chapter  3
17 Pages

This sporting planet: G/local sport

Global forces weave their way through sport creating new synergies and affiliations making and remaking transnational flows. There is the flow of capital investment and the allied activities, especially those relating to sponsorship and media and broadcast networks as well as the transfer of players and of the cultural products of sport that create new alliances and configurations of identification. The global reach and ubiquity of satellite coverage and transmission of sporting events make new affiliations possible and inevitable; evidenced in the branding that is made visible in the strip of English Premiership clubs such as Manchester United that dominates unexpected locations such as the spectator stands at the African Cup of Nations. Sport, however defined, is global in that there are sporting

activities in all parts of the world and increasingly sport crosses the boundaries of nations. Sport is regulated and managed by transnational bodies and elite athletes are highly mobile, in more ways than one, as are the sponsorship flows that promote and support them. Sport has in some ways been ahead of global

economics and political economy in recognising, reconfiguring and engaging with the concept of the nation state, the limitations of which have become all too apparent in the global economic crises that began in the summer of 2007 and erupted with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent global banking crisis in 2008 followed by the Eurozone crisis of 2011. The issue of the precedence often taken by clubs over national teams and the identification with a league or club across the boundaries of nation or even continent have been debated in sport for some time. ‘World’ is a word that features in the language of sport.