When Sports and Entertainment Collide

In the world of sports, we are privileged to have witnessed and continue to witness the moments that create lifelong memories for fans and consumers all across the world. When speaking about the sports empire, regardless of whether it is football, soccer, tennis, or golf, it is important to know that the entertainment industry doesn’t care about the game that is being played, we just want what is the most content-oriented.

As much as sports are about performance and a player or teams ability to win games and reach high levels of success, many people that consume sports are mostly in it for a fun, entertaining pastime.

Where sports have become so neglected over time and are still so greatly slept on is in the entertainment aspect, and what they do for media as well as the overall outlook of the entertainment landscape.

To elaborate more on what I am trying to say, use Tom Brady and his storied career as a prime example.

Lots of athletes within any league or association go into their careers not really considering the fact that they have the ability to change a sport, change a perspective and create a name that people will remember for generations.

While looking at the career of Tom Brady, it is unbelievable to think that this player, who was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft, was able to come in and change the way people viewed football.

Brady made a name for himself by becoming the best winner in the history of the sport, do you think he came into his career as an undersized and overlooked quarterback from the University of Michigan with the plan on doing what he did?

Not a chance, but he did it… And along the way created thousands of little noteworthy storylines for people to chew on over and over again.

In the media, we are always hungry for the next thing, the next greatest ever, or the next prodigy in sports. The reason for that is not because we are dying to watch the next great basketball star play basketball, we know they are amazing at that.

The reason is that we need something to talk about, post about and maybe, more importantly, argue over.

LeBron James was being watched under a microscope from the time he was 13 years old until this very moment. He was touted as the next best thing since bacon, and deservingly so due to how great he was at what he did.

Yet, for a player that people will claim is the greatest of all time, he perhaps wouldn’t be mentioned with the likes of Michael Jordan if it weren’t for how closely watched he was, and the expectations set upon him by the media, the entertainment industry really helped fuel the career of LeBron James from a very young age.

Sports and entertainment are two very different things, and in a way, it is hard to understand why, but once you are invested in them and study what there is to see under the surface, entertainment is the biggest part of any game there is.

It helps pay the endorsement contracts of big-name athletes, as well as the college tuitions of high-level recruits.

Massive television deals like the NHL and NBC, NBA with ESPN, TNT and ABC, the NFL and CBS are all prime examples of the effect the entertainment industry has on these sports, the revenue and CBA’s within these leagues depend on these entertainment industry contracts.

Under the top layer of sports, there are hundreds of thousands of individual stories that are being built and careers that are being crafted.

We stare and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans in awe of his size and athletic ability. When he came to the NBA out of Duke, the expectations pinned to him were lofty, he was the only thing that people wanted to talk about until we reached this season.

This season we saw the arrival of rookie LaMelo Ball, who slowly began to move the spotlight off of Williamson and onto himself, even though Willamson’s performance has done nothing but trend upwards on the court.

The media and entertainment business do not really care about what is going on within these sports, what we really want is something that will spark a debate, or create new talking points.

The “Miracle on Ice” was a hockey game that took place between the United States and the Soviet Union at the 1980 WInter Olympic games. At the time, it was believed to be the single greatest international ice hockey moment ever, for any country when the USA upset the dominant USSR to win the gold medal.

Fast forward 24 years later, a 2004 box office hit film titled “Miracle” hit the public eye, and all of the sudden it was no longer really about the USA’s triumph over the Soviet Union, but it was now a story about overcoming and perseverance that anybody from anywhere could relate to and enjoy for their own entertainment.

The moments that sports provide us as fans and content providers are unmatched in many ways. Watching the successes of players who come from nothing and make it big in their sport. Those who suffer gut-wrenching losses in their lives, like Karl-Anthony Towns in the NBA, or Joannie Rochette before her stunning bronze medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

What is important to remember when these moments are being created is the beauty of the entertainment they provide. Sports are the main contributor of raw, unfiltered moments and stories that nobody can write, this is part of the reason I fell in love with them in the first place.

Saying that one is a sports-fanatic is a fair title to own, but it isn’t just the sport they may be referring to. It is that feeling of the national anthems before a packed game seven or the fighter jets gliding through the sky before the Super Bowl. Seeing Serena Williams capture multiple grand slam victories or Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal to win the Stanley Cup…

Sports are what the athletes performing worked their entire lives to do for a living, to do as an occupation, and play well in doing so.

Entertainment is what they thought about in their heads while working towards that goal, the make-believe game-winning shots, or sinking the final putt. It is the real reason we love sports and what they do for us every day.

Evan Power, Evolution 107.9




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