The Effects of Commercialization on Sports

Sports have evolved a lot along the course of history. At first, they were a way for people to exercise the essential skills of survival. Then, it became a stage for people to showcase their physical superiority. Not long ago, it was a way of entertainment for people to keep fit and have fun. However, with the great leap in technology and globalization, sports are being adulterated with other factors like money.

It is literally being commercialized. The effects of commercialization on sports are two-sided. However, the trend of commercialization of sports is inevitable and inexorable, given the global environment nowadays.

Why Sponsors are Required?

Commercialization can help a sport to survive and progress. Through commercialization, athletes are paid for playing a sport. It is extremely imperative for some niche sports which need athletes to completely dedicate themselves into training and sports which involve costly equipment as people can no longer afford to play those sports just for fun.

The greatest example can be of Formula One, which has become a classic case for sports commercialization. If you go to watch a grand prix, you will see numerous advertisements painted on cars and walls of tracks. The entry tickets are also expensive. However, it is easily justified, given the particular characteristics of that sport.

F1 features drivers, to compete in the cutting-edge racing cars which can easily cost millions of dollars. A qualified driver needs to undergo comprehensive training. Moreover, the related costs of F1, such as transportation and maintenance, are also tremendous. It is impossible for sports like F1 to survive if they are not commercialized.

The Good and The Bad

However, commercialization is a two-edged sword for sports. Too much commercialization or inappropriate use of it can stain sports. Commercialization holds a risk of people being so engrossed in money that they flout the basic principle of sports which is fairness.

If we talk about a sport for all e.g. cricket, which is famous across the globe. The essence of the game has been neutralized because of commercialization. There are certain boards in different countries which handle the domestic and international affairs of cricket.

Some nations have very affluent boards in terms of money which they leverage to get an unfair advantage at the international level. This ruins some amazing opportunities for underdog teams. Not only that, but for exclusive tournaments such as the World Cup or T20 Cup, one of these countries get a chance to host the event who have a greater say in the International Cricket Community, which is highly unethical and unprofessional. Every country should be given equal opportunity to host such kinds of tournaments as this not only brings cricket to the country but also acts as positive spillover in the economy of the country.


This rise in commercialization has almost become part of every modern game, but it is imperative to remember it has both positive and negative effects on the sport, the players and most importantly the fans. Thus, we should deal with commercialization carefully as it can easily make tremendous harm to sports and in fact, it has already done a lot.

Also Read: 3 Essentials for a Sports Photographer

What do you think?

Written by Spencer K