Course Overview


Show Me the Money! The Business & Marketing of Sport


CEA Partner Institution: CEA Barcelona Center
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Primary Subject Area: Business
Other Subject Area: Marketing
Instruction in: English
Course Code: BUS333
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Prerequisites: Introductory courses in Business, Marketing, Communications, or Media Studies or with approval from the instructor.


There is little doubt about the central role professional sport plays in the leisure society of our early 21st century. In recent years however, the traditional media-sports-culture matrix has incorporated an extraordinarily powerful and innovative element: the unparalleled global commercialization of sport. This new reality is transforming the very nature of sporting competition, along with the value system that sustains it, as well as the athletes on the field who, but once marginal figures in society, have repositioned themselves to become central characters within a new and globalized social narrative.

The role of mediated sport in contemporary culture is so omnipresent, so far-reaching and so sophisticated that any attempt at meaningful analysis must enlist the wider business perspectives of marketing, advertising, finance and commercial strategy, if sense is to be made of this striking sociological phenomenon. At the core, it is the ultra-professionalism in sport that is driving and shaping this new global business model: transforming athletes into billboards for multinational sponsors; inspiring billion-dollar agreements for media and merchandising rights; spawning new breeds of corporate intermediaries and sports agents; cross-fertilizing with entertainment industries in music, fashion and film; and creating a social omnipresence of sport heroes, team logos, icon sponsorship, global brands, and media buzz. Show me the money because sport has gone global!

This course applies the techniques of business analysis to the world of mediated professional sport, explores the underlying economics and corporate structure of sport and franchises, seeks out the commercial origins of this social phenomenon, and investigates what likely futures this business models holds for both elite professional sport and for those who most profit from it. After establishing the historical setting to this subject, you will employ mass communication principles and case study techniques familiar to business students in order to analyze more complex sports marketing phenomena such as icon sponsorship, the brand name principle, and the contemporary demands of corporate business and global capital within the economy of media sport.

This course is currently cross-listed as MKT332.
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