Monday, November 26, 2007

Americans Just Don't Get It...

Liu Xiang has insured his legs for a cool $13.3 million. Say what?

By definition, insurance is protection coverage against specified loss. Normally losses would include fire, flooding and major accidents.

More and more celebrities are taking out policies for their most bankable body parts – Heidi Klum’s legs are worth $1.96 million, J Lo’s body is worth $1 billion – so why not high-performance athletes?

The 110-meter hurdle world record holder and world champion is prepared for the worst case scenario. A recent story says that a sponsor took out the multi-million dollar policy for Liu Xiang.

In other words, Liu is worth stacks of cash. At a glance the policy appears extreme, but a closer look reveals that it’s a brilliant idea.

Millions of Chinese nationals are expected to watch their countrymen race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Any catastrophe keeping Lui off the track would cost him millions and alter his career off its meteoric path. This way he gets paid one way or the other.

Americans just don’t get it. In the U.S., these sort of sweetheart deals are reserved for Tom Brady and LeBron James. The average American has no clue about how big track and field is on the international stage.

Internationally track and field is wildly popular – and not just during Olympic years when most Americans have any real exposure to the sport.

Every meet is an event – millions watch on tv, thousands pack the stadiums and countless sponsors fork over big bucks to be down with track.

U.S. Track fans are waiting for a track revolution. A time when we can watch sport while we eat grossly over-priced food in luxury suite boxes in gaudy track stadiums financed by tax payer dollars.

A time when one of our own gets their legs insured for almost as much as Heidi Klum’s.

A man can dream…

By Jay Hicks, aka Track Evangelist

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