Sports and Media: The Happiest Marriage

在文檔中 女生跑起來! 企業、媒體與路跑中的女性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 27-34)

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1994). Modern sportswear, moreover, helped women to enhance their feminine, sexy

characteristics, and the curved body shape no longer points to leisurewear or sportswear

but is more practical, functional, and fashionable. In this spirit, sports has become

inseparable from the commercialization of the female body and the commercialization

of sexuality (Hargreaves, 1994).

It was clear that, under the saturation of the public culture industry, girls were

bombarded with idealized images of the female shape that were almost impossible to

ignore and separate from consumer culture (Hargreaves, 1994). Reading and analyzing

media sports texts provided opportunities to reify social ideology and manipulation of

cultural power. So far, the body presentations of sportswomen correspond to the gender

inequity and the dominant heterosexuality in sports (Hargreaves, 1994), which putting

under Taiwan road running texts, demanded further examination of sportswomen’s

characteristics and what kind of the body aesthetic values it praised.

2.3 Sports and media: the happiest marriage

(1) Sports and capital (sports/ media complex)

Sports is difficult to separate from the media. The relationship between sports and

the media was central in benefit exchange, especially in magnifying the economic

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profits (Rowe, 1996); both mutually depended on each other, so it has been described

as the happiest marriage. Previous studies have done a great deal to explore the linkage

between the two, and there were several reasons that sports and the media are meant

for each other. Rowe (2004) pointed out that sports can easily catch people’s attention,

satisfying and stimulating public demands. In addition, it offered news report;

meanwhile, produced consumer loyalty to media content and advertised products. The

media, on the one hand, met the “uncertainty and emergent” principle of sports,

functionally generating instant updates, vivid images, constant sports results, and

off-screen information that can hardly be replaced. It is a means to stimulate people’s

interest before an event and revitalize sporting events afterwards (Rowe, 2004). Jhally

(1984) coined the term “sports/media complex” to describe the interweaving and

complicated relationship between sports and media after examining the material and

cultural dynamic of North American sports development. In his paper, he claimed the

historical turning point, for it clearly indicates the intimate relationship between sports

and media is the emergence of professional sports and television.

The emergence of the television made sports a body-absent activity; people do not

need to be present, as just pressing a button and turn on the television is enough to enjoy

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a wonderful sporting event with different angles (zoom-in, replay, slow motion) and

splendid comments. The possibility of body absence drove advertisers to pay for the

media (television) while arranging a series of advertisements placed between media

sports content to lure the audience into the commodity world (Jhally, 1984; Wenner,

1989; Rowe, 2004). However, the visible media sports content per se is not what is

being sold; the intangible but real “audience” is considered the most valuable and

reliable commodity and is the crucial key to stimulate the marriage of the media and

sports (Jhally, 1984). Jhally concluded that sports’ commodification, from sports itself

to the appearance of television, created an “audience time” commodity, and further

links to advertised commodities and solidified the combination of the media (television)

and sports.

By drawing upon Jhally’s discussion of the sports/media complex, later Western

scholars placed more emphasis on the sports broadcast industry, mostly related to

televised, spectator sports (Cave & Crandall, 2001). Due to the severe competition for

sports broadcast rights, the broadcast industry became monopolistic with high

broadcast fees and once the television withdrew the financial support, many sports

organizations would immediately collapse sports organization (Wenner, 1989).

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Therefore, whether the existence of a few hegemonic authorities could harm sports

development and further affect public sports rights and the government’s role in the

broadcasting sector were the nexus discussions of sports broadcast rights studies

(Scherer, J & Whitson, 2009; Smith, 2010). Not surprisingly, given its profile, the vast

majority of research into sports and media has focused on mega sports events, like

Olympics, NBA, MLB, mostly counted as spectator sports, but what needed to be

explained more with respect to the sports/media complex was participatory sports, like

road running.

(2) Sports sponsorship

Road running has a rather discernible sports/media complex pattern compared

with ball games (spectator sports). First, broadcast right are not the main revenues for

road running, therefore sponsors replaced TV advertisers in attracting road running

attendants and targeted audience group. The media, then, played the role of promoting

the sports events by generating mediated sport contents. Sports organization, in this

case could be sporting goods manufacturers like Nike/ Mizuno or other sports

marketing company (see Figure 1).

Under the impact of globalization, Nike’s brand name and its swoosh logo, have

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become a popular, well-known symbol in the world. According to Goldman and

Papson(1998), Nike is a money-making machine. This multinational corporation

produced top-line shoes in five countries, and successfully creates, promotes, and

inspires consumption. The individualism places in Nike’s slogan like “Just do it”,

“There is no finish line”, and “You don’t win silver- you lose gold”, emphasizes

self-empowerment, and create a commodity culture in the era of globalization (Miller,

Lawrence, Mckay, Rowe, 2001).

Figure1. A model of media, sports, and sponsors’ relationships

Given that road running sponsorship agreements are increasingly considered as an

important strategic investments for firms seek to achieve certain corporate objects, not Sponsors

Media Organizations

Sports Organizations Mediated

Sports Content

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merely selling their product but gaining company reputation (蘇伯千、何育敏、褚曾

文、楊聯琦Su Po-Chien, Ho Yu-Min, Chuu Tseng-Wen, Yang Lain-Chi, 2014). “Title

sponsor” is a prevalent way to introduce capital into marathons. Both 方信淵、林裕

恩、高錦勝Fang Shin-Yuan, Lin Yu-En, and Kao Jin-Sheng(2005) and 黃蕙娟 Huang

Hui-Chuan (2010) provided invaluable information and analysis on ING Taipei

marathon marketing strategies. First, the ING group is the initial group that organized

sponsorship for global marathon events (方信淵等人 Fang Shin-Yuan et al., 2005). In

黃蕙娟Huang Hui-Chuan’s (2010) study of the 2004-2008 ING Taipei marathon, she

pointed out that the marathon was co-organized by Taipei’s government and road

running associations and at the same time sponsored by and named for ING. The ING

Taipei marathon used several marketing tools, such as advertising, media booklets, and

Internet marketing, not restricted to television but included various ways to appeal to

more participants.

Compared with Taiwan road running sponsorship studies, focused more on

large-scale events and the effects of integrated marketing communication, Shaw and Amis

(2001), cut through a different dimension to discuss sports sponsorship. They attempted

to acquire an understanding of why some firms choose not to invest in women’s sports

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while others do. Shaw and Amis (2001) first stated unequivocally that women’s sports

has the potential to be a very useful marketing tool for certain firms who try to target

female consumers. They discussed three main factors that caused women’s sports being

largely ignored as a marketing tool by most firms. The prejudiced values and beliefs of

senior, male decision makers, the subordinate media representation of women, and

mimetic pressure on managers who try to lower the uncertainty factors by imitating

other company’s behavior. Though they only compared two firms’ decision making on

sponsor women’s sports, it helps clarify the focus of the current study. From sponsor’s

point of view, whether female road running is worth invested or not, based on how

female runners been represented on the media, and whether other firms have considered

endorsing female road running as a marketing tool. Lastly, and most importantly, the

decision maker’s perception and imagination of female road running.

From spectator to participatory sports, men’s to women’s sports, TV advertisers to

sports sponsors, media and sports are still closely stick to each other. The sports/ media

complex would not easily be replaced. Accordingly, the dynamic of how sports/ media

complex works in a participatory, women’s sports is something worth to discuss. Before

I depict and clarify my research questions and methods, I would like to outline the

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Taiwan’s road running development first.

在文檔中 女生跑起來! 企業、媒體與路跑中的女性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 27-34)