Sports entertainment

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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 purpose of entertaining an audience. Unlike typical sports and games, which are conducted for competition, sportsmanship, physical exercise or personal recreation, the primary product of sports entertainment is performance for an audience's benefit, thus they are never practiced privately. Commonly, but not in all cases, the outcomes are predetermined; as this is an open secret, it is not considered to be match fixing.



The term "sports entertainment" was coined by World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now World Wrestling Entertainment WWE) chairman Vince McMahon during the 1980s as a marketing term to describe the industry of professional wrestling, primarily to potential advertisers, [1] although precursors date back to February 1935, when Toronto Star sports editor 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.

Some sports entertainment events represent variants of actual sports, such as exhibition basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters. [2] Others modify sport for entertainment purposes: many types of professional wrestling (which derived from traditional wrestling), and more recently many of the various mascot races held at numerous Major League Baseball games in-between innings. [3] Roller derby was presented as a popular form of sports entertainment in the 1970s, though modern versions are legitimate competition. [4]


Sports entertainment has a stigma of being mindless pop culture, in some cases glorifying violence for the sake of entertainment, [5] and has been criticized as such in popular media, often through lampooning.

See also

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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., d/b/a WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company that is primarily known for professional wrestling. WWE has also branched out into other fields, including movies, football, and various other business ventures.

Harlem Globetrotters Exhibition basketball team

The Harlem Globetrotters are an American exhibition basketball team. They combine athleticism, theater, and comedy in their style of play. Over the years, they have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 124 countries and territories. The team's signature song is Brother Bones' whistled version of "Sweet Georgia Brown". Their mascot is an anthropomorphized globe named "Globie". The team plays over 450 live events worldwide each year. The team is currently owned by Herschend Family Entertainment. The executive offices for the team are located in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree Corners.

Washington Generals Exhibition basketball team known for losing

The Washington Generals are an American basketball team who play exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters. The team has also played under several different aliases in their history as the Globetrotters' perennial opponents.

Vincent J. McMahon Professional wrestling promoter

Vincent James McMahon, also known as Vince McMahon Sr., is an American professional wrestling promoter. He is best known for running the Capitol Wrestling Corporation from 1953 to 1982, and being the father of his successor, Vince McMahon.

Wrestling form of combat sport involving grappling type techniques

Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be theatrical for entertainment, or genuinely competitive. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position. There are a wide range of styles with varying rules with both traditional historic and modern styles. Wrestling techniques have been incorporated into other martial arts as well as military hand-to-hand combat systems.

Roller derby contact sport

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track. Roller derby is played by approximately 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, mostly inside the United States.

Marques Haynes was an American professional basketball player and member of the Harlem Globetrotters, notable for his remarkable ability to dribble the ball and keep it away from defenders. According to the 1988 film Harlem Globetrotters: Six Decades of Magic, Haynes could dribble the ball as many as 348 times a minute.

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A sports club or sporting club, sometimes athletics club or sports society or sports association, is a group of people formed for the purpose of playing sports.

Royal Rumble (1992) 1992 World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view event

Royal Rumble (1992) was the fifth annual Royal Rumble professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation. It took place on January 19, 1992, at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York.

Professional wrestling in the United States, until the 1920s, was viewed as a legitimate sport. This view did not endure into the 1930s, as professional wrestling became identified with modern theatrics, or "admitted fakeness" ("kayfabe"), moving away from being a showcase for true competition. The scripted nature of the art has made critics view it as an illegitimate sport, particularly in comparison to boxing, mixed martial arts, amateur wrestling, and the real sport itself, wrestling. No major promoter or wrestler denies that modern professional wrestling has predetermined match outcomes.

RollerJam television series

RollerJam is an American television series featuring roller derby that aired on The Nashville Network from 1999 to 2001. It was the first attempt to bring roller derby to TV since RollerGames.

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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 the framework of an established athletic league, while traveling teams are designated by a league, formally or informally, to be a designated visiting team.

The history of professional wrestling, as a performing art, started in the early 20th century, with predecessors in funfair and variety strongman and wrestling performances in the 19th century.

Colorado Springs City Auditorium United States historic place

Colorado Springs City Auditorium is a historic auditorium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Completed in 1923, the auditorium still serves the city of Colorado Springs by way of hosting various events throughout the year. The building, cost $424,910 at the time, was primarily used for concerts, theatre performances and graduations. The plaque above the stage is inscribed, "USUI CIVIUM DECORI URBUS", or "For the use of the people and the glory of the city." In the 1940s, a local promoter, Abe Marylander, brought wrestling exhibitions and boxing matches to the facility. As the years passed, the City Auditorium has played host to various musical concerts, the Harlem Globetrotters, many conventions and trade shows, professional wrestling, boxing, mixed martial arts, roller derby and more. The City Auditorium was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1995.

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Styles of wrestling

The various styles of wrestling include:


  2. "Harlem Globetrotters press release". Reuters. 2008. "for decades the Harlem Globetrotters have defined family-friendly sports entertainment," said [Jeff] Urban, the former SVP of Sports Marketing at Gatorade.
  3. "Out at the plate: Pirates dump outspoken pierogi - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  4. Watson, Adam (May 1, 2011). "Tough Cookies: The Rollicking Resurgence Of Roller Derby". The Post Game. Retrieved February 2, 2019. Forget everything you thought you knew about roller derby. This is not the sports entertainment version that was televised in the '70s and '80s with predetermined winners.
  5. "Pro-fane". Americana. April 2001. Retrieved 9 June 2013.