Embracing Sport as Strategic Art and Changing the Nature of the Game

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  • Title: Embracing Sport as Strategic Art and Changing the Nature of the Game
  • Author(s): Heidi Muller
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Sport & Society
  • Journal Title: Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization
  • Keywords: Creative Agency, Creative Engagement, Strategic Art, Traditional Societal Roles, Consumers, Reinforcement, Motives, Hegemony, The Inherent Artist, Audience, Benefits of Participation
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2381-6937 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2381-6961 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2381-6937/CGP/v07i03/35-49
  • Citation: Muller, Heidi. 2016. "Embracing Sport as Strategic Art and Changing the Nature of the Game." Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization 7 (3): 35-49. doi:10.18848/2381-6937/CGP/v07i03/35-49.
  • Extent: 15 pages


What was great about the 2015 Major League Baseball World Series? One explanation of its greatness is that it was an instance of sport as strategic art. While there are many valued ways to approach sports, one that has not been clearly articulated is sport as strategic art. This approach is fundamentally different than the marketing approach often taken, which typically results in the reinforcement of traditional societal roles. This is one of many approaches that while keeping people interested in sports, rarely transforms people who are not interested in sports into people who are interested in sports. The proposal in this paper is of an alternative approach that while not replacing the relevance of victory or the economics of the game, potentially provides new possibilities of inspiration and avenues of access to sports. The strategic art perspective is rooted in the idea of fostering creative agency in sport performers and spectators. Enacting this agency leads to creative engagement, which allows a movement from the art of strategy to strategic art. This perspective is elucidated through discussion of research findings, connection to other art forms, and analysis of sport performance.