Impact of Media Coverage of the 42nd World Archery Championships on Audience Attendance and Purchases

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Global impact of sports

Sports influence our daily lives, playing a key role in our socialization and entertainment. The Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games, hosted every four years, attract billions of viewers who enjoy the competitions through the global media. In 1996, the Centennial Olympic Games, which were hosted by Atlanta, Georgia, attracted almost a quarter million people and media representatives to the city to enjoy the gala. It was estimated that an additional 1.5 billion people watched the games through network and cable television (Marketing Matters, 1996). Verveer (2001) stated that the Sydney Olympics were broadcast to 220 countries and territories, making them the most-watched television sports event in history. In Dayan and Katz's view (1995), the hallmark of media events is their rarity and, therefore, their ability to interrupt our daily lives; media events are live and unfolding, and both broadcasters and audiences adjust their schedules in order to attend them (1995).

Importance of media coverage

The growth of modern sports is considered to provide an interesting example of globalization. Sports not only provide an attraction to bring people together, they also work to attract media involvement. A comparative study of television coverage in the context of sports (Bernstein & Blain, 2003) reported that the opening ceremony at the Barcelona Olympics drew 28 broadcasters from around the world. The media includes not only broadcasters but newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and the Internet. The media often serve the interests of people who have power and wealth, usually emphasizing images and messages consistent with dominant ideologies. The impact of global processes on sports may emphasize either globalization or processes such as Americanization, modernization and post-modernization, as well as cultural imperialism and cultural dominance (Donnelly, 1996).

Through television and the other media, we can appreciate the outstanding performances of elite athletes. This process will get more people involved in sports, bringing more media participation, creating a positive circle. The more sports broadcasts, the larger the audience involved in sports. According to the Web site Tour de France a la Voile 2002, during 2001, 1,027 programs about the Tour de France were broadcast. The advertising value of the 2001 Tour de France television coverage has been estimated at 42 million francs (we141.lerelaisinternet.com). Do sports depend on the media? Do the media depend on sports? In reality, they have a reciprocal relationship, depending on each other. Sports produce a unique form of news and entertainment. Media coverage of sports enhances enjoyment of daily life. However, keep in mind that mass media do not shape sports, but rather intensify and extend the process and effects of commercialization of sports. They bring us information, interpret it for us, and entertain us. This process "re-presents" reality. As Real and Mechikoff (1992) state, specific media technology and commercial advertising provide the structure through which the public accesses media sports. Sporting events are becoming more common in society because of media that provide a connection between sports audiences and favorite teams and athletes. Sports have many dimensions, not just the shape presented by the media. And there is much more to the media than sports. In newspapers, sports sections provide more daily coverage of sports than any other single topic receives elsewhere in the edition. Televised sports events, a major part of programming, have continued to gain advertising revenue. A number of channels are now exclusively dedicated to sports and sports events, focused media packages satisfying people's demonstrated needs.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

This study may be the first one of how media coverage influences audience attendance at archery events. …