I used to watch soccer when I was younger, much younger.
Now, I don't follow any form of soccer or sports.
Ok this article is really going to look at soccer from a 3rd party point of view.
It might rile up some feathers, cos many guys watch and enjoy their soccer games, and that's all fine, you can continue to watch your soccer. It's your choice.
You see, to me, soccer is really, 22 folks running around a field, trying to get a ball in each others' nets. That's it. There's no real benefit behind it. No one really gets anything when the ball goes into the net.
Yes, there's industries built upon it. Gambling, merchandise, sponsorships, etc. But the act of the ball going into the net means nothing. So how does this whole industry spin based on a simple worthless act of putting a ball into a net.
It's easier to start by looking at the consumer. For some reason, humans need entertainment. So they watch whatever form of entertainment. In this case, soccer. They somehow get a sense of attachment to a team. Usually a winner team like Manchester City, Liverpool. Not many people support Crystal Palace. Through this sense of attachment, they like to show support by buying the merchandise. Or maybe it looks cool to wear the jersey of the winning team.
This builds upon the manufacturing industry. Shoes, clothes, scarves, whatever. This provides jobs for millions of people in developing countries to produce these products which the consumer slurps up.
People also support a winning man. Like David Beckham. Sponsors use him for advertising, Adidas (pronounced Adida, not Adidas) signed a lifetime contract Beckham worth US$160 million. Once again, this goes back to the manufacturing industry to produce not just merchandise for teams, but merchandise due to single individuals.
Then there's other advertisers, like Barclays who will sponsor the Premier League or other advertisers who will put their advertisements on boards around the field, or show their advertisements during the halftime break. Again, this employs millions of folks in the advertising industry who work to design and produce marketing material.
And then there's cable or broadcasting networks who will pay good money to be able to show these matches to the consumer, like ESPN, and the consumer will pay good subscription fees to be able to watch the matches. Once again, this spurs the broadcasting and media industry employing millions of people to put content on our television sets.
Ok, so let's look back at how this topic all started. The very simple and worthless act to putting a ball through a net.
Somehow, through this, humans get some form of connection with a particular team that they will even get into fights with opposing teams. REAL fights, people get hurt, people might die, for what? A ball going into an opponent's net. That's all. There's no REAL benefit to anyone when that happens.
What really happens when a ball goes through the net? Well, one team is deemed to be better than the other, something like that, for the consumer, there's really nothing if you take out the betting aspect. And yet it makes people feel good that they supported the winning team, and they are willing to purchase stuff to show their support. Or stay up late or wake up early to follow a match, which may lead to REAL life consequences, accidents due to tiredness cos of lack of sleep, etc.
So is it irrational? Yes, I think it is.
Is it necessary? I don't know. Cos if you look at entertainment as a whole, then this means that almost all forms of entertainment are irrational right? Who's to say which is a worthy entertainment and which is not? As long as the consumer likes it, then willing seller willing buyer.
Which leads me to my next post on the entertainment industry.
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