With the Football World Cup finishing in dramatic style and Germany lifting the trophy, it’s time for everyone to get back to normal, including TV schedules and the kid’s bedtimes. Football yet again manages to dominate television schedules and newspaper back-pages, along with some of the most powerful brand advertising in sport. Whether it’s someone biting another player’s shoulder, or a head-butt here and a dive there, there’s always a talking point when it comes to football. There is undoubtedly a fascination with it. It’s a sport that schools promote actively, and that is easy to play with friends, with little equipment necessary. It’s encouraged with the creation of local teams and let’s face it, everyone loves a kick-about! But is there a growing bias, both in schools and in the media, towards football as the number one sport?
It’s fair to say football attracts more sponsorship and more money compared to any other sport and it’s no stranger to controversy on a weekly basis. Tennis has Wimbledon, Cricket has the Ashes and test matches, admittedly but football dominates. In a countdown by Sporteology.com however, cricket was classed as the 2nd most popular sport in the world, with 2-3 billion fans globally. Those figures are probably fairly rough estimations, but it’s no surprise that the sheer number of fans is so large when you consider those from India, Australia and Britain. So why does it feel like Cricket gets short-changed? Is it because Sky Television have ownership of the rights to broadcast? Or is that because the Terrestrial channels just don’t see any pay-off in gaining the rights to show test matches?
Cricket has roots stretching back as far as the 16th Century and carries with it a host of heroes over the years. It has a legacy and a history. It has presence and power, excitement and controversy and it has great victories which will forever be remembered. So we think it deserves more exposure and to not be left behind trailing in the wake of football. Unfortunately, sponsorship plays a huge part in this and football is a multi-billion pound industry in sponsorship deals alone. Cricket, although having the backing of large leading brands, is not quite there and we’re not sure it ever will be. The mass sums of money involved with the FA and the players is astronomical, compared to the world of cricket. Maybe this is what’s wrong with football now, in that it is now money-motivated instead of concentrating on the love of the game and talent.
What Do You Think?
What needs to change? Bigger brand involvement? High-priced contracts? Famous names sponsoring teams and players?
Perhaps we should just be happy with cricket’s own little corner and its fan base?
Would larger corporate sponsorship ruin the sport? Would bigger advertising campaigns and adverts every 5 minutes just crush the enjoyment of what is already a cracking sport?