The Covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series to pursue their events due to safety issues. Fan’s from around the world are forced to wait till this July for top notch sevens rugby to begin again at the highly coveted Olympic Games in Tokyo.
HSBC announced in a 2016 report that in “the future of rugby” found it to be the fastest growing sport in the world, and its addition to the Olympic games has further broaden its market by 30 million fans.
Australia is one example as they found a boost in participation following the national women’s sevens side winning gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Off of their success Rugby Union saw a major boost in total participation world wide since 2012.
Then Australian Rugby (RA) participation growth manager Cameron Tradell talked on the ABC in 2016 “Sevens has the same explosiveness around what is happening on the field, and the expectation of the unknown when you head to a sevens game is very similar to the BBL,” Tradell said.
“I think the fact it is genuinely seen as being an equal opportunity game because of the success of the girls [at the Olympics] puts us in a stronger position than cricket with regards to having so much opportunity to showcase the nuances between the male and the female game.”
Tradell’s words echoing and building anticipations around the next Olympic appearance, we wonder why moves had not been made to create a professional national rugby sevens competition in the country.
The AON Sevens that started in 2017 was a great addition to bring professional rugby in Australia, the tournament has also proved to be of great use to fining new talents as it has provided Rugby Australia with a vast pool of players to strengthen the sevens squads. The younger generation was given a tournament where they can showcase their talents and skills.
For the men, there has been little equivalent despite new broadcasting partners. The proven growth of the game has been proven of great marketability for networks, this must be time to start discussing and pushing for an expansion of the game. Australia would be the perfect catalysts to expand the sport to the new generation of kids around the world.
With many willing broadcast stations excited to show off their new jewel and hopefully another gold medal in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, now is the best time to start their campaign into growing a platform that will showcase their top rugby sevens talents on screens and at the stadium.
World Rugby Sevens Series needs an addition to the growing appetite of sevens rugby fans for all-day action, costume coordination, day drinking and Sweet Caroline sing-alongs and after after parties.