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Can Endurance Sports Capture the Public Imagination Like Team Sports

Posted On : Oct-05-2010 | seen (582) times | Article Word Count : 505 |

Their extreme nature should be more central to attracting attention and praise not just from the fans, but also the media or the sponsors. What holds endurance sports back and is there a chance of them rising in the hierarchy of popular disciplines?
Is there a different sort of emotional load in one man trying to beat the others to the finishing line of a city marathon than in two teams vying for an upper hand in a volleyball match? There must be something that sets these two types of sports apart, as the audience clearly promotes one before the other. Endurance disciplines, like long-distance running, do not constitute such a big draw for spectators as team sports and some individuals sports based on different principles. While it is easy to understand why fewer people are actively involved in these activities, their extreme nature should be more central to attracting attention and praise not just from the fans, but also the media or the sponsors. What holds endurance sports back and is there a chance of them rising in the hierarchy of popular disciplines.

Possibly, part of the problem is the fact that they focus on individual achievement and a personal pursuit of excellence. While this might be engaging for the person in question, it is unlikely that the public will get interested in much more than only the best in their category. A marathon runner beating his personal record by a quarter of a minute is a cause for elation in his team, but merely a flat fact for spectators. There has not been found a satisfying way to represent endurance racers' individual struggle against their own limitations and other powerful forces, so the media have a problem to cover it too. Nothing comparable to a sensational atmosphere around the football team or a tennis player can come out of it.

Next, there is the question of much slower action in endurance sports. Most of them involve covering long distances or otherwise gruelling exertion, so on a timescale more akin to a spectator's average taste quiet little seems to be going on. Watching a contestant break some sweat at the tenth kilometre or some reshuffling every now and then might not be enough to create lasting interest. Of course, some events have achieved much greater reputation and attract media coverage, the examples being the field road cycling or iron man competitions, but they seem to be exceptions that confirm the rule.

Finally, endurance sports are based on training, motivation and willpower, three qualities that are not most easily sold in a contemporary society on a large scale. How can a television channel show a triathlete wearing his or her triathlon gear if not as an oddity of sorts, rather than a fully fledged discipline that most people could find something fascinating about. As most of action takes place in a participant's head, trying to conquer their mental and physical weaknesses, viewers are likely to switch to spectator sports. Short of waking up some momentary interest, endurance sports fall short of generating popularity. Few people post predictions on YouTube which they record with their webcam, as they do for boxing. Triathlon and the likes would need an orchestrated effort from publicists to change that.

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I am a web designer and a passionate writer. I write articles about sports equipment like triathlon gear. I am also a computer specialist writing about accessories like webcam or mini mouse. Interested in business education and executive training programs.

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Category : Recreation and Sports : Recreation and Sports

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