Yet another example of the globalization of sports, today courtesy of an interesting list on ESPN.com. Gary Belsky, ESPN the Magazine Editor-in-Chief, put together a list of “The Top 27 Sports in the World Right Now.” Not a scientific list, to be sure, but just one informed man’s opinion. Taking top honors is cricket (ok, that’s two cricket posts in a row, do I see a trend emerging?), followed by more ‘traditional’ U.S. sports like MLB, golf, NHL and the NBA. The top 10 also includes Aussie Rules and Gaelic football and further down the list you can find fun stuff like Sepak Takraw (#15)and Korfball(#16).
Sure, ESPN purchased the hugely popular cricket site cricinfo, so putting the sport that also produced the greatest sports book ever written, at the top may be a result of ulterior motives, but I don’t think ESPN is pandering to the badminton crowd (#13), they are just reflecting a consumer landscape that is diverse and is being pulled from every corner of the globe. If The Worldwide Leader In Sports is willing to give more love to fencing (#12) than NASCAR (#23 for its Craftsman Truck Series) then your sport has an opportunity to make an impact