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F1 sets new standards for sports innovation

To Martin Rogers
FOX Sports Columnist

Most of the time, sports are listening to you. They are trying to attract your attention and keep your attention — and they are not afraid to change to do it.

In 2022, it will be difficult to find a sports league that hasn’t tried to innovate, at least to some extent, with the goal of expanding its audience and satisfying its current fan base.

Perhaps unless you’re the Masters or Wimbledon, maintaining the status quo no longer really cuts it. Increasingly, the game leaders we see are not afraid to tinker with their structure and rulebook when it means an opportunity to capture a slightly larger portion of the overall sports pie.

That’s why the F1 Grand Prix in Miami last weekend was so fascinating. F1, which is currently experiencing a dramatic boom in the United States, is actually far less tampered with the mechanics of the sport than any other sport.

But it’s grown tremendously and is definitely cool now. It is highlighted by the shimmering array of celebrities who appeared in South Florida for the race, won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Miami Dolphins‘Hard Rock Stadium.

Michael Jordan, Tom bradySerena and Venus Williams, Patrick Mahomes, And David Beckham led the sports A-listers. Michelle Obama visited seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage, with countless performing artists and supermodels roaming around.

And this all seems to be the result of a reimagination of F1 made with the help of some clever marketing that emphasized the innate appeal of the groundbreaking documentary series and motor racing.

We’ll talk more about this later. What is clear is that every sport wants an F1 style leap. Because such rapid growth is very difficult to succeed and is monumentally profitable. Every organization has its own way of trying to get things in order, but many of them require changes in the details of how a particular sport is played.

Major league baseball Perhaps the oldest professional sports league in the United States, it seems to be working on innovation by using the Atlantic League as a test site for future changes such as robo umpires, larger basses, pitch clocks, and mound retreats.

Every year NFL Let’s take a closer look at the rulebook, but in addition to tweaking the playoff overtime section next season, the focus has been on quarterback protection in recent years to protect the sport’s biggest stars and play more. You are likely to receive it.

As a startup USFL Without being disturbed by the convention, fans enjoy enterprising changes such as 3-point conversions and additional forward passes. All of these are designed with the comprehensive goal of entertainment in mind.

Tennis has shortened the potential length of the fifth set in the Grand Slam and launched a 1:10 “super tiebreaker” the year after the shift was reviewed.

Basketball has been working on ways to overcome the mind-boggling endings of games that end in constant fouling and free throws. Elam Ending, a system that involves setting goal scores, is already in use in All-Star games and is not impossible to use further in the future.

Small sports are even more flexible. The modern pentathlon is a derivative of the activities held in the ancient Olympics and part of the Olympic Games since 1912, and is a traditional sport that is currently doing everything it can to maintain its relevance. is.

Due to the low reputation of television, pressure from the International Olympic Committee has led to drastic changes. In recent years, shooting events have been combined with cross-country runs and changed from using a pistol to a gun that looks like it was borrowed from the locals Laser Tag Arcade. Do you remember the Biathlon of the Winter Olympics? Just like that, except for the summer version.

Last week, the international governing body of modern pentathlon announced that it would completely abolish its historic equestrian discipline and run obstacle courses like the American Ninja Warrior. ..

In F1, the revolution took place in the form of a cinematic unicorn. Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” drives sports into American consciousness and recreates the intoxicating combination of good-looking drivers racing glittering cars around stunning places under the approved gaze of high society. did.

This is one way, but not a blueprint. Not all sports are suitable for camera lenses and do not necessarily have the ability to follow that route.

In any case, whether you’re a certified traditionalist or an embrace of change, know this-it’s all for you. The power to bet on data that tells them what you want, how you want it, how much money and how long.

The battle continues, and sports are fighting harder than ever to establish and maintain their position. More changes are coming, whether you like it or not.

Martin Rogers is a FOX Sports columnist and author of the FOX Sports Insider Newsletter. You can subscribe to our newsletter here..


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