Exploring the relationship between Big Food corporations and professional sports clubs: a scoping review

Ireland, R., Chambers, S. and Bunn, C. (2019) Exploring the relationship between Big Food corporations and professional sports clubs: a scoping review. Public Health Nutrition, 22(10), pp. 1888-1897. (doi: 10.1017/S1368980019000545) (PMID:30935432) (PMCID:PMC6558258)

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Objective: Professional sport occupies a prominent cultural position in societies across the globe and commercial organisations make use of this to promote their products. This scoping review explores existing academic literature on the relationship between professional sports clubs and food and drink marketing and considers how this relationship may impact upon the public’s health. Design: The scoping review searched six databases. Experts were also consulted. Records written in languages other than English were excluded. We also excluded records relating to mega events (e.g. Olympics, Football World Cup) and alcohol marketing, because of the attention already given to these. Setting: Professional sports clubs. Participants: N/A Results: We identified 18,166 titles, reviewed 163 abstracts and read 26 full texts. We included six papers in the review. Four were from Australia and New Zealand. The Australasian literature largely focussed on the marketing of food and beverages to children and the potential impact on consumption. Single papers from researchers in Turkey and the US were identified. The Turkish paper analysed shirt sponsorship in football leagues internationally and showed food and beverage (including alcohol) companies were the most common sponsors. The US paper examined a mixed reaction to a football team named after an ‘energy’ drink. Conclusions: Commercial relationships between professional sports clubs and ‘big food’ corporations have largely eluded scrutiny in much of the world. This review highlights the lack of public health research on these relationships. Research exploring the inter-dependent commercial practices of food and drink companies and professional sports clubs is urgently needed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Financial support: This work was supported by the University of Glasgow, College of Social Sciences. S.C. is funded by the Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland) (Medical Research Council Strategic Award MC_PC_13027; Medical Research Council grant numbers MC_UU_12017/12 and MC_UU_12017/14); and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates (grant numbers SPHSU12 and SPHSU14).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bunn, Dr Christopher and Chambers, Dr Stephanie and Ireland, Robin
Authors: Ireland, R., Chambers, S., and Bunn, C.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Public Health Nutrition
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1475-2727
Published Online:02 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Public Health Nutrition 22(10):1888-1897
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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