Friday, November 16, 2007

Foolish Dreams

You have probably heard about Petro Canada's
contest that is rewarding one of four "fringe sports the chance to pitch their sport to the Canadian Olympic Committee for "Olympic consideration".

My take?

I think it's silly. Don't bother voting.

Here are my reasons
-The COC has as much pull in Olympic sports as I do.
-Petro Canada is a corporation. This is a marketing strategy. They are capitalizing on the desires of fringe sport athlete.

Our game has a lot of issues to deal with before we can be considered for a sport. World wide exposure, on field issues (Refs, rules, etc) and off field issues (governing bodies) need to be addressed. That's the gist of the take I got when discussing the matter with former IOC vice president Richard 'Dick" Pound. If his son had not been an Ultimate stalwart on the Canadian scene for more than a decade, he might have been as dismissive as the other IOC/Olympic officials I have spoken to.

Sports are big business. The Olympics are a political amazon with billions of dollars at stake. We need to come a long way before we can start talking seriously about the possibility.

I love the game. The game is good. It's not just about the game though... and we must remember that.


Aaron said...

I agree Ultimate has a long way to go before becoming an Olympic Sport. However, I don't think it's too bad of an idea to vote. Yes, Petro Can is using that whole event as a marketing scheme, but it's never a bad thing for Ultimate to get a little more publicity. More publicity leads to more involvement to make the sport better, no?

Sport Management Steven said...


I had a viewpoint similar to yours several years ago, and I'll agree exposure is good to some degree.

However, ultimate faces a daunting task when trying to "convert" people. If you have a negative sterotype placed on you, it is that much more difficult to sell people on the game.

I'll give you an example. Try converting a former CIS football player to the game. If they are exposed to rec ultimate in their first few experiences, there is little chance you'll retain them.

Olympic wise, we shouldn't be exposing the game until it's ready to be seen. Further, some people/groups are better are selling the game at others, and we need a composite/coordinated strategy to help the game become more legitimate.