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Sports Studies: Sport sells...

Students require opportunities to develop attitudes, values, and behaviours that will help them to manage a range of sports environments.

Suggested learning outcomes

Students will:

  • investigate ways in which alcohol sponsorship and alcohol consumption relate to sport in New Zealand and explain how this connection affects the well-being of individuals and the community (5D1);
  • investigate health-promoting community agencies or organisations and develop a proposal to gain sponsorship for a sports event from one of these agencies or organisations (5D2).

Possible learning activities

Collect a large pile of sports sections from newspapers or sports magazines. Ask the students to make group collages from the advertisements that feature photographs of sportsmen and sportswomen. Put all the collages together to form a display and discuss the following questions:

  • Which products are most visible and which are least visible?
  • Which products or sponsors are associated with which sports? Can you identify the reasons for particular sponsors wanting to be associated with particular sports?
  • How does sponsorship work?
  • Why is alcohol sponsorship so dominant in New Zealand sport?
  • Why do sports teams accept sponsorship from alcohol companies?

The activities in the box below are intended to take place in the context of a sport education unit of work in which members of the class take on the roles of people involved in either a sports club or a professional sports business.

Explain to the class that, for the next four or five sessions, they are going to transform themselves into either "a professional sports business" or "a sports club", with members of the class playing the various roles essential to the running of a sports business or club.

  • If the class decides to run "a professional sports business", then some students will take the roles of selectors, representing the business, who will need to acquire money to buy and sell players. If the class is running "a sports club", then the club will need sponsorship to provide funding to cover such expenses as the day-to-day running of the club, team travel, and uniforms. In either case, money is needed, and part of this money will come from sponsorship. Some class members (or other teachers) may be designated to take the role of people representing companies that may be willing to sponsor the sports organisation.
  • In the context of the sport education unit of work, the club or business will need to put together a proposal to obtain sponsorship, giving details of what the sponsoring companies will receive in return for their dollars. The students may be able to find authentic models for their proposal by inviting members of local sports clubs or businesses to visit the class and share information with them.

Write the following heading on the board for the class to discuss: "Sponsors can win even when the sports team they sponsor loses the game."

As a class, brainstorm the effects of alcohol sponsorship, including the effects in terms of alcohol consumption. Construct a diagram showing some of the positive and negative effects that alcohol consumption has in our society. The students then research information for a class debate on the proposition "It is good for our community when alcohol companies sponsor sports events."

Teachers' notes

  • Teachers will need to put in place strategies to ensure that the emotional safety of the players is not compromised if they take on the roles of players who are selected, bought, and sold for professional teams.
  • In New Zealand, sports sponsors are often alcohol companies, which have substantial resources and are therefore able to provide substantial sponsorship. The relationship of alcohol and sport is a complex one. Alcohol sponsorship supports sport in New Zealand, but the excessive consumption of alcohol often causes harm. This goes against the philosophical beliefs of many sports bodies who want to "do good and prevent harm". These learning activities will help students to gain an understanding of the complex nature of the relationships between sport, alcohol sponsorship, and business advertising and marketing.