The relationship between mass media and sports is a long-standing and dynamic one. In the last century, both have become economically interdependent, with sports being the most popular and profitable form of entertainment. Without the billion-dollar broadcast rights and the saturation coverage in sports pages, professional sports cannot survive. No other form of popular culture has as wide an audience as sports, and no other form of entertainment can capture such an interest and attention. This relationship has led to many changes in the way both institutions function.
Most commonly, sports refer to any activity that involves a high degree of competition. There are numerous types of sports, including many kinds of games and racing. In addition to professional athletes, many people enjoy playing sports with their friends or family members. Some sports are played indoors or outdoors, and involve teams or individuals in competition with others. Some sports are based on tradition or are invented. Some sports, such as cricket, have become national symbols that have shaped their cultures.
The Renaissance period was a time of scientific and technological development. In addition to improved equipment and training methods, athletes became more competitive and trained systematically to reach their physical maximum. Some of the earliest sports were created during this period, and there is even evidence of the development of ballet. Moreover, fencing became regarded as an art form in France and Italy, and northern Europeans began to copy the art of fencers. During this time, the concept of sports record became prevalent.