Heroes as Heritage: the commoditization of sporting achievement

Gammon, Sean orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5053-8763 (2014) Heroes as Heritage: the commoditization of sporting achievement. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 9 (3). pp. 246-256. ISSN 1743-873X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1743873X.2014.904321


The paper aims to explore and develop discussion relating to sports heritage by introducing the proposition that sporting heroes can be equated to forms of both tangible and intangible heritage. It begins by identifying the nature and function of sports heroes, whilst delineating a basic sports hero typology based upon the temporal dialectic processes that drive the emotional responses of the spectator and/or fan. Furthermore, the paper explores the commoditization process of the sporting hero that reframes them into heritage “objects”. These “objects” are, in turn, responsible for the intangible heritage achievements produced during their careers. It is argued that sports heroes represent a hitherto unexplored source of tourist interest (specifically related to authenticity and motivation) which may add to our understanding of heritage studies in general.

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