Sport returning...a little bit differently
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
As restrictions ease, how will sport need to adapt to return?
Coronavirus has wiped the sports calendar across the board. Meaning global sports sponsorship spend is set to fall $US$17.2 billion, a 37% YOY decrease according to a recent study by Two Circles. The decrease is in result of new partnerships being put on hold, some existing partnerships ending and some getting make goods due to the cancellation or postponement of certain events. But even if sports return soon, will brands be happy to sponsor a team playing in an empty stadium?
Footy is planned to restart soon too, June 11th, but it will look very different as well. Players will be tested 24 hours before every training session, meaning they will undergo 2 tests per week. Due to reduce travel and border closures, WA & SA teams will be relocated to Gold Coast hotels for at least a month. A move that will no doubt will be hard for their families.
In order to reduce chance of other infections, the AFL contemplated mandatory flu shots for all players, however, they’ve since made it optional for teams and club doctors to implement. Queensland however has made it mandatory for players to get the flu shot in order to train or play under the state’s no job, no play orders meaning all players from the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns will be getting their vaccinations. Some NRL players haven’t been as accommodating of the state’s orders and as a result two players have been stood down after refusing the vaccinations.
Germany re-started their football league this week to an eerie empty stadium and a long list of protocols to follow. Players had to self-isolate all week in hotels and were being tested regularly for coronavirus, the balls were disinfected and substitutes and coaches wore masks.
In South Korea,baseball and soccer leagues have started returning.Players won’t be allowed to speak to each other or the referees during the game, temperature checks will be conducted twice daily, no fans are allowed at the stadiums and personnel will be required to wear masks. In order to deal with the lack of fans, a South Korean soccer team filled the empty seats with sex dolls.
One of Cricket’s oldest tricks might also be banned before the sport returns. The ICCC hasrecommended a rule to ban using saliva to shine the ball moving forward to reduce the chance of infections. However, bowlers will still be allowed to use sweat as it’s less likely that the virus will be transmitted this way.