Rugby, Commerce, and Cultural Politics in the Age of Globalization
Chapter Ten Producing allblacks.com: Cultural Intermediaries and the Policing of Electronic Spaces
of Sporting Consumption As we noted in the previous chapter, a growing body of literature critically examines the production and consumption of digital culture as various interest groups compete to establish dominance over new global informa- tion and communication networks (Barney, 2004; Castells, 2001; Hardt and Negri, 2000; Poster, 2001a; Schiller, 1999; Slevin, 2001). Indeed, as Hassan explains, ‘it seems almost unimaginable to envisage a form of capital- ism, economic globalization and much of social and cultural life that does not have digital networks at its centreless centre’ (2004, p. 10). It is not surprising, therefore, that countless sport organizations and corporations are using a range of new media technologies to rapidly communicate and interact with af f luent consumers and global sporting fans who are regarded as the most ‘rabid of Internet users’ (Grover, 1998, p. 155). Inherent in such processes are the broader transformation of both the labour routines of those who produce electronic corporate sporting sites,1 and the consump- tion practices of networked sports fans who seek instantaneous information about sports teams, players, and other digitized sporting products (Real, 2006). As such, we are witnessing a meteoric rise in the development of interactive websites, online games, fantasy sport leagues, and integrated commercial messages that can be personalized on websites and mobile 1 For example, Real (2006) notes that by 1999, ESPN employed more than 100 edito- rial staf f and perhaps double that many technical staf f to work on ESPN.com. In a similar vein, in...
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