The best place to see the new world of communication may be the sports field. It encompasses some of the best in journalism, broadcasting, electronic communication, marketing, advertising, public relations, visual communication and new media. The stakes for understanding communicative practices may be even greater at the professional level. Especially because professional sports are inextricably linked to the media that broadcast, report, and opine about the games, it is next to impossible to escape the influence of professional sports. Live sporting events more available through satellite providers and Internet feeds, or that fantasy sports have produced an entire industry that is dependent on, but also separate from, sports themselves, or that community officials often insist that the key to urban development or city pride is to invest in a professional sports franchise and/or arena, or that player salaries continue to rise, often driving up the cost of attendance along with them. There are many other features to add to this list. What is critical, once again, is that communication practices are essential to the success of professional sports from expressions of collective identity found at live events to the images produced by sports media to the importance granted to sports in the vitality of a community.
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