Sport, Symbolic Capital and Monopoly Rents: The Cultural Politics of the New Zealand All Blacks

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Steve JACKSON , University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Jay SCHERER , University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
In their bid to globalise, transnational corporations (TNC’s) utilize a diverse range of strategies and synergies in order to insert into, and locate within, local/national cultures. Amongst their strategies TNC’s invest in a range of powerful and innovative advertising, marketing and promotional campaigns. However, the pressure to attract consumer attention and to distinguish brands has lead to a compulsive search for new images and themes where culture has become a giant mine (Goldman and Papson, 1996) resulting in a range of political, economic and ethical questions This paper traces the promotional culture of the New Zealand All Blacks since the sport went professional in 1995. The focus is on David Harvey’s concept of monopoly rent which emerges “because social actors can realize an enhanced income stream over an extended time by virtue of their exclusive control over some directly or indirectly tradable item which is in some crucial respects unique and non-replicable.” (2002: 90). The paper focuses on several specific sponsors (Adidas and AIG), and their advertising campaigns, to illustrate the cultural, political, legal and ethical/moral issues associated with the logic of monopoly rents.