The global popularity of sport has made it a powerful vehicle in the expansion of transnational commercial interests. In this chapter the authors examine the issue from a New Zealand perspective. The authors firstly examine the the changing nature and position of local rugby union as it moved from being an amateur game to a highly commercialised sport with management approaches that elevated the All Blacks to an extremely successful global commodity. They highlight the advertising images that are produced around the All Black team, the manufacturing and mythologising of links to national identity, and issues around use of Māori cultural icons such as haka. They examine local resistance to globalisation and commercialisation of sporting images through two case studies of American sports company advertisements. The authors conclude that although new media technologies and global marketing strategies increasingly utilise shocking images to get attention and viewers, there are successful sites of resistance, where cultural values can over ride powerful global commercial interests.
culture, economics, globalisation, identity, marketing and advertising, mass media, rugby, sports, standards