Sport in the USA

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Sport in the USA

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Characteristics of the USA

  • The USA is a powerful, relatively young nation.
  • Over the past 250 years the USA has been a 'land of opportunity' for countless immigrants.
  • The country has a belief in individualism where each person is responsible for their own destiny and success.
  • This individualism leads to capitalism which is a system based on private or corporate ownership and the investment of money for profit
  • Capitalism influences sport in the USA

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The Nature of Sport in the USA

  • The 'win ethic' dominates sport at all levels in the USA
  • Winning is more important than taking part
  • The result is what matters
  • Second place is not an option
  • According to a legendary American football coach, Vince Lombardi, 'winning isn't the most important thing - it is the only thing'

American Dream

  • The American Dream is the dream of success, freedom, equality and security
  • The dream gets you from 'Rags to Riches' or from 'Zero to Hero'
  • Prosperity and success depend on ability and hard work - not class or background
  • Anyone can achieve the 'Dream'

Commercialism

In America sport means big business. Sport is a commodity and companies use it to promote their products and to achieve goodwill. The high-scoring and action-packed games of the USA are well suited to commercialism.

TV and advertising fund top level professional sport with sport, sponsorship and the media enjoying a strong and mutually beneficial relationship (The Golden Triangle).

Though comparatively few performers become super rich the very best are on multi-million dollar playing contracts. They can also earn millions from advertising and sponsorship deals.

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American football

Origins and nature of the game

Also called 'gridiron' because of the original markings of the pitch. The game developed in the 'Ivy League' universities such as Yale, Harvard…

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