PhD A.V. Kylasov
PhD E.A. Gureeva
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow
Keywords: popular festivals, sports, traditional games, sharing economy, ethnosport.
Background. Sports may be viewed as a non-industrial sector with its development process in the modern market conditions governed by certain emerging competitive relationships, and with the sports being supported by not only the relevant cultural subsectors (like filmmaking industry, theatre, circus etc.) but also the sport federations striving to lure and raise as large as possible the available human and financial resources to keep up the sector progress pace.
Ethnosport in the modern conditions has certain advantages over other sport disciplines for they may be viewed as similar to raw material industries in the sense that they furnish enthusiasts with a ready product i.e. the ethnosport events may be easily designed based on the traditional and still highly valued forms of physical activity that are conservative enough to stay beyond the reach of the modern developmentalistic trends. The only thing required for their genuine resource being mobilised is the due event-management service for traditional games; and even in this aspect ethnosport has serious advantages over other sports due to their ogranic and well-developed festive culture so different from the modern sports that are always in need of a festive environment that the event organisers strive to create (yet not always successfully) .
It should be noted that despite the fact that traditional sports and games are strongly associated with the past, it is not always true that they still remain in the past. On the contrary, interest in the traditional sports have been on the rise with the proliferation of the sport disciplines generating multiple qualifier events uninteresting to the public whilst highly interesting and high-ranking tournaments are still relatively seldom . Traditional games on this boring background may look absolutely fantastic all the more that they are always timed to the historically rooted calendar ethnic festivals with their solar and lunar ceremonies that cannot be overshadowed even by the powerful global monotheistic religions. Peoples’ interest in ethnosport tends to grow with the falling popularity of common forms of socio-cultural entertainments and services provided at sport facilities, libraries, circuses, parks etc. [2, pp. 24–33].
Ethnosport, however, still faces a few challenges on the above generally favourable background, and their main problem is that the global population is largely urbanised nowadays, and this is the reason for the competitors in traditional games being in need of certain technologies and services to help them revive the partially or totally lost ethnosport skills and qualities that used to be so natural and habitual for their grandfathers. Methodological grounds for such a technology were spelled out in the modern ethnosport theory that offers conceptual grounds for the traditional sport design and management in the modern environments .
Objective of the study was to provide theoretical grounds for the concept of ethnosport branding and promotion on the public entertainment markets based on tenets of the modern shareconomy.
Study results and discussion. Generally, the basics of the ethnosport theory were designed in harmony with the rethinking strategy by Kenichi Ohmae who believes that business ideas will inevitably be transformed to increase the value of products for the consumers [6, p.76]. The ethnosport management system in this context is designed to create due conditions for the communal training for and competitions in traditional games ranked with the world cultural heritage at the 2005 General Conference of UNESCO Session 33 and viewed among genuine values of mankind and, in practical terms, among profitable businesses. Such vision and mission, values and advantages of ethnosport put them above the endless demonstrations of individual accomplishments on the conveyor of modern homogenous sports [9, p. 121].
Kenichi Ohmae assumes that the global economy evolves towards inevitable localisation with the relevant logistics targeting specific regions rather than nations as demonstrated, for instance, by the investments “in Catalonia, Wales or Alsace-Lorraine provinces rather that Spain, the UK or France” [6, p. 75].
It should be mentioned in this context that so “differently directed – or at least looking so – trends of globalisation and localisation of interests are sometimes referred to as glocalisation. As a result, ... even purely academic studies of these phenomena are fraught with a political bias and may easily be used for other than purely research purposes since they focus attention on the regional, local aspects of globalisation (glocalisation ones) unveiling the thoroughly camouflaged mechanisms of the global redistribution of resources and powers (as one of the resources)” [7, pp. 67, 68].
The new management strategy (as per Kenichi Ohmae) will create favourable conditions for networking structures to help build up a global ethnosport branding model unlimited by the national borderlines and governed by the glocalisation trends including the local ethnosport (Buryat, Latvian, Russian and other ethnosports) promotion initiatives. Such an approach to the ethnosport branding was geared to solve the problem related to the lack of a common and easily recognisable product since traditional games cannot be unified for the simple reason that all of them are rooted in historical national festivals and unique ethnic cultures.
A traditional sport marketing model was found inapplicable to ethnosport since their events are quite versatile and can hardly be generalised, with scopes of the local traditional games being largely determined by the institutional and budgeting resources of the organisers who can either afford national/ international participation and competitions or only local ones.
Broad public participation in the diverse ethnic cultures embodied and promoted by ethnosport provides a good basis for the latter being subject to network branding project with elements of shareconomy or collaborative consumption contributing to the relevant market promotion initiatives. This promotion concept resulted in a collaborative use of ethnosport brand.
Modern research literature provides a wide variety of definitions for the term sharing with all of them more or less implying free resources being shared for collaborative consumption. Generally, shareconomy may be defined as the new consumption model based on exchange of free resources with the collaborative consumption helping develop new economic and social relationship based on the common “intrinsic daily routine”  to secure equal access of consumers to goods and services. Shareconomy in application to ethnosport implies ethnosport as a brand name being used as a subject to collaborative consumption rather than a specific good or service, the ethnosport being viewed as the traditional games rehabilitation and promotion technology with the ethnosport projects and events being jointly developed and implemented by the relevant cultural and sport sector institutions on an interdepartmental basis. The ethnosport system is to be designed to secure due event scaling/ outreach capacities i.e. accommodation, visa provision, transportation, boarding and other services coverable by a variety of sources including the commercial ones (e.g. proceeds from ticket sales). As a rule, the event scale is to be determined by the sponsors and host regional authorities normally interested in high popularity and promotion of the event.
Our study data and analysis found that the ethnosport brand is increasingly beneficial for the reasons that it is highly appealing; associated with positive emotions and expectations of the participants and competitors; and the traditional games are commonly acknowledged as an excellent tool of self-identification and harmonisation of interethnic relationship. We consider the ethnosport brand both as an outcome and process of the ethnosport branding activity with a top priority being given to the following two promotion aspects: (1) Help the process participants implement their individual self-improvement and ethno-cultural agenda and (2) Facilitate the key objectives of the relevant cultural policies being attained. Both of the components are designed within the general paradigm of influence on the subject community, with the communal feedback being assessed to rate the public response to the brand by a variety of measures including the scope and quality of the relevant services provided for a certain time period.
Conclusion. The ethnosport branding concept was based on the shareconomy model applicable in a variety of versions from the brand being applied on a communal demand with the participation being secured by the relevant activity in social networks plus inflow of the general public to the event. It is the common accessibility and openness that make it possible for the shareconomy model to be widely applied and diversified in ethnosport; with ridesharing and carpooling tools being applied in securing attendance for the games; accommodation being based on a concept of collaborative use of housing space (as provided by the Airbnb business model); and the game technology being mastered using a variety of co-working tools. Therefore, the study gives grounds to conclude that the ethnosport branding concept is not only well integrated into the modern shareconomy but also provides an excellent example of how it may be harmonised with the traditional ways of life and entertainment with the modern versions of traditional games replicating the genuine traditional festivals used as a basis for the modern ethnosport concept.
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The study considers some important aspects of ethnosport branding and promotion on the public entertainment markets, the promotion initiatives being largely based on tenets of the modern shareconomy. The shareconomy in application to ethnosport implies the latter being subject to sharing in the same manner as typically applies to goods or services, the ethnosport being viewed as the brand covering the traditional sports renaissance and promotion initiatives with the relevant interdepartmental cooperation of the national culture and sports sectors. The ethnosport management system is to create due conditions for public training for and participation in the traditional games and is to be designed in harmony with the rethinking strategy by Kenichi Ohmae who believes that business ideas will inevitably be transformed to increase the value of products for the consumers. In this context, the initiatives to promote the traditional sports ranked with the world cultural heritage by UNESCO are to be geared to secure a variety of advantages for the ethnosport promotion efforts. The main problem of the ethnosport promotion initiatives is that the ethnic communities are increasingly urbanised the world over and the traditional sports increasingly require new technologies to help the communities rehabilitate or master from scratch ethnic physical abilities that were once natural and habitual for their grandfathers. Methodological grounds of the rehabilitation technology were spelled out by the ethnosport theory that lays a conceptual foundation for the traditional games design and management system in the modern conditions. We applied an analysis of the key provisions of the Ethnosport World Society (EWS) to forecast positive trends in the ethnosport branding and promotion movement.