Saturday 30 May 2020 | 05:08 | SYDNEY
Saturday 30 May 2020 | 05:08 | SYDNEY

Dump 'The World Game'


Sam Roggeveen


3 December 2009 13:33

Margaret Simons' article revealing that broadcaster SBS is making legal threats against Crikey to protect its soccer slogan, 'The World Game', gives me an opportunity to get something off my chest. Namely, that 'The World Game' is a terrible slogan for promoting SBS's soccer coverage to Australians. They ought to abandon it rather than paying lawyers to protect it.

Why? Because referring to soccer as 'The World Game' implies that those who enjoy soccer are sophisticated and cosmopolitan, while anyone who favours another Australian football code is a provincial hick.

As my colleague Anthony Bubalo wrote back in 2005 after Australia won membership to the Asian Confederation, soccer is an excellent vehicle for public diplomacy and people-to-people links with our neighbours. But that potential will remain constrained so long as football is seen as an elite pre-occupation in Australia, rather than the popular force that it already is (at least at the community level).

Of course, none of that is SBS's responsibility, but equally, I fail to see how such an exclusionary slogan improves the reputation and popularity of their coverage.

Photo by Flickr user sam_herd, used under a Creative Commons license.