Will the America’s Cup be Twenty20 or the Ashes?

[cleeng_content id=”989904481″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]How will the America's Capture the Imagination?

Perhaps it is the size of the population Or the strength of domestic sporting competitions that the USA doesn’t have the same international sporting rivalries that are enjoyed elsewhere in the world.
For Australians, the concept of national sporting pride is linked closely with cultural identity. There is a hierarchy of enemies, a collection of usual suspects who have fought for cups and urns and bragging rights over a long period of time.
As the next round of ‘the Ashes’ begins, the ongoing sporting war between Australia and England motivates large proportions of both countries to prioritize cricket in their media viewing habits.
WhileTwenty20 cricket has shown that the game can be innovated to appeal to a different audience, that rock-star players can earn big money to entertain on a mercenary basis, the idea of playing for ones country is what makes events like the Ashes stand the test of time.
It might have been very tempting to alter the format of the ‘test match’ – a game that takes 5 days and can still end in a draw is not something that should appeal to a ‘facebook’ generation with ADD and a supposed addiction to extreme events. But if you change the format, would it still be the Ashes?
The America’s Cup is one sporting event where the USA does compete against the rest of the world, but in recent years, the concept of national teams has been diluted. Kiwis competing for Switzerland and Aussies competing for America makes it hard to really pick a side to get behind.

The New Deal America’s Cup has a long term plan to try and re-introduce a sense of nationalism to the event. Not this time around though – the USA’s best are representing Sweden in the 34th Edition of the event through a team called Artemis.

The next America’s Cup will also be more like Twenty20 than an historic international test match. Speaking to journalists gathered in Dubai for the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Iain Murray and Richard Worth said that there will be up to five America’s Cup World Series events in 2011, beginning in late June/early July. Venues are expected to be confirmed beginning early in the new year.

Worth said:

“We’ve started from a shared vision with Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison for what the 34th America’s Cup could be. Our team has been challenged with translating this vision into action, and we’ve been working quite intensely over the past several months to realize that vision, which has been good fun. With the new technology and commercial opportunities, the opportunity and the ambition is there for this America’s Cup to reach great heights.”

Who knows what that actually means. Hopefully the Dubai Louis Vuitton Trophy is not a template for the America’s Cup World Series. The event might as well be held in a shed in Arizona for all the information there is about how to attend as a spectator.  The race schedule is a PDF, there is no mention of where racing is happening, no mention of how to get there, no information about hospitality or access for guests. There is nothing that would make anyone want to do anything but watch it on their computers.

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