Global sport: where Wembley Way meets Bollywood Boulevard

David Rowe, Callum Gilmour

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


As sport has circulated around the globe, its practice and expression have both replicated its established (and substantially Western-dominated) power formation, and to varying degrees challenged and modified it. The growing popularity of these sports-entertainment cultures reflects emergent media and leisure economies combining global aspirational cosmopolitanism with local cultural identities and histories. These multiple modes of cultural adaptation are evident in various Asian contexts in relation to the English Premier League (EPL) (and association football (soccer) in general), and hybridized local forms of global sport such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket and the J-League (Japanese professional soccer). This article examines, in reference to these cases, the ways in which global sport culture is constrained by its historical inheritance yet also making new, multi-faceted cultural histories. It argues that the trajectory of sport's global cultural development is not subject to a simple logic of adoption and imitation, but is created out of multiple, intersecting correspondences - and non-correspondences - between histories, sites and social formations. The cultural complexion of sport - not least in the vibrantly performative sphere of fandom - is undergoing profound, culturally adaptive change, and analytical frameworks foregrounding sporting cultural importation and pale imitation require a concomitant re-consideration and adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

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