Game Changers: The Canadian Sport Industry as a Microcosm of Economic and Political Change in Canada

Colloquium | March 21 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Neil Longley, University of Massachusetts Amherst

 Canadian Studies Program (CAN))

The lecture is based on research conducted for my forthcoming book, entitled Game Changers: Economics, Politics, and the Transformation of the Canadian Spectator Sport Business (University of British Columbia (UBC) Press, 2019).

The book examines the profound transformation that has occurred in the Canadian spectator sport business over the past half-century. It argues that this transformation should not be viewed in isolation, or only within the narrow context of sport, but rather should be viewed as a microcosm and manifestation of a complex set of economic, political and social changes that have occurred in broader Canadian society. It asserts that the freer movement of goods and services, globalization, immigration, urbanization, Quebec sovereignty, and western alienation, were all factors that impacted the Canadian sport industry.

Looked at another way, sport also reflects and mirrors these broader changes in society – in a sense, sport becomes a metaphor for the world around it. The nature of sport – with its high public visibility, relative transparency as a business, and its widespread following amongst large segments of the population – makes it a particularly unique vehicle to witness societal shifts and transformations.