COVID-19 has changed the global sports landscape. Taiwan is filling its baseball stadiums with robots and mannequins; NASCAR is taking advantage of virtual events to engage fans; and marble racing and trotting enjoys record-highs in gambling revenue. For these stories and more, check out our weekly Global Sports Update:
- Taiwan Baseball League Restarts with Robot and Mannequin ‘Fans’ in Seats: The Taiwan Chinese Professional Baseball League played its first game of the 2020 season.The stands were filled with a crowd of mannequins, robots, and cardboard cutouts — some wearing printed-on protective masks to comply with current CDC guidelines.
- Gamblers Bet on Marbles and Trotting as Pandemic Hits Sports Worldwide: Niche activities like marble racing, table tennis and Swedish trotting are gaining popularity among gamblers. Swedish trotting has reported a 465% surge in international revenues since the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Lawsuit Appeal Against China’s Qiaodan: Micheal Jordan has won an eight-year legal battle with Qiaodan Sports after China’s supreme court overturned two previous rulings that allowed the Fujian-based company to use the Chinese translation of Jordan’s name. However, the company is still permitted to use a silhouette that bears significant resemblance to Jordan’s iconic Jumpman logo.
- India to Host Asian Boxing Championship Later this Year: Earlier this month, India was selected as the host nation for the 2020 Asian Boxing Championships, despite concerns of the lasting effects on COVID-19. The host city has not yet been decided, as Indian Boxing officials are waiting to see the effects COVID-19 has on different cities in the coming months. India had enacted a strict shelter-in-place order in mid-March which has significantly lessened the amount of cases compared with other countries.
- Parents Encouraged to Teach Children about Paralympic Sports: The Agitos Foundation is encouraging parents to teach their children about Paralympic sports while staying at home. The foundation has developed the “I’mPOSSIBLE” education toolkit, which provides information on different Paralympics sports. This week’s lesson teaches 5-a-side soccer for the visually impaired. I’mPOSSIBLE’s goal is to promote social inclusion by raising awareness of the Paralympic Movement.