Commercialization of Sports – What good?

Posted on July 3, 2010

Anirudh Rao:

In recent times sports has become more of a marketing commodity in the entertainment sector. The players are known for their worth in terms of MD (Millions of Dollars).Their commitment and ability is barely considered. Glamour is increasingly becoming a lot more important in sports as compared to even in the film world. Cricketers earn more money by doing ads than by playing a test match against Pakistan.The recent failure of the world’s most glamorous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, reminds the sporting world that no individual is greater than the game. The England soccer team performed badly in the World Cup even though they have they had the richest club-level tournament EPL. The case is similar to the performance of IPL stars in the last couple of T20 world cups. Are the young and talented distracted by all the money and stardom? Do they feel a financial obligation of performing their best for the clubs which affects their performance at the international level? It would be terrible criticism for any player passionate about his/her game and hopes to do well each time.

The only huge advantage that the commercialsation of a sport offers is it becomes more popular among the youth. However, how many of those sport-crazy teenagers actually take to playing that particular game they are so crazy about?? It is also shocking that the batting middle order of the Indian Test side has remained perfectly same for over a decade.

According to me the main purpose of sports is extremely noble. Sports are meant mainly for teenagers who badly need to find a way to spend their excess energies which are the gifts of adolescence. These energies can have either a negative or a positive impact in the life of a teenager. Sports offers the perfect opportunity to exhibit those energies in a physical activity which is both encouraging and rewarding. The team games like basketball and football improve the character and develops the personality of a teenager. The importance of sports is unquestionable. However, the competitiveness of a game when played at bigger level destroys the spirit of the game. The famous Hand of the God goal by Diego Maradona is a dark example of it. Any kid who had watched it would have been badly influenced by it. Does a sporting pride of a nation come ahead of honesty and sincerity of obeying the rules? The answer will not be an obvious one to a teenager like myself who has grew up watching sports at the bigger stage.

It is incredible that a lot of teenagers feel that supporting their favourite teams is very important. The young minds are an easy prey to the lucrative world of glamour. I feel that we should not worry about the fact that India is not getting more Olympic medals. The focus should be more on using sports as a platform for the overall development of Youth of this country.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

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