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Landmark book critically challenging intersections of sport, education and corporatisation

26 April 2019

3 mins

A new co-authored book, Sport, Education and Corporatisation: Spaces of connectivity, contestation and creativity (Routledge, 2019), has recently been released by Dr Geoffery Kohe (School of Sport & Exercise Science, University of Kent) and Dr Holly Collison (Institute for Sport Business, Loughborough University London).

Sport, Education and Corporation specifically examines strategic political and economic alliances formed between sport organisations, educational providers and corporate entities. The research includes investigations of the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees, international and European Football Associations, the United Nations and its affiliated sub-organisations, national sport federations, companies Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, and McDonalds, and global philanthropic foundations. These groups, Dr Kohe and Dr Collison argue, share not only various commercial and political connections and goals with each other, but have all demonstrated commitments to education (predominantly aimed at young people). Such alliances have become a naturalised part of contemporary life and are frequently utilised to demonstrate sport organisations’ and corporate partners’ shared commitment to wider social and humanitarian causes (or, colloquially, a ‘greater good’).

While not inherently problematic, the use of education (and the commercialisation of education projects within sport settings) also legitimises, promotes and privileges sport organisations’ commercial relationships and the presence of commercial involvement in educational spaces. Moreover, the use of education/educational projects has become a largely unquestioned means to meet corporate social responsibility ends and enable corporate entities to politicise educational spaces for commercial ends. Guided by radical educationalists and anti-commercial advocacy and lobby groups, the book encourages a critical rethink about the ways individuals, groups and communities engage with commercial relations in sport education spaces.

The book offers the first substantive, interdisciplinary and theoretical examination of the ‘messy’ organisational commons of sport, education and corporate partnerships across local, regional and global terrain. Drawing on research from an array of international contexts and organisations, Dr Kohe and Dr Collison present a key critique that explores the recognisable, though largely understudied, interplay between sport organisational politics, educational development initiatives and commercial agendas. Innovative and distinct from existing work in the area, the book brings together critical pedagogy, spatial and stakeholder theory, and care ethics to establish new theoretical ground and an original conceptual framework to aid future interrogations of the sector.


The book offers a sophisticated and ground-breaking insight into the Sport-Corporate-Education nexus. By bringing together a variety of lenses, this is perhaps the first interdisciplinary text to critically investigate the burgeoning intersections that are increasingly shaping the world of sport and sporting organisations”.

Reviewer

You can find the book available online here.

This blog was written by the University of Kent.

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