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What’s Holding Polo's International Popularity?

Roger Bruster points at why Polo is not holding international popularity

Polo, the sport of the masters, of the kings and of power has been a favorite among a convinced section and the reason is not hard to find. For all the equestrian sports at one bench, equals to the methodology of Polo, that’s the aspect of the sport; it takes part of every sport with itself. From the hand-eye coordination to team strategies, Polo has inherited the specialty of many distinct sports, it has got a little bit of everything. But even after carrying so much of love from a lot, the sport fizzles to reach out to a larger audience. The key of the cause is to whom, how and when the sport is exposed, as, for a large audience, Polo is associated with old fashion Sunday day out the ritual, while for the rest it is the sport of the rich. Where at a true dais, the creed is false, but for the people who are immune to polo fall into this perception about the sport by overlooking at the culture that surrounds the game. This tenet then unintentionally sketches a line between the polo fans and non-polo fans on what and how they see the sport. But one belief that remains static is that Polo is a sport that remains difficult and comes as a thrill to watch while holding the stage of a unique sport in the realm of popular as well as semi-popular sports. To the sport of Polo, there is nothing identical or even close that might indicate the precise circumstances of the game, that draws the conclusion that under right timing the sport won’t fail to catch on a bigger worldwide audience.

What Is Probably Holding Polo Back?

● Lack Of Wide-Ranging Telecasts

This point more or less explains itself, but the simple fact is that there aren’t easily accessible, wide-ranging telecasts for major polo events for much of the world. Basketball is an interesting parallel here. It’s believed by many that the last few years’ explosion in international talent at the highest levels of talent - which is leading to even more interest in the sport beyond the U.S., where it’s biggest - is largely a result of the fact that it’s become easy for people around the world to watch basketball. Online streaming options have brought the sport to pretty much everyone who might want to watch it. Polo, while it can be found by those who really want to go out of their way for it, just doesn’t occupy much streaming or broadcast bandwidth relative to more popular sports.

● Limited Betting Exposure
It’s no secret that betting activity can help a sport generate attention and growth, and here as with television coverage there just isn’t too much polo exposure to speak of. That doesn’t mean there are never polo betting options, but even in some of the countries that appreciate the sport most, there’s not a huge market to be had. Take Australia, for instance, which is a relative hot spot for the sport. A significant variety of sports is covered by prominent Australian betting sites accessible from all over the world, yet you typically have to dig fairly deep before you find a chance to wager on polo. The same is essentially true in markets like the UK or the U.S. (though granted the U.S. betting business is largely restricted).

● Lack Of Gaming
Betting gets a little bit more attention in this regard, but gaming, too, can really help to spread a sport’s popularity and can get people interested who might not have been otherwise. There really isn’t and has never been a major polo gaming experience, and at this point, it would be foolish for any gaming studio to invest in one simply because the audience isn’t there. This, however, is the beauty of modern gaming. A polo game wouldn’t necessarily have to be a major investment. A strong mobile game or even a VR game that simulates the polo experience one that came out in 2016 could potentially gain a decent player base, and represent a small step toward greater worldwide popularity. For now, though, the sport is essentially missing out on the gaming market entirely.

● An Absence Of Marketed Stars
If you talk to someone who isn’t a polo enthusiast, there is little to no chance that he could identify a star player. That may be different for people who already love the sport, naturally, but the simple fact is that polo doesn’t have star athletes that are effectively marketed beyond the sport’s existing sphere of influence. Most every sport that is even somewhat popular has these figures, and we’re not just talking about the NBA’s LeBron James or soccer’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Most of the world knows who Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are, from the worlds of golf and tennis; a reasonable number of people could identify Chris Froome of professional cycling or Lewis Hamilton from Formula 1; we know famous gymnasts, skiers, and swimmers from the Olympics. Polo simply doesn’t produce these figures, which gives non-fans less to relate to and latch onto.