Monday, September 1, 2008

Where is the Love? It's Not For Track & Field.

Track and field has always struggled with its identity. Who hasn't? But the latest onslaught is a slap in the face to the sport.

Michael Phelps is everywhere.

The guy the world has almost grown weary of seeing, greeted a cheering crowd during a parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando on Friday. And you know Michael Phelps was paid A LOT for his services.

In addition, he will host the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live", pen a book, host the video music awards, and make a cameo appearance on HBO's "Entourage."

When the money is being handed out, where are track and field Olympic gold medalists such as Bryan "World's Great Athlete" Clay or LaShawn Merritt? First the sport was given the stiff arm by NBC and now the snub by Madison Avenue of track and field's best athletes continues after the Beijing Olympics.

I get it. The general public isn't 100% sold on track and field as a marketable product - no thanks to the sports governing body. But track and field is the sport that most consumers consider to be the Olympic Games.

So, how about the corporate sponsors start showing track and field the love and respect that it so rightfully deserves?

By Jay Hicks.

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