The Globalization of Sports


The World of Sports has been divided into core blocs and semiperipheral spheres by political, economic, cultural, and geographic differences. The core sports world comprises the United States, Russia, Australia, and South Korea. The semiperipheral sphere consists of all other nations, including the former Soviet Union. The Olympic Games are one of the core sports events, but the Olympics are also held in the peripheral sphere. The spectating population consists of anyone who goes to watch a match.

In the nineteenth century, sports became a form of “patriot games,” a way for people from different social groups to construct national identity. In many countries, both outsiders and established groups used sports to create the notion of equality that has become the foundation for many modern sports. In the 18th century, boxing became a popular form of sport, and boxer Jack Broughton formulated rules for a sport competition in 1743, which were later strengthened by the marquess of Queensberry.

As globalization became more prevalent in the twentieth century, sports socialization took on a different form. As the world became more interdependent, young people were compelled to take up sports activities, either as a means to establish a national identity or as a means to gain a social identity. Some people became athletes and developed a strong sense of self-identity from their involvement in sports, while others simply stopped playing or stopped participating altogether. Some people even found their primary identity in being an athlete. However, there were others who were not athletic, either through age, motivation, or other reasons. Regardless of their destinies, the globalization of sports has implications that are not readily apparent.