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Sports entertainment is a type of
spectacle In general, spectacle refers to an event that is memorable for the appearance it creates. Derived in Middle English Middle English (abbreviated to ME) was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest of England, Norman conques ...

spectacle
which presents an ostensibly
competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationship itself may also be called "a riv ...
event using a high level of
theatrical Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The pe ...

theatrical
flourish and extravagant presentation, with the purpose of
entertaining Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and Interest (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have develo ...

entertaining
an
audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philoso ...

audience
. Unlike typical
sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectato ...

sport
s and games, which are conducted for
competition Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationship itself may also be called "a ri ...
,
sportsmanship These two teams of young football (soccer) players line up and high-five after a game to practice good sportsmanship. Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical act ...
,
physical exercise Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential valu ...
or personal
recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is spent away from , , , , and , as well as necessary activities such as and ing. Leisure as an experience usuall ...

recreation
, the primary product of sports entertainment is performance for an audience's benefit. Commonly, but not in all cases, the outcomes are predetermined; as this is an
open secret An open secret is a concept or idea that is "officially" (''de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in ...
, it is not considered to be
match fixing In organized sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainmen ...
.


History

The term "sports entertainment" was coined by World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now
WWE World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company that is primarily known for professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a type of athletic exhibition and entertainment involving ...
) chairman
Vince McMahon Vincent Kennedy McMahon (; born August 24, 1945) is an American professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'm ...

Vince McMahon
during the 1980s as a marketing term to describe the industry of
professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'matches', held by touring companies called Professional wrestling promotion, promotions, in ...
, primarily to potential advertisers, although precursors date back to February 1935, when ''
Toronto Star The ''Toronto Star'' is a Canadian English-language broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common s include the smaller and – formats. Description Many broadsheets m ...
'' sports editor
Lou Marsh Lou Marsh Lewis Edwin "Lou" Marsh (February 17, 1879 – March 4, 1936) was a Canadians, Canadian athlete and referee, and one of the pioneers of sports journalism in Canada, working at the ''Toronto Star'' for 43 years. Life and career Marsh was ...

Lou Marsh
described professional wrestling as "sportive entertainment". In 1989, the WWF used the phrase in a case it made to the New Jersey Senate for classifying professional wrestling as "sports entertainment" and thus not subject to regulation like a directly
competitive sport Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals ...
. Some sports entertainment events represent variants of actual
sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectato ...

sport
s, such as exhibition
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, ...

basketball
with the
Harlem Globetrotters The Harlem Globetrotters is an American exhibition An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting suc ...

Harlem Globetrotters
. Others modify sport for entertainment purposes: many types of professional wrestling (which derived from traditional
wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport A combat sport, or fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport that usually involves one-on-one combat. In many combat sports, a contestant wins by scoring more points than the opponent or by disabling the oppon ...

wrestling
), and more recently many of the various
mascot race A mascot race is a promotional sports entertainment Sports entertainment is a type of spectacle which presents an ostensibly competitive event using a high level of theatrical flourish and extravagant presentation, with the intent purpose of ent ...
s held at numerous
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is played in baseball league, leag ...
games in-between innings.
Roller derby Roller derby is a roller skating Roller skating is traveling on surfaces with roller skates. It is a recreation, recreational activity, a sport, and a form of transportation. Roller rinks and skate parks are built for roller skating, thoug ...
was presented as a popular form of sports entertainment in the 1970s, though modern versions are legitimate competition. Competitive sports can also utilise narratives to drive fan engagement in the competition. For example,
Formula One Formula One (also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of international racing for single-seater An open-wheel car (formula car, or often single-seater car in British English) is a car with the wheels outside the car's main body ...
has seen a resurgence in popularity due to the success of the
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. Th ...

Netflix
documentary series ''Drive to Survive'', and personalities in the sport have used the show's success to enhance their own personal brand. The desire for entertainment, however, can conflict with the desire for pure competition; in the case of Formula One, the
championship {{multiple issues, {{cleanup reorganize, date=October 2012 {{Unreferenced, date=May 2010 In sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and ...
-deciding 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended in controversial circumstances due to the race stewards wishing to end the race—and the championship—under racing conditions instead of
under caution
under caution
.


Perceptions

Sports entertainment has a stigma of being mindless, low-level
pop culture Pop or POP may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music * Pop music Pop is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms a ...

pop culture
, in some cases glorifying violence for the sake of entertainment, and has been criticized as such in popular media, often through lampooning.


See also

*
Barnstorm (sports) In athletics terminology, barnstorming refers to sports teams or individual athletes that travel to various locations, usually small towns, to stage exhibition matches. Barnstorming teams differ from traveling teams in that they operate outside ...
*
Exhibition game An exhibition game (also known as a friendly, a scrimmage, a demonstration, a preseason game, a warmup match, or a preparation match, depending at least in part on the sport) is a sporting event Sport pertains to any form of competitive p ...
*
Kayfabe In professional wrestling Professional wrestling is a form of entertainment and performing art, which combines athletics with performance. It comprises of exhibitions, called 'matches', held by touring companies called Professional wrestlin ...


References

{{Sport Genres Professional wrestling genres