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There are many different types of sports, and different levels different individuals engage in such sports. Some will engage in the sport as a recreational activity, others to represent their companies or schools while the most popular category among these sports is professional sports. While professional sports was part of many cultures including the American culture for a long time, recent changes in the sporting world is changing the perception of these sports from just sports to thriving economic activities. As these sports continue to become part of the popular culture, many people are finding a financial niche within these sports, which is helping them earn a living.
The recent changes in the sport comes from the affluence associated with the sports, and the popular culture, which these sports are a part of.
The increase in population is another contributing factor to this change in the perception of sports as more people interested in the sports, means there is more people paying to view the sorts, and this also attracts huge investments in the sport.
When people congregate to watch these sports, they are building the social standing of the athletes participating in the games, which is making these athletes a part of the popular culture within the society. The athletes also have to respond to the pressure of conforming to societal expectations making them work even harder to become more competitive, which has both negative and positive effects on the sports. While it increases the professional standards in these sports, other athletes might want to take the easier option resulting to doping, and match fixing for an easier win, and a bigger paycheck.
Payment Schemes for Professional Sports
Sporting activities is one of the most famous recreational activities for many people, whether watching, participating, or owning sporting rights to make money making it an economic activity for some. In society, sports have major benefits as it is a medium used to keep young people engaged to avoid vices such as drugs, provides employment to a large number of people, helps contribute to humanitarian agendas such as building schools, works as a marketing tool for corporate advertisements, and is also a major economic activity for some people especially the athletes (Karg, 2011). There are three different payment schemes for professional athletes, which include:
· Through the concept of tournament in sports such as golf or tennis.
· Through events such as professional boxing.
· Payments as part of a team such as baseball, basketball, hockey, and football.
Each of these payment schemes have a certain effect on the entire sport as analyzed in the following paper.
Payment through the Concept of Tournament
Tournaments sports happen regularly within a scheduled time within the year, and the professional athletes participating get compensation based on their performance in the given event. Usually the tournament payment might come either as reward for participation or a prize for winning the tournament such as in golf or tennis. The payment method is fair to the athlete, owners, and society at large since it makes economic sense to all the parties involved (Johnson, 2017). The concept of the competition sport is one such that it cannot happen on a regular basis for people to follow. It creates a concept of history, which society follows, but it would be tedious if people have to follow throughout the year. The schedule for these tournaments is usually released early even one year before to create a way for the enthusiasts within the community to plan their schedule based on their willing participation, and role in the sports.
It is also fair to the owners of the sport since they do not have to keep a payroll for their athletes, which would be demanding considering the small number of tournaments from where they have to raise the money. Based on the scheduling, the owners have time to raise awareness for the event, and contact the tournament sponsors for finances in exchange for advertisements slots among other benefits during the event. Athletes in these tournament sports also have diverse needs since they get yearly participation, and some of them have other engagements as economic activities throughout the year apart from the sport. They also get sponsorships during these tournaments, which also make them money during the year. The payment for participation within the tournament is high, and even higher for those who win. Considering the events do not happen many times during the year, it makes the payment economically, and socially correct as it offers these athletes a means of survival throughout the year.
The high payments change the view of athletes from just doing such tournaments for recreational purposes to professionalism increasing the quality of the sports, competition and professionalism associated. The perception of tournament sports changes since athletes are under immense pressure to perform better to maintain their winning streaks, and there are qualifications each of them have to meet to be able to participate in the finals. As these are mostly individual sports, the motivation behind each employee is the reason behind their encouragement to perform, and there are also many new entries to the sport each year. Most of these participants bring in new energy increasing the level of competitiveness in the sport, which the professionals have to counter with better results. Unlike in other sports, it is impossible to fix matches in most of the tournament sports, with the only problem arising from this high commercialization of the sport being multiple cases of doping. in some case prominent athletes in tournament concepts of sorts such as cycling, and running had to return their trophies after realization they had records of doping, as the huge sums of money involved will make many of these people do whatever they can to win. In some instances the players might crash under pressure to perform in an attempt to maintain their status in these tournaments, and this tends to work against the integrity of the sport making it attract negative publicity.
The economic idea of the sport as an entertainment justifies the high pay since many people will pay to access the event or through pay per view programs through technology to view the tournaments increasing the amount of money owners generate from such a tournament. If the owners generate high pay from the tournament, it is only fair they should pay the athletes high amount of money since they are the main center of attraction people are paying to see (Johnson, 2017).
Payment made by the concept of an event is different from a tournament since an event has no yearlong or pre-planned schedule. It is a one day affair usually arranged between sportsmen by the owners with other stakeholders in the sport, and there is an aggressive marketing campaign usually by the athletes involved to marshal their fans to join them in the event. The hype generated by the athletes generates money for the event, which the athletes get as payment after participating in the event (Johnson, 2017). A good example of such a sport is boxing matches, where an athlete can make an upward of $100 million for a single event. The payment scheme is fair to the stakeholders involved including the athlete, owners, and the society involved in the sport. The society gets the thrill of watching the event as a form of entertainment, the owners make more money, which is enough to cater for the expenses, and pay the athletes the high amount of money. It makes the pay economically, and socially correct to cater for the athletes’ needs.
However, due to the large payments involved, event sports are subject to manipulation, which distorts the view of athletes towards the sport. Some sportsmen in the sport for a long time will have more money, and they use their money to pay junior sportsmen to show up for the event to lose, but they will still get their huge payout at the end of the event. Such scenarios are dangerous for the event since it erodes the concepts of competitive sporting, and the winner taking what they deserve as the fixing of matches is unfair to the athlete, and the fans who pay to view the sport. The large payouts distort the view athletes have towards the event making it more of a money making initiative ignoring the concept of competition, which is the key driver behind the fuss associated with such an event. However, there are other events such as marathons that also subscribe to the concept of event payment, which are hard to influence as the athlete has to rely on their personal strength without influencing the other players within the event. However, even in these the problem of doping to win the money is also present, making it hard to preserve the integrity of the sport (Myer et al. 2015).
The economic idea behind the events justifies the high payment for participating athletes, as it is through the entertainment concept that the owners raise money. These events also attract a high number of sponsors looking for advertisement slots while members of the society pay large sums of money to access the sport as a means of entertainment (Johnson, 2017). It is only fair that these athletes get a higher share as well since they contribute to making these events as successful, and attract a large following.
Another popular means of payment is through teams where players get constant reimbursements usually counted in weeks or months for their participation in different sports such as football, baseball, soccer, and hockey among others. Team sports have constant leagues where the players have to be on the field weekly or even several times in a week. Competition happens on a regular, and ongoing process making their participation in the teams’ a daily employment affair, which attracts the high payments on a regular basis just as normal employment (Karg, 2011). Many people in the society use the sports as a form of entertainment, and even icebreakers in conversations making the ongoing procedure fair for social interaction. Every sporting activity held within the week, mostly in weekends generates huge sums of money for the management of the teams involved making large sums of money for the owners of these sporting establishment. As players are integral to the economic process, they deserve a huge part of the money they raise for their teams.
There is much ongoing scrutiny of the players from the league, management, and the society, which makes negative distortion of the sport by the players almost impossible. The scrutiny is so high that at some point the American Congress had to intervene holding a session with the players since there were allegation claims threatening to bring down the quality of the sport as held by the society. For this reason, the only contribution of the competitiveness of these team sports is to encourage the players with their teams to invest in more craft to improve the quality of their play to win more often to maintain their bragging rights.
Over the years there are changes within these teams where athletes keep on getting higher pays (Myer et al. 2015). The concept of transfers, where a team poaches a better player from a competing team offering the team either a high amount of money for the player’s contract or offering the player higher pay drives this change. Each team is under pressure to pay their players a higher amount or lose the player to their competitors, which might impair their winning abilities. The consumer like in any market is the driver behind most of the supply, which is no different in sports. The higher number of people interested in sports in the modern economy coming from increased population is driving this increase in pay as teams make more money, and they also need to keep their followers happy. The popularity of affluence in modern culture is also responsible for these changing trends within the sporting culture.
The economic idea behind the professionalism of these sports justify the higher pay. Within the team there are ways to know the athlete that requires more money since there are ways to know the team member bringing in more for the team. Through sales of the player’s jerseys, competitiveness of the player within the team, and the number of requests corporate advertisers make from the player justifies the higher pay. Professionalism within these sports helps make money for the owners, and they should also make higher compensation since the society only resonates with these sportsmen while they are playing (Johnson, 2017). There is a high demand for sports as entertainment content, and it through higher pays that young people will feel encouraged to participate, and keep these sports going as a constructive source of entertainment for the society.
Athletics is a positive leisure activity, and as many people as possible should find one to participate in even if not at professional levels. It keeps the mind refreshed, and encourage positive interactions within the community. Professional sports is the epitome of any given sport, and as the demand for the sport as a recreational activity keeps on increasing, the economic standing of the profession will also keep on rising. It will raise the level of interest in the sport where many people will have the necessary motivation to participate. However, there needs to be sound regulation controls to ensure there are no instances of cheating such as doping or match fixing affecting the integrity of such sports. However, the recent changes are a positive indication in the sporting arena, and there is need for society to ensure as there are more mechanisms of ensuring integrity, there are also increased mechanisms to expand these sports to increase the number of people benefiting economically from these sports. In such cases, the effect of sports will be more evident within the society.
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