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By: Johannes Orlowski, Manuel Herter & Pamela Wicker

In: When Sport Meets Business: Capabilities, Challenges, Critiques

Chapter 4: The Commodification and ommercialization of Elite Athletes

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The Commodification and ommercialization of Elite Athletes
The Commodification and ommercialization of Elite Athletes
Johannes Orlowski Manuel Herter Pamela Wicker
Introduction: Historical and recent development

Sport has included commercial components since its early years. Already in 590BC when Greek athletes were competing for Olympic victories the winners were financially rewarded (Harris, 1964). In medieval tournaments participants were rewarded with valuable prizes and in the 19th century the first professional cricket players could be found in England (Mandle, 1972). However, the commercialization and commodification have never been faster than in the 20th and 21st centuries and have reached previously unknown dimensions. Today sport is a major business and events like the Olympic Games or the ...

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