Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya
Universidad del Azuay
La evolución del negocio del fútbol como multinacional del
The evolution of the football business
into a multinational entertainment
Universidad de Málaga
Associate Professor in the Department of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at
the University of Malaga (2020), with accreditation as Full Professor (2023). Coordinator of
the Advertising and Public Relations Degree (2021). Doctorate Cum Laude with International
Mention in Communication from the University of Malaga (2013). Graduate in Journalism
(2001) and in Advertising and Public Relations from the UMA (1996). Master’s Degree in
Sports Management from the EXCE School (2011), Master’s Degree in Strategic Management
and Innovation in Communication from the University of Malaga (2013).
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5315-3057
RECEIVED: 2023-07-17 / ACCEPTED: 2023-07-19
Gema Lobillo Mora
OBRA DIGITAL, 24, December 2023, pp. 185-188, e-ISSN 2014-5039
DOI: 10.25029/od.2023.394.24
Data from the book under review:
Ginesta Portet, Xavier (2022). The entertain-
ment multinationals. Football, Diplomacy, Iden-
tity and Technology. Editorial UOC.
The work of Xavier Ginesta Portet, professor at
the Faculty of Business and Communication of
the University of Vic-Central University of Cat-
alonia (UVic-UCC), analytically presents a con-
ceptual framework of the reality and evolution
of the football business as an entertainment
multinational. This is done through four ma-
jor themes: Sociology, Diplomacy, Identity, and
Technology, distributed in two parts and seven
This work is essential for students interested in
sport’s sociological, economic, communicative,
diplomatic, and/or technological aspects.
Ginesta Portet is a consolidated researcher spe-
cializing in sports communication since he de-
fended his doctoral thesis at the Autonomous
University of Barcelona (UAB) in 2009, entitled: “
The evolution of the football business into a multinational entertainment
ICTs and sports. Analysis of the Spanish First Di-
vision of football (2006-2008)”. This thesis was
supervised by the professor and great expert
in the eld, Miguel de Moragas Spà.
This book, published by the UOC publishing
house, is the result of the remarkable trajectory
of the teacher who has been able to delve into
elds where sport, specically football, has de-
veloped its professionalization. He is the author
of many articles and book chapters, which have
led him to complete this work.
He is a lecturer in various subjects, including
Sports Marketing, and a collaborating research-
er at the Centre for Olympic Studies at the UAB,
a Sport Management Advisory Board member
at Widener University (Philadelphia, USA) from
2016 to 2020. He is a member of the Commu-
nication & Sport Journal editorial board.
This book analyzes aspects of sport from dif-
ferent points of view, delving into the business
side of football. It is divided into two parts; the
rst part carries out a diachronic analysis of the
globalization of sport, while the second part
delves into the concept of football in the liquid
society, an idea used by the Polish sociologist
Zygmunt Bauman (2005).
In the rst part, the author explores the di-
mensions of globalization in sports, specical-
ly in football, from a sociological point of view.
In this way, he turns this work into an essen-
tial manual for understanding the evolution of
society, using authors such as Maguire (1999),
Elias (1989), Ritzer (2002), Wallerstein (1974),
Donnelly (1996), Wagner (1990), among others.
In his analysis of globalization, he traces the
economic origins of the global world, citing the
works of Robertson (1992) and Dunning (1992)
while also examining the classical sociology of
Durkheim (1961), Weber (1978), and Simmel
(1978, 1986) for precedents.
The nal section explores the global media and
sports complex in depth. The analysis focuses
on the interactions between various actors in
the sporting world, highlighting the benets
and drawbacks of such synergies. This section
adds signicant coherence to the longitudinal
In the second part of this work, Ginesta Portet
reviews the globalization process with the the-
ories that support it scientically and explains
the world of sports as a very complex network
with compelling commercial and economic in-
By way of example, an English football club,
Manchester United, is studied as a pioneer
of attractive business policies that have inu-
enced those of the rest of the world’s clubs.
Comparisons are also made between the pol-
icies of Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, as
they have served as a model for the Spanish
football multinationals.
This second part identies the phenomena of
sports diplomacy and sports place branding, al-
lowing us to delve into the link between politics
and football and the evolution of city brands,
Gema Lobillo Mora
As an example of a country branding strategy,
the Qatar 2022 World Cup and China’s expe-
rience of state involvement in football are dis-
What is new is the ability of private clubs
to blur their corporate values to em-
brace foreign geostrategic interests: a
marriage of convenience between the
commercial interests of clubs and the
political interests of states is proposed.
(Ginesta, 2021, p. 147)
During this systematic analysis, an exempla-
ry explanation is given of models such as that
of FC Barcelona, of how local identity can be
blurred in global environments, or Girona and
other clubs, faced with the purchase of foreign
investors, without losing the peculiarity of the
Finally, eSports is discussed as a consolidated
sport worthy of study by specialists in sports
communication due to its growing production
and consumption, especially by young people.
It is, without a doubt, an essential manual for
all undergraduate and postgraduate students
in the faculties of Communication, Commerce,
Marketing, Geography, Sociology, and Humani-
ties interested in the business and communica-
tion world of the king of sports.
A work, like a manual written in a very clear
and organized way, leads us mentally to have a
broader notion of everything that concerns the
business of football.
The author highlights how football has become
one of the most inuential industries of the
21st century by providing various trends. These
trends include the transformation of football
clubs into entertainment multinationals, the
use of football as a “para-diplomatic” agent, the
struggle for the legitimacy of football brands,
and the necessary relationship between tech-
nology and football in this industry.
It is a must-read for academics studying the
eld and those who wish to discover the busi-
ness practices of football, which can be of prac-
tical application to many businesses in other
The evolution of the football business into a multinational entertainment
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