It's not just a game anymore. Sports today, at both the amateur and professional level, is big business, and more and more people are becoming involved in the exciting careers and financial opportunities that sports entertainment offers. In this comprehensive overview of the sports industry Phil Schaaf traces the global evolution of sports entertainment, dissects current trends, and forecasts the likely evolution of sports as a major international enterprise. Divided into two parts, Schaaf begins with a historical overview of the forces that shaped teams, leagues, and sporting events from 1896 to 1975. Focusing on such diverse personalities as Jack Dempsey, George Halas, Babe Ruth, and Joe Louis, Schaaf illustrates how the star power of big-name athletes and the marketing savvy of promoters and business interests defined and cultivated the structure of sports entertainment that we know today. He also discusses the critical impact of such historical events as the integration of baseball, postwar euphoria, and acceptance of radio and television in the formation of the contemporary sports scene. The second part of the book begins in 1976 as the modern professional athlete starts to enjoy newfound legal leverage in labor matters and the "stadium game" becomes a major component of today's successful sports enterprises. Schaaf addresses criticisms that deals to build expensive new sports facilities represent corporate welfare at its worst, and he examines the real costs and benefits to teams and local communities. He also discusses the changing face of ownership and the clout of major stars and big-market sports cities. With the net worth of individual owners approaching one billion dollars, a minority of players receiving the bulk of payrolls, and the financial muscle of such big cities as New York and Los Angeles endangering the competitive balance, sports is no longer the entertainment our parents remember. With the latest information on one of the most dynamic and growing areas of the entertainment industry, Sports Inc. will enlighten students interested in a career in sports entertainment, sports marketing experts, and hardcore fans alike.