Apparently the Olympic committee has been approached to include, wait for it, pole dancing at the next Olympics in Rio! I guess ticket sales would be solid and the venue would be cheap to erect.
You may ask why am I talking about this? Well after watching much of the Olympics we wondered how many countries we had represented on our site. In just two months since we launched, we have members from eight different countries (nine if you include one from Afghanistan which I’m pretty certain was a mistake from the drop down menu when they joined LOL!). Those countries span all parts of the globe from North America, to South America, South East Asia (which includes Australia and New Zealand) and a number of European countries including Sweden! So the question is: will we ever see cutting as an Olympic Sport? The relevance to pole dancing? Not much, except both sports can grab hold of a horn…
In all seriousness, what a great promotion for the sport and what a goal for all of us to strive for. Is it realistic? I don’t think so, as any sport’s introduction to the world stage is all determined by TV ratings. Even if everyone of our active 30,000 NCHA members worldwide were watching, the numbers would still pale in comparison to the spectators for sports such as beach volleyball, soccer or pole dancing.
The hardest issue our industry has, to become an international sport, is that people off the street don’t easily understand how the winner is determined. A successful international sport needs at least one of three ingredients to attract TV coverage and big sponsorship:
1. Grass roots support where a lot of people play recreationally and can appreciate the skill it takes to be great, such as golf.
2. Easy to follow and understand. The viewer can determine who the winner is, for example racing, where first across the line wins or those with most goals etc.
3. Danger, nothing excites a crowd more than a little or a lot of risk-taking, like bull riding.
People appreciate the power and beauty of the horse in our sport but it’s difficult for them to get their adrenalin pumping because of the technicalities. Of course, we need these technicalities to differentiate between the highly competitive riders and determine the winner. But is it holding our sport back?
Many sports have been re-invented to inject more excitement and spectators into the game while the original game is still preserved, think Rugby 7s and one-day cricket. I don’t have any answers on how we could make cutting more accessible for the average person but I do believe if we could come up with a recipe our sport would not have to be so dependent on membership fees and sponsorship.
But on the flip side, why tinker with something that ain’t broke? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Could we or even should we make cutting a sexier sport to the masses? (When I say sexier I don’t mean putting girls in volleyball swimsuits on horses – I mean make it more exciting to the mainstream audience.) If so, what are your thoughts on how this could happen? You can be as serious or creative as you like. In fact, we’re going to have a little competition: the two best answers, the one who’s given this the most serious consideration and the one who’s come up with the most humorous suggestion will each win a second month of membership at 50% off.