It’s no secret sport is a big deal in the USA – think football, basketball, and baseball. And it’s fair to say the Americans are pretty good at it – think tennis greats like the Williams sisters, and Pete Sampras, golfing legends like Tiger Woods or any Olympics where they rule the track, field and pool.
That American influence can be seen around the world, including Australia, where the coverage and merchandising of sports has become increasingly Americanised.
However, there might just be one sport, the game they ‘play in heaven’ that may be the next big thing in the USA’s sports hungry market. Rugby Union is taking the States by storm.
According to Forbes.com, Rugby Union is one of the fastest growing sports in the USA, especially among college and high school students. It’s also attracting media coverage and sponsorship interest, and here’s why we think that’s so…
Gridiron is a great game of strategy and impact, soccer is a game of speed, agility and ball skills, but there’s something so different about watching the fierce contact of a Rugby scrum or lineout, and Americans are fascinated by the idea of full-speed collisions with no helmets and pads.
Rugby is no newcomer to the American playing field, it’s been played there for the past century, in fact the USA won an Olympic gold medal in Rugby in 1920 and 1924 and they won the women’s World Cup in 1991. Now with Rugby to again grace the schedule at the Olympics, Rugby USA recognises this as a great chance to increase its fan-base and has poured resources into developing their 7s team.
This has already achieved success with the team taking a recent championship at a tournament in London, and garnering media interest in the process.
The world is smaller
Long gone are the days where sport was a local affair – it’s global and it’s televised. Not only are ex-pat South Africans, Brits and Australians spreading the word about Rugby, 24-hour sports coverage is bringing the game to the US, and not just pay-per-view.
Forbes notes: “To date, NBC has been a vital broadcasting partner, showing not only international rugby, but domestic rugby from the college ranks as well. This past October, NBC also aired the USA games live from the World Cup”.
While traditionally US Rugby hasn’t attracted huge funding, with further television coverage and the dollars that translates to, the US could be a force to be reckoned with as their potential pool of talent is vast.
All this is great for the game of Rugby, but also excellent news for Australia’s young generation of Union stars, with America poised to lap up our talent through college scholarships. To find out more about sporting scholarships in the USA, click here or contact us.