Sport and International Political Economy: An Introduction

  • Kimberly S. Schimmel
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This collection of case studies represents an attempt to capture key aspects of the profound transformations occurring at the beginning of the twenty-first century in sport in advanced capitalist societies. As even a casual observer may recognize, the phenomenon of modern sport bears little resemblance to that of the fairly recent past. At the turn of the twentieth century, sports were occasional and unregulated events played by members of local sport clubs. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, an individual’s association with sport might have been limited to participant, spectator or consumer of sport ‘news’ mainly through radio or newspaper (see Houlihan, 2003). However, as sport became meaningful to more than just the people who played them, the emergence of crowds at local sports club contests provided the opportunity for risk-taking entrepreneurs to turn games into profit-making ventures; for, as William A. Hulbert, one of Major League Baseball’s first owners, reasoned, ‘Why should we be losing money on games that people love?’ (quoted in Peitrusza, 1991: 28). In a relatively short time, traditional community pastimes became today’s commercial spectacles. Voluntary participation was replaced by binding contractual arrangements, and small hometown rivalries gave way to regional and international mega-events produced for mass consumption by a global television audience.


Political Economy Olympic Game International Olympic Committee Major League Baseball Rugby League 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kimberly S. Schimmel 2005

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  • Kimberly S. Schimmel

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