The sports industry has been around for centuries and rakes in billions of dollars in revenue every year. Like basketball and golf invented in small countries, sports have gained popularity and have since spread worldwide due to their growing popularity. However, some sports were once popular but unfortunately did not stand the test of time. In this article, we shall discuss five that have been around for centuries and continue to be just as popular even now. Let’s delve in.
- Horse Racing
This sport is one of the oldest in the world. Its roots can be traced to prehistoric nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia who domesticated wild horses and competed with each other in races in 4500 B.C. As the years progressed, it made its way to Australia, Europe, and the Americas and had always been considered a sport of kings and nobles. Today, horse racing is a beloved sport where horses with their professional trainers compete against each other on a race track that brings together millions of fans and involves sports betting on which horse would win, this is easy for many thanks to Cheltenham guides, Grand Nations tips and many other helpful tools for the big races.
History traces soccer back some 2000 years ago to ancient China, Greece, and even parts of Central America. As the sport developed throughout time, more rules were introduced and historical landmarks implemented. Notable players throughout the history of the world’s most popular sport include Pele, Messi, and Zidane. The international governing body of football (FIFA) generated an estimated $4.6 billion in revenue last year and shows no sign of stopping.
Started in 1891 by a Canadian called Dr. James Naismith, basketball was initially played with peach baskets nailed up at the end of the gymnasium of Springfield College, Massachusetts. Since then, it spread from college to college overseas—with numerous changes to the rules. It became the beloved sport we know today. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) currently has 212 member countries and growing. Basketball generated $13 billion in revenue in 2019 and has 29 out of the 50 most profitable sports franchises globally.
When we mention tennis, some great names like Serena Williams, Guillermo Vilas, and Roger Federer come into mind. But did you know that the French introduced it in the 12th century with the original name jeu de paume (game of the palm)? Centuries later, it has become a sports behemoth played in almost every continent, with competitions like the Australian Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon being huge events each year.
Originated in 15th century Scotland, golf has been noted as the true gentleman’s sport. Since its inception, it has been through a ban, a revival, and finally a global acceptance that made it gain popularity in the 19th century. Today it’s one of the most globally recognized sports with notable figures such as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, whose golf prowess turned them into celebrities and millionaires. With revenues from golf courses and country clubs in the U.S. being $23.3 billion in 2020, this sport doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.