The Mid-life ‘Market’ and the Creation of Sporting Sub-cultures

  • Rylee A. Dionigi
  • Chelsea Litchfield


Events dedicated and marketed to Masters/Veteran’s sport ‘consumers’ are gaining popularity across Western countries, with most of the participants aged in their 40s and 50s. This chapter focuses on how the Masters sport movement has evolved into a place where like-minded, middle-class, already- physically active people gather in pursuit of leisure and pleasure. We draw on observational, documentary and interview data collected over a number of studies to highlight the: (1) various subcultures within this movement (e.g., sport party-goers, sport travellers and performance-oriented athletes) and (2) effects of the commercialisation of Masters sport. Our purpose here is to demonstrate that the Masters sport movement has become a place where the market can use the ‘Sport for All’ and ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ dogma to exploit and regulate financially comfortable middle-aged adults who have a desire for sport performance, travel, consumption and socialising. The marketisation of Masters sport raises fundamental questions about risk, equity and access and makes it difficult for researchers, politicians and corporations to claim that increasing adults’ participation in sport is ultimately about making people ‘healthier’.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rylee A. Dionigi
    • 1
  • Chelsea Litchfield
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Exercise Science, Sport and HealthCharles Sturt UniversityPort MacquarieAustralia
  2. 2.School of Exercise Science, Sport and HealthCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

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