The Commercialization of Basketball Today

Steph Curry versus LeBron James

Basketball is a very popular sport

Basketball has long been a very popular sport in the USA, and in many other corners of the globe. However, in recent times, the game has started changing, but not willingly or of its own doing. Corporate America has been fishing around the world of American sports for a long time, and it has been steering the path of evolution where it desires. The effects can be seen easily on and around the basketball court; see logos engrained on the floor, product advertisements from the rafters, to programs, to scorer tables, and company labels stitched onto player uniforms and shoes. Also, do not forget the endless advertisements in game breaks.

This hasn’t just happened to basketball, but to many sports. Sports are enjoyable, fun, and big moneymakers not just in the advertisements but also in the betting world that runs around them. Advertisement brings in a lot of cash to the industry, but perhaps not quite as much as betting. In fact, as more and more states allow sports betting, NBA betting has become quite widespread, and probably an even better financial play than the inclusion of advertisements. 

But what can we say about the commercialization of our favorite sports? There are good and bad things about this happening to the sporting world around us. In sports, commercialization would have been smaller like adverts for cigarettes, booze, and the hot dog stands outside for the fans. But now things have become hardcore, and the commercialization of basketball is something no one can avoid anymore.

The good parts of basketball commercialization

Commercialization gets a bad reputation probably because most of the time it feels unnecessary, distracting, and it drags out game times on television more than we would like. However, it does bring good things too. Commercialization provides many people with the ability to participate in otherwise unaffordable recreational sports. Local businesses such as the Baskin and Robbins store and Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees have enabled young people to secure uniforms and be a part of a sports team. 

It also allows retired, yet still famous athletes to supplement meager post-career earnings and allows them to stay present in the public eye. This is not just seen in basketball but other sports including football, soccer, golf, tennis, and even horse racing. 

Commercialization allows us to connect with the teams and previous players on a level we wouldn’t be able to without it. It gives you the ability to win prizes relevant to the sport, such as clothing, trips, and experiences. While it also provides the team members with a backup plan when their active sporting career ends, they can still be known in the business, just in a more commercial aspect. 

It is not all bad, and in basketball, this happens a lot. Think of how many times you’ve seen ex-basketball superstars in adverts, promoting the NBA, and appearing on sport commentary shows.

The bad side of basketball commercialization

However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are many ugly sizes to commercialization. Some are old negative, and some are new. Of course, sports betting can be seen as good and bad, and it is probably more lucrative than the sport itself. However, you cannot deny that its allure can come with the danger of becoming addicted to this form of gambling. 

Then you have to appreciate how often performance-enhancing substances are used, which is often a result of pressure from having so much money at stake. While some may not be so bothered by this, we have to recognize the permanent damage it does to the athletes. 

Violence is also another result of commercialization in sport. We could talk forever about concussions and injuries from the pressure this industry places on the players. However, we have to consider the advertisements too. 

What adverts do you see more than anything else at sporting events? Alcohol. Sure, we all like a drink, but advertising is a form of subliminal messaging, and it’s uncommon for fans to go to sporting events without a drink, and when things do not go well, it is not uncommon for fights to break out. Sport is linked with gambling and drinking. Luckily, basketball is probably one of the less influenced sports, in comparison to the NFL and Soccer. However, there is still a lot to be considered in the negative relationship between commercialization and basketball, and we do not want it to get as bad as it is with Soccer and Football. 

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