American Sports in an Age of Consumption

How Commercialization Is Changing the Game


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About the Book

Sports are not what they used to be. New publicly funded stadiums resemble shopping malls. Fans compete for cash prizes in fantasy sports leagues. Sports video games are now marketing and public relations tools and team logos have become fashionable brands. The larger social meanings sports hold for fans are being eclipsed by their commercial function as a means to sell merchandise and connect corporate sponsors with consumers. This book examines how the American consumer culture affects professional and collegiate sports, reducing fans to consumers and trivializing sports themselves. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Cory Hillman is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at Ashland University. His work has appeared in the Communication & Sport journal as well as in various books. He lives in Ashland, Ohio.

Bibliographic Details

Cory Hillman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9888-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2472-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction: Sports, Democracy and Consumer Culture 5
One—Welcome to the Consumer Arena: Sports Stadiums and Consumerism 19
Two—The Sports Gaming Culture 72
Three—Does It Have to Be in the Game? Sports Video Games and Sponsorship 92
Four—“It’s Not How You Play, but How You Look”: Sports Merchandising and Consumer Spectacle 127
Five—Sports, Consumer Culture and the Prospects for Change 149
Chapter Notes 161
Bibliography 182
Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A solid overview of the stadium construction fad that intensified in the 1990s and continues today…highly readable and informative account…the value of this book is to offer an insightful and informative survey of the relationship between sports and consumerism…well worth reading”—Sport in American History