, and partnership with organizing bodies facilitated the growth of sports from amateur to professional sports.

Work Cited.

Paul D. Staudohar, J. A. Mangan. The Business of Professional Sports. USA: University of Illinois Press, 1991.

Rosemarie Gallagher, Sally Fountain & Linda Gee. Physical Education through Diagrams. USA: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Eric Dunning. Sport Matters: Sociological Studies of Sport, Violence, and Civilization.

11 New Fetter Lane, London: Taylor & Francis, 1999.

Lincoln Allison. The Politics of Sport.Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press ND, 1986.

John Wilson. Playing by the Rules. Michigan, USA: Wayne State University Press, 1994.

[1] The students in the various institutions had developed a culture of taking part in sport within there colleges.

[2] The rich and men who were relatively or averagely rich dominated the original amateur sport.

[3] The effectiveness and excellence of the players was as a result of there commitment for training and there full attention during the sport.

[4] The visibility of the sponsors came about as a result of the playing and participation of the teams they supported in community development.

[5] The parties involved in politics and sports are players and politicians who had the same ambitions and also shared same benefits.


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