American sports league have started to look towards the globalization of their leagues. There is such a demand for sports across all borders. This shows in today’s sports society more than ever. Sports leagues like the NFL and NBA have in recent years expanded their broadcast and play overseas.
In 2012, former NBA commissioner David Stern reported that the NBA would generate a 20 percent revenue increase, worth $5 billion, due to the expansion into the Chinese market and the partnership with CCTV. In a piece done by Forbes.com, the NBA claimed that of the 1.4 billion Chinese population nearly 640 million watched some form of NBA programming; that’s more people then the whole population of the United States of America.
The NBA has strategically partnered with major Chinese brands, like, Anta shoe company.
But it does not stop there though.
The NFL in the last five years has started playing games in England. At ESPN there is an idea that there will be a team in England by 2022. Let that sink in. 10 years ago the idea of an NFL team in England would have been laughed at. Not today, the idea of globalization is a necessity.
This type of idea of global expansion has made leagues and teams adopt a global marketing scheme.
With the new technology advancements, such as FaceBook Live, Youtube Live, Hulu, and AmazonPrime, there are no more border restrictions on who is going to watch American sports. These advancements create a new platform to broadcast on. In years past we’ve seen the NFL broadcast Thursday Night Football across Twitter’s Live capability. This year, Amazon Prime simulcasted FOX’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football. This is just the first step
in a large-scale American-International global sports leagues.
While this is a great way to make more money, some people, like myself, are still skeptics.
The idea of globalization of sports is nothing new. There has been a global sports body since, at least, 1896 with the first Olympic games. The Olympics governing committee is what should be the fear of globalization. The IOC has a reputation of being a corrupt organization.
Supposedly, the IOC demands paid bribes for their votes for cities to host their spectacle of sports. Cities are then held hostage to create a spectacular event, worth billions of dollars when they can’t afford it.
Some countries violate crimes against humanity (Russia) to create enormous arenas to advertise their country. The top leaders of a globalized organization are corrupt.
It’s not just the Olympics. Members of FIFA, the world soccer governing body, received bribes for their vote to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. The World Cup is usually played from June through July. Want to know what the temperature is in Qatar in June through July? 106.7 degrees. So what did FIFA do? They decided to move their tournament to November. It’s a milder 85 degrees in Qatar in those months.
The idea that corruption of this level could find it’s way into American sports is the reason people are unsure about globalization.
However, globalization is the next step for any top-level national sports league. The highest level of sports should be accessible to the whole world.
Just look at WWE. It is an international brand. They run house shows in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Japan, and South America. During their pay-per-view segments on the WWE Network, they have like 10 announce teams of different ethnicities to cater to their international crowd.
That is what the NFL and NBA are looking for. They want to capture a viewing audience of at least one billion, and they won’t find that billion in just America. Just think about how small a percentage of a billion is in the grand scheme of the world population (7.53 billion); 14 percent.
All in all, the growth of sports is unstoppable now that it has started. This is good for sports and fans. The access to high-level competition is our right and it is, of course, the league’s right to make money. Let’s just hope Roger Goodell does not start taking bribes like he’s a politician in the Godfather.