Sports are significant as they help create a team spirit and create a sense of friendliness, and the players develop mental and physical toughness. Many sports exist, and each of them is managed differently. There are many popular sports, including soccer, basketball, and American football, but most organizations have invested in soccer since it has the highest number of fans in the entire world (Shvili, 2020). In recent times, e-sports have become an integral part of the billion-dollar gaming industry. In e-sports, people compete in car racing, football matches, and others. These multiplayer video gaming competitions have become prevalent in many parts of the world. Governance differs in amateur and professional sports, and it is crucial to understand the dynamics and logistics involved at both levels. Besides, betting in sports has also become a common practice where people predict the outcome of various sports competitions by placing a wager. So far, the course has enabled me to understand many aspects, including governance in professional and amateur sports, sports media, e-sports, and wagering.
I have learned the various governance structures in professional sports and how different they are when managing individual and team sports. There are many professional leagues in North America, and all teams are franchises, always regarded as separate entities, each of which has an individual agreement with the league offices. A team which enters into a contract with these offices must comply with the agreement’s requirements before proceeding to field a team. The governance of these teams has two layers; where the first one is the Board of Governors (BOG), representing the team as the highest authority. The second level is the commissioner, who serves as the second in command under the (BOG) for the professional sports league. Players have associations through which they raise issues affecting them, such as wages and living and working conditions.
From the course, I also learned the major professional sports in North America and their development history. For example, from Chapter 7, I found out that the National League of Professional Baseball Players founded the major league baseball in the United States in 1876. The first professional sports commissioner was Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis. The current executive council consists of 8 clubs, four each from the American League and the National League. This information is important to learn as a sport professional.
Moreover, from Chapter 7, I learned much about the most famous sport in the United States, basketball. In 1949, the rivals, the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America, merged to form the National Basketball Association (NBA), whose current commissioner is Adam Silver. He has the power to penalize actions and punish various sports stakeholders, including club owners, agents, managers, and coaches. From this course, I learned that these powers are vested on the commissioner under Articles 24 and 35. This was helpful information to know as a sport professional.
Besides, the National Football League (NFL) is another sports body I learned about under professional sports. The NFL was formed in 1920, and its executive committee is made up of one representative from each team. One thing I learned from this section is the debate about the NFL national anthem. The 2008’s new policy required players to stand if they were on the field when the anthem was played. However, players can choose to be in the locker room if they want to avoid this policy since it was subject to collective bargaining.
However, I learned that Major League Soccer (MLS)’s governance structure is different from other North American sports leagues. Initially, the MLS was formed as a limited liability company, owned by many independent investors. The league pays players, whom it considers as its employees. MLS is the highest level of professional soccer for men in the United States and Canada. The total number of teams in this league is 26, with 23 coming from the U.S. and three from Canada. Since the MLS is a single-entity, club owners have shares in the league. Thus, as a sport professional, I feel this was useful knowledge to gain.
Another helpful piece of information I acquired from this course is the existence of professional players’ associations and how significant they are. In North America, these associations resemble unions and are involved in the collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) outlining the conditions under which players will work, including safety, wages, and health. However, in the United Kingdom, the governance structure is different. The Football Association (FA) is organized as a limited company based on the shares system. The FA rules state that the bottom three teams in the first division are relegated to the second league level while the top three of the lower division are promoted to the top league. In Japan, sports leagues’ governance is based on tradition, with rules originating from the autocratic owners. Therefore, professional players’ associations are significant in safeguarding the welfare of players.
On the other hand, amateur sports governance is different, as I learned from Chapter 8. The competitions from the Olympic level to five years are classified under this category. Private organizations manage amateur sports but are regulated by the rules set under the state incorporation. An example of such a governing body is the Little League Baseball Inc. Conversely, voluntary private organizations are member-controlled, such as the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (AAU), founded in 1888. Although its main focus is on youth sports, it also serves other age groups. Specifically, as a sport professional, I learned that youth sports comprise formal and informal athletics up to the high school level, including interscholastic sports at local, district, and state levels. In the United Kingdom, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, the Youth Sports Trust implements a national strategy for youth sports.
I also learned from this course about sports media, its governance, regulation, and international comparisons from Chapter 9. Traditional and digital media outlets broadcast sports information, but social media have overtaken most channels. Sports media entities initially used to be standalone enterprises, existing outside the sports’ direct purview. The political governance in sports media has been rotating around the Communications Act of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Sport media entities cannot control social media use because of its newness in creating content, connecting with audiences, and leveraging sports brands. From this chapter, I learned that Facebook has the largest number of uses making it the biggest social media platform.
Sport marketing is a complex field and I learned useful information on this area from chapter 12. I delved deeper into how athletes, sponsors, sport governing bodies, and marketing agencies are related. I also understood the common issues surrounding athlete endorsements and the appropriate management of the multiple elements of sporting events. Local, state and national governments have a significant role to play in regulating sports marketing. Ambush marketing is a new term I learned from this chapter. It refers to the advertisement of a brand or product in an event without necessarily taking part in the sport or sponsoring the occasion. It takes two forms; intrusion and association, depending on the exposure opportunities. Besides, from chapter 13, I learned about sports wagering, history, impact, and regulation. Therefore, these chapters allowed me to further my knowledge of sports marketing and wagering.
Lastly, an electronic sport (e-sport) is a new term that I learned in chapter 14 of this course, although its definition strays from traditional sports descriptions. In this new category, e-sports, gamers compete on several devices, including mobile devices, personal computers (PCs), and such consoles as PlayStation and Xbox (Scholz, 2019). However, this new form of sports lacks proper regulation since the players do not have policies on the duty of care, and there is no competitive integrity. For an activity to be considered a traditional sport, it must have a competitive aspect, include a physical skill, and have institutionalized rules and regulations. However, e-sports only meet the first characteristic since they lack real physical prowess, and they can be regarded as entertainment (Scholz, 2019). From the information in this chapter, I will try video gaming as a variant for time-spending. However, there is a need to regulate and institutionalize this form of sport to conform to internationally recognized characteristics of a sport.
In conclusion, this course has helped me understand various aspects of sports. I have learned the origin of different major sports bodies, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, the National Football League, and the National League of Professional Baseball. I have also improved my understanding of the governance structures in various sports and how they differ at amateur and professional levels. Two of the many new things I have learned are ambush marketing and e-sports. Indeed, the latter has become very prevalent in the United States and across the world, and there is a need to regulate and institutionalize it before incorporating it into the sports industry. Overall, the course has equipped me with significant knowledge about sports.
Scholz, T. M. (2019). ESports is business: Management in the world of competitive gaming. Springer.
Shvili, J. (2020). The most popular sports in the world. Web.