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Creating sport consumers in Dutch sport policy (INTERN)

Roest, J.W. van der, Vermeulen, J., & Bottenburg, M. van (2015). Creating sport consumers in Dutch sport policy (INTERN). International journal of sport policy and politics 7 (pp. 105-121)

This article deals with the tension between the association logic and the market logic that appears in the domain of voluntary sport clubs (VSCs). The researchers present a qualitative analysis of sport policy texts of fifteen Dutch national sport organizations (NSOs) and the national umbrella organization to examine how they discursively construct the market logic with respect to their policies towards VSCs. In this article, the researchers argue that although there is no empirical evidence for an increasing consumerist attitude among Dutch sport participants, the policy makers of Dutch NSOs nevertheless pressure VSCs to modernize their activities according to a consumer logic that contrasts with their traditional values. The researchers found that their policy texts construct a consumerist discourse by (1) identifying societal changes that are closely linked to consumerism as a possible threat for the future development of sport clubs and by (2) presenting the emergence of the consumer as a window of opportunity if sport clubs succeed in treating their members as such. They discuss the implications of portraying members of VSCs as consumers and conclude with a research agenda. 

Uitgever(s): Taylor & Francis (Routledge Journals),


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Jan-Willem van der Roest
Jeroen Vermeulen
Maarten van Bottenburg

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