Sports are a global phenomenon. Many major sports are marketed to reach every market. Many sports are sponsored by corporations. Many of these corporations have their own interests in mind, which means that they try to influence the event. In some cases, this is to the benefit of the sponsors. Many critics believe that sports are manipulated by the media to maximize profits.
Some sports have an aesthetic component, but the emphasis is on quantitative achievement. A semantic shift can be seen during the transition from Renaissance to modern sports. The word measure, for example, used to refer to balance and proportion, but soon became a synonym for quantitative measurements. Today, sports involve teamwork and communication, both of which require skills and discipline.
Despite these differences, there is a certain order in world sport. Developed nations tend to dominate in a given sport, and noncore nations tend to fall into the semiperipheral or peripheral blocs. Sports are a major way to promote a nation’s image. Developing nations have limited resources and often have no opportunity to compete against rich nations.
In the late 19th century, sports became “patriot games”. They were a means to build national identity. Both established and outsider groups adopted sports to promote their ideas and beliefs. Moreover, sports can support or undermine hegemonic social relations. A good example of this is when a country’s national team wins the World Cup.