2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Froukje Smits

Utrecht University of Applied Science
Young commercially sponsored kite surfers riding the wave of the future

The inclusion of action sports into the Youth Games and Olympics and the glorified representation of freedom associated with them in the niche media, have contributed to processes of commercialization and professionalization of these sports (Thorpe & Wheaton, 2011). Companies selling action sport-related equipment or clothes, sponsor adolescent athletes to stimulate other youth to become consumers. These sponsored young athletes often use music in their digital media activities to present and accentuate this image of freedom. I draw on data from my study with 11 commercially sponsored male kite surfers under 18 years old, to show how they use music from and in the digital media to shape their experiences in their sponsored activities. I discuss how these sponsor created practices may not always be in the best interest and well being of these young action sport athletes.