To watch an interesting video about the ten biggest plays in sports from CNBC please click here or watch below. One of the biggest issues to hit sports in the last decade revolved around Tiger Woods. He has spurred interest in golf. His infidelities brought into question athletes' images as role models, how much of a public figure's private life the media should cover, an athlete's moral accountability to fans, and if people expect athletes to be perfect.
Athletes are seen as role models more so than rock stars or actors. Even adults look to athletes to have the perfect marriage. This is true of a more "classy" sport more often enjoyed by blue bloods. Tiger Woods made golf accessible to middle class children and showed anyone with passion, dedication, and skill could excel at golf. He broke the stereo-type and became the first billionaire athlete (Badenhausen, 2009). (Read more about it here.)
This helped create a squeaky clean image for the athlete. Now athletes are no strangers to adultery and scandal, including in the past few years Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade to name a few. But Tiger Woods seemed to receive more press and criticism than the others. Fans were asking for apologies and people were saying he should not be allowed to play. Many of these fans being parents who passed off the responsibility of being a role model to Tiger Woods. He lost sponsorship. But does Tiger Woods and other athletes have a responsibility to be moral compasses? Can they make mistakes? Or is it the nature of being famous athletes? Fans buy products that athletes endorse and lose of fans effects business. For more on evaluating whether or not to continue sponsorship with Tiger Woods read The Tiger Woods Scandal (2010).
The internet has changed the way people participate in recreation. Recreation has always been big business and the internet will continue to affect fan participation. So perhaps the internet is the biggest player in sports in the last decade. Because of more wireless more and more people are getting their sports content online.
Fantasy sports is one example. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA, 2010) was created in 1999. Fantasy Football takes the lead in fantasy sports. According to an article from Paul R. La Monica entitled "Fantasy football...real money" "about 85 percent of all fantasy sports participants play fantasy football, mainly online" (2006). Some leagues are free and perks include boasting rights or weekly prizes and more. Google once and one will find many leagues. iPhone applications have been created. Social networking sites such as Facebook are getting in on it. It has more than 100 member companies today. This has provided a great avenue for advertisers. Fantasy football providers are advertising on sports related sites such as Sports Illustrated.
Of course, with all these fantasy football players do broadcasters benefit? Are those players watching the games to see how the athletes on their teams perform? Or, are they going to more games? This is a good question and time will tell who stands to gain the most from fantasy football.