The Warehouse, 47-49 Cowleaze Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 6DZ
+44 (0)208 541 3434

Website version

The importance of sport-ertainment

Performance Communications Author Image Performance Communications | August 24, 2016

As we collectively bathe in the post-Olympics glow, it’s hard not to wonder how we’ll fare in the next one. Or about how this epic undertaking could be improved.

Despite lacklustre live attendances, this year’s event in Rio created plenty of sporting drama but could we raise the bar in Tokyo in 2020?

One of the most outrageous suggestions doing the rounds is to introduce F1 to the Olympic schedule, creating a one-off shoot-out to identify the best driver in the world. Fernando Alonso would jump at the chance, no doubt, but behind the craziness there’s a genuine argument to be made. After all, equestrianism sees the best horse and rider combination crowned champ. Why not cars and drivers?


The thinking goes that you even the odds by putting all the drivers in the same car. This makes sense in theory but is also the point at which the whole concept falls over. Can you imagine the cost of engineering a grid full of identical F1 cars?

In reality, F1 is a red herring. After all, the end-of-season Race of Champions has seen nations compete using drivers from various racing disciplines in essentially identical cars for years. This event’s knockout format – or a purer time trial ¬event – could be introduced to settle the old argument over who is fastest, or which formula boasts the quickest drivers, once and for all.

Imagine the likes of Hamilton (F1), Vettel (F1), Alonso (F1), Piquet (Formula E), Montoya (Indycar), Loeb (RX), Solberg (RX), Busch (NASCAR), Davidson (WEC) and Ogier (WRC) tackling the same hill climb over two runs (bobsleigh-style) using identical cars. By uniting fans of various racing formulae, you’d guarantee a huge global audience.

Conversely, other sports could learn from what’s been happening at the Olympics. After tuning-in to watch the Team GB women’s hockey team win gold in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out at primetime on a Friday evening, there’s a strong argument for football to adopt a similar format.

That’s right, dispense with the boring extra-time shenanigans and cut straight to time-limited one-on-ones, the outcome of which would owe much more to the skills of a team than the lottery of a plain old penalty shoot-out.

With the odds stacked in the penalty-taker’s favour, players who miss from the spot under the current rules are usually castigated by fans and cast as villains of the piece.

With hockey’s approach the pressure is still on the taker, but the odds are more even and watching Neymar and company trying to dribble the ball around a charging goalkeeper would be far more entertaining than a traditional shoot-out.

If these ideas sound unlikely, it’s worth remembering the first official Twenty20 cricket matches were played as recently as 2003. Initially derided as a gimmick by purists, the shortest form of the game now commands some of the biggest live attendances in the sport and its all-action format is an established part of the cricketing calendar.

Even so, I wouldn’t bank on either of the suggestions above making it far beyond the odd blog or forum, but all sports need to remember they don’t operate in a vacuum. At elite level, professional sport is an entertainment industry, too, and while national success in a given discipline is an important part of the recipe – especially when it comes to participation – keeping spectators happy is a crucial ingredient for commercial success.

Related stories.

Performance Communications Transitions To Employee Ownership

Performance Communications, a leading provider of specialist communications services to the Automotive, Sport and Technology industries is delighted to announce that it has transitioned to employee ownership via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The move secures the agency’s long-term independence and will provide its employees with both a greater level of involvement and a share […]

Cricket at the Olympics, it’s just not cricket!

Let’s set the record straight, I don’t like cricket, I love it* but cricket at the 2028 Olympics, is that really necessary? The IOC has announced the five new sports that will be included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Funnily enough some of the new sports that will appeal to a Northern American […]

Top 5 Sports Documentaries – The Power of Sports Documentaries

It seems that recently a new pro sports documentary appears on an almost daily basis, 24-7 viewing if you need to get away from the family over Christmas! While the docs undoubtedly provide the streaming channels with engaging content to draw subscriptions and drive revenue, should sporting associations or teams always give the green light […]

Unveiling Threads: Exploring the Disruptive Factors and Success Behind the New Social Media App

In a rapidly evolving social media landscape, new platforms emerge, seeking to disrupt the status quo and capture users’ attention. Can Threads go the distance though?

What are the pros and cons of an EV Motorcycle (According to ChatGPT)

What happens when you ask AI tool ChatGPT to create a blog article for you? Well, judge for yourself…   Electric-powered motorcycles are becoming an increasingly popular option for riders who are looking for an environmentally friendly and low-maintenance mode of transportation. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the pros and […]

Our favourite World Cup PR campaigns

The biggest stage in football is just days away as all attention turns to Qatar for what is set to be a competition like no other. With over 3.5 billion people watching the 2018 edition in Russia, including 1.12 billion for the final match alone, the World Cup provides brands with an unrivalled platform for […]

Its time to place human stories at the heart of the advanced air mobility market

If you ask me to imagine the future, the first thing my mind often flicks to is the opening scene of Futurama – with flying cars and robotaxis gliding over giant skyscrapers. This always felt like an incredibly distant vision but autonomous flying machines are here today and they are already doing a lot of […]

The UEFA Women’s Euros 2022

Now the crescendo of excitement of England’s Euros triumph has subsided, Nicola McKelvey takes a deeper look at the huge growth of the women’s Euros and the England team in an article that quantifies and compares the positive momentum of the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 to previous events. Introduction It’s widely believed that major tournaments […]

Be Bold.

It’s time to come off the fence:

Message us