Globalization has impacted almost all spheres of the society, including sports. There are several types of sports that just used to enjoy popularity in their native regions, but are now growing beyond borders, connecting with new cultures and people, and engaging fans around the world. Menos Hiras points out that while major professional sports like baseball, basketball, and tennis have been popular for decades in the United States; gradually, sports like cricket and football are also making a mark there. The global viewership of soccer, cricket, and football has especially increased exponentially over the last few years.
There are numerous types of sports which enjoy a high level of popularity and fan following in particular parts of the world. However, much like movies and music, sports has also managed to transcend borders owing to globalization and technological innovations, and create a new fan following in countries near and far. Menos Hiras, while sports like soccer and cricket are quite well-established and have had a tremendous fan following for years, they have managed to gain popularity in the United States in just the last decade or so. League matches, celebrity endorsements, and extensive advertising are some of the factors that have helped these sports gain traction in the US. Menos Hiras provides a better insight on their popularity in the following points:
- Soccer: This is invariably among the most popular sports around the world. Any person traveling out of the United States is highly likely to come across immensely passionate fans of this game first-hand, especially in Europe and Latin America. While soccer has been played in the school and colleges of the US for several years, it is only recently that the professional level matches of this sport have managed to gain popularity in the country. Major League Soccer (MLS) began to play in 1996, but it is after 2014 that their matches started attracting a good level of fan following. This especially happened after MLS attracted a number of international star players.
- Cricket: While not many people might know about it, cricket was, in fact, among the more popular sports in the United States at one point. As per certain reports, this sport used to be played regularly in the regions of Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, and Boston sometime during the 1700s. Its popularity, however, dwindled during the civil war, while baseball became the more commonly played game across the county. Currently, cricket is most popular of Australia, India, and England. However, with the increase in the number of immigrants from India and West Indies in the US, viewers of this game in the country have also increased substantially. The Indian Premier League matches especially enjoys quite a good amount of popularity here.
Menos Hiras points out that in recent years the number of people participating in local sports like lacrosse has also increased.