Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog post which is my top Covid-19 implicated initiatives in world sport!
My first initiative is arguably the most creative. As the German Bundesliga has returned to play in recent weeks they have been able to innovate methods of getting the fans involved on match day even when they’re stuck at home. As a result, for a small fee fans were able to purchase a cut out picture of themselves that would sit in the seats of their favourite team’s stadium during the game! Borussia Monchengladbach’s Borussia Park was filled with fans despite regulations, making watching the game on TV a slightly more normal experience. With a combination of the cut outs filling seats and the stadium playing recordings of crowd chants over the loud speakers, matches were played under more of an atmosphere than that of an empty stadium.
The second initiative that I found particularly awesome was how the Danish Football league used 42 metres of television screens to allow fans to watch their team play and show their support over Zoom. The world’s first virtual grand stand had 10,000 fans cheering on their team, accompanied with crowd noise recordings to make a truly creative means of getting fans back in sport during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Luckily for some sports, video games allow fans to watch and play their favourite sports even if the leagues are closed temporarily. For Formula 1 fans, the Virtual Formula 1 season on streaming website Twitch.tv has been a platform for the best drivers in the world to compete, and for fans to continue watching the drama. In particular, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has been able to grow his Twitch channel to nearly 450k followers and has since collaborated on video games with other world athletes like NBA’s Rudy Gobert and Brazilian soccer star Douglas Costa.
In a similar fashion, one of the highlights of isolation was the NBA Players NBA2k tournament. Like the Virtual Formula 1 season, this was a platform for some of the NBA’s top talent to show their skills using a controller. Broadcasted by ESPN, fans were entertained by their favourite players competing on the big stage, and even raging at their own team mates when in-game they weren’t able to live up to the expectations of the controlling player. A perfect example was LA Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell getting particularly angry at his own LA team mates in the game.
My final favourite Covid-19 initiative is the AFL and Telstra collaboration for the AFL Dice League. This saw one of Australia’s favourite comedians Andy Lee commentate over a game of dice football between some of the AFL’s stars. The game itself is really simple, the players take turn to role the die and whoever roles a higher total scores more points. However it was the way in which this series allowed fans to gain insight into how the players were travelling in isolation that gave this initiative its value. Additionally, it did a pretty good job at satisfying the public’s need for something competitive to watch, supporting their favourite players represent their teams on the big stage of the Dice AFL Arena.
If you have any other great sports initiatives that you particularly enjoyed then let me know!
Thanks for reading 🙂