Essay Marketing of the Sport Celebrity

Essay Marketing of the Sport Celebrity

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The business of sports marketing has become both lucrative and influential in shaping sport in general and the individual athletes. The desire for endorsement offers and profitable media coverage has become a crucial facet of modern sport. With a selection of athletes making millions of dollars a year, outside of their sporting arena, it is obvious to see the impact of marketing and advertising on sport. In this essay I will examine the ways in which marketing effects the athletes and sport in general. Also, I will identify the characteristics of a marketable sporting "celebrity" and further look into African American athletes specifically and the way the African American community is marketed.

Sport has not always been covered in such feverish enthusiasm, now with coverage on television, radio, and internet. The real emergence of sport into everyday life began after World War II, when new heroes were needed to dazzle and inspire. With the close of the war, sports stars became the new heroes, accomplishing daring feats and pushing the limits. The general public began to want more from the athletes; they wanted a better look into the athletes' lives and more media coverage of events such as boxing matches and basketball games. Without the excitement from the war and heroic war figures, sports stars became widely more popular and the business of sport marketing took off. Post war sport and figures such as Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Unitas, Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain and Mickey Mantle, "filled the gap" (Whannel 44) in terms of heroic figures. Audiences craved the heroic warlike figure with brute strength and quickness as well as interesting personalities. Thus we understand more the desire to market athletes, that "Audiences ...


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...ney: Controlling Black Bodies in the NBA." The Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Volume 30. Number 2. May 2006. (pp. 158-179)

Peterson, Sherri L., J.C Weber, William W. Trousdale. "Personality Traits of Women in Team Sports vs. Women in Individual Sports." (pp. 324-329) Contemporary Readings in Sport Psychology. Ed. William P. Morgan. Charles Thomas: Springfield, 1970.

Quirk, James and Rodney D. Fort. Pay Dirt: The Business of Pro Team Sports. Princeton Press: Princeton, 1992.

Rowe, David. Critical Readings: Sport, Culture and the Media. Open University Press: England, 2004. (pp. 210- 228)

Schlossberg, Howard. Sports Marketing. Blackwell: MA, 1996.

Staudahar, Paul D. and James A. Mangan. The Business of Professional Sports. Illini Books: Illinois, 1991.

Whannel, Garry. Media Sports Stars: Masculinities and Moralities. Routledge: London, 2002.

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