Claudette Jackson Palmer

Since the beginning of time media has been responsible for getting the news and information out to the public. Media exists in many different forms such as magazines, television, newspapers, internet, motion pictures, and even plays. When communication is spread not just between two individuals but rather between tens of millions of people it is known as mass media. Mass media is known as the central nervous system of society and it functions as a medium of exchange of information across the globe. Media has many different purposes, such as providing information, entertaining, persuading and also by carrying a vague general function of culture to millions of people (Zimmerbucher, 2008). In order for media to exist, there must be an audience. Today\'s society is very selective; each receiver reacts differently through his or her own experience and orientation.
Sports is used not only to make a living, but also to entertain the masses. When sports and media are combined, the opportunity to make millions of dollars increases. Today, millions if not billions of dollars are being made from athletic events from high school to college all the way to professional sports. The focus of this paper is to discuss the relationship of sports and media: Can sports survive without media?

Media and sports has evoked such interest because of the powerful influence they both have on the ideals and perceptions of the American public (Cunningham, 2003). The relationship between the media and sport is long-standing. The media generates interest and excitement and, without it, sports would not be able to attract so much advertising and sponsorship. In return, sports supply the media with drama, conflict and entertainment. Whilst there is nothing new about this, the amount of media coverage dedicated to sports has increased significantly. In recent years, the arrival of satellite television and a new generation of sports-oriented magazines, and the style of coverage has changed beyond recognition (Phillips, 1998). When media and sports are connected, Bruce and Saunders (2005) defines this as any sport that is not watched live and in person but instead is consumed via mainstream media sources such as newspapers, television, radio, internet, magazines, fanzines, video games, advertising or movies (Bruce & Saunders, 2005).
There are some people that question why a relationship between media and sports even exist. An example of this relationship is when sports properties sold their rights to the media, who then sold the sports content to advertisers, who gained audiences and potential customers for their products. The model was primarily built on network television and was largely responsible for turning professional and college sports into multibillion-dollar businesses (Rein, Kotler & Sheilds , 2007).
If you honestly think about it every time you are flipping through the channels on television you are bound to see either a sporting event on or advertisement for an upcoming game or merchandise. Sports celebrities are widely used in product advertising to drive sales, by improving consumers\' product recall and positively influencing their brand choice behavior. Such endorsements enhance consumer recognition and image awareness of brands the athletes represents (Brody, Runyan & Lear, 2010). With the amount of advertising that goes on within the world of sports it?s clear to see how they attract the public. Advertisements and endorsements are not only a part of the sports world but they are another means of a star athlete to make more money for themselves. Product endorsements often provide professional athletes more money than they earn through playing sports. In 2005, the world\'s top-ranked golfer Tiger Woods earned nearly $12 million in golf prize money and another $75 million through endorsements and appearance fees. Basketball great Michael Jordan blazed the trail for these and other star athletes when in 1997 he earned $40 million in endorsements alone (Brody, Runyan & Lear, 2010).
Through sports the media has given athletes the power to make millions of dollars for not only themselves but companies, owners, and corporations. Celebrity endorsements are considered valuable and mutually beneficial partnerships for brand owners and celebrities, and involve more than just the transfer of money in exchange for image. However, there has been a significant increase in money spent on athlete endorsements. In 1984, NBA star Michael Jordan signed a five-year, $2.5 million contract with Nike. By 2003, Nike signed high-school student