Innovation and continuous technological advancement has resulted in an increasing dissolution of the world’s boundaries, borders and distances. “Globalization is a process that encompasses the causes, course, and consequences of transnational and transcultural integration of human and non-human activities. ” (Dr. Nayef R. F. Al-Rodhan, 2006) The economic ramifications of such a process are obvious. It leads to greater efficiency and mobility of resources.
The perennial desire for expansion of scale has therefore resulted in Globalization becoming an inevitable process. The objective of this report is to discuss the impact of globalization on the sport of Soccer particularly.
Soccer has gone from once being a recreational pastime to what is now a multi-billion dollar industry. “The European Football market alone grew to €16. 9 billion in 2010/11. ” (Deloitte, 2012) Soccer or Football, as it is known in the rest of the world, is the world’s most popular sport and is played by 209 countries around the world (FIFA).
The most prestigious international soccer tournament is the FIFA World Cup that takes place once every four years.
At the club level, there are several domestic and international leagues around the world, most prominent of which is England’s “Barclays Premier League”. II. Impacts of Globalization Worldwide Popularity: Modern soccer as we know it today first originated in England in the early 19th Century. The game was solely a form of leisure back in those days, played only locally by young Englishmen.
However, British Colonization in different parts of the world helped informally spread the game overseas (Goldblatt, 2007). Some of the established clubs were exclusive to the British communities only. Thus, local teams like RCD Espanyol emerged as challengers to the Anglo-dominated clubs like FC Barcelona, and also became part of the Nationalist movement. The success of the Monetarily-rewarding League system back in England quickly prompted other countries to follow suit. This represented Soccer’s first tryst with the process of Globalization, over a hundred years ago.
Mobility of Labor: Advances in transportation and the encouragement of immigration of highly skilled workers has resulted in the Soccer Industry witnessing incredulous levels of Mobility of Labor i. e. Players, Coaches, Referees, Agents, Doctors, and so on. The most successful European Football clubs are almost entirely composed of foreign players and managers from all over the world. English club, Chelsea F. C, for example, has only 3 English players as part of their regular Starting 11. Furthermore, the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw 38 refereeing officials from 37 different countries. FIFA) With the growing scale of tournaments, the world’s best players and staff are being sourced from all over the world to uphold the highest standards of quality in the game.
Broadcasting: The 2010 FIFA World Cup was shown in every single country and territory on Earth, including Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, generating record-breaking viewing figures in many TV markets around the world. The in-home television coverage of the competition reached over 3. 2 billion people around the world, or 46. per cent of the global population, based on viewers watching a minimum of over one minute of coverage. (FIFA, 2011) In order to cash in on the massive Asian Markets, the European club games are played in the afternoon on weekends so as to create Live Primetime Broadcasts in countries like India, Malaysia and Singapore, where most of its market reside. Financing: The operations of the most successful clubs are mostly funded from overseas. Manchester United, for example, is listed on the NYSE and is thus partially financed by investors all over the world (NYSE, 2012).
The globalization of football has led to an increased access to Capital Markets. Wealthy investors from the Middle East are realizing the attractive business prospects to be earned from English Football. UAE’s Sheikh Mansour’s equity investment in Manchester City F. C has climbed to over £800 million in the past four seasons as part of the club’s rapidly progressing transformation strategy in terms of both on-pitch and off-pitch investment. (Deloitte, 2012) Loss of Culture: The influx of foreign players into a club leads a loss of the club’s culture, style of play and identity.
Furthermore, the advent of international broadcasting seems to have created a support system for the more successful foreign clubs and countries whilst disregarding their own. This homogenization has led to dissolution of national and cultural identity. It further results in neglecting the development of local soccer systems. Soccer has had Benefits as well as Downfalls as a result of Globalization. However its rapid growth to become the world’s most popular sport establishes clearly that Soccer has been a winner under Globalization. III. Globalization Opportunities, Challenges and Response
The Emergence of Asian Markets is a massive opportunity for Soccer (Fry). Increasing popularity of the game in an expanding market will lead to larger revenue streams from Broadcasting Rights, Merchandising and so on. The response to this emergence too has been quick. Major clubs like Manchester United have signed up Asian players like Ji-Sung-Park and Shinji Kagawa, thereby establishing their presence in the markets. They frequently undertake tours of Japan, Malaysia and China in the off-season to generate excess ticketing revenues and publicity.
Advancements in Mass Communication and Media like HD Television, Internet Streaming, and Mobile Technology can be leveraged to keep fans engaged and to increase viewership. Footballers have become household personalities and this can lead to marketing and branding opportunities through sale of Merchandise, Video Games and even more Television programs such as “The Cesc Fabregas Show: Nike Live” One major challenge of the process, however, is the growing disparity between the Haves and Have not’s.
Big money clubs take advantage of their access to capital to sign lucrative deals for the best players, managers and such. This ensures their continued success while the small budget teams find it impossible to compete. This has led to regulatory challenges as well, such as the repairing the Bosman Ruling (BBC, 2005) IV. Conclusion From humble beginnings as a playful pastime, Soccer has transformed into a serious business of epic proportions. Globalization has truly commercialized the sport and magnified the operations of the industry.
The soccer industry stands as a benchmark of free mobility of Labor and Capital. However, this has also been accompanied by loss of culture, sporting and national identity. While globalization has resulted in a growing disparity between the larger and smaller clubs, it also offers several opportunities to cash in on emerging markets and technologies. The commercialization of the sport thus offers a scope for boundless possibilities in the future.
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Effects of Globalization on Soccer. (2016, Sep 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effects-of-globalization-on-soccer/